Cultural Postcards + [Turkey]

Near East: Ancient Greek sacred road to now serve Turkish tourism
A 2,600-year-old ancient road located between the ancient Greek city of Miletus and the Temple of Apollo that was used by travellers seeking to consult the Oracle during the Hellenistic era has been restored and reorganized as a walking trail.

Ancient Greek sacred road to now serve Turkish tourism
Aydın Culture and Tourism Director Nuri Aktakka said works had been continuing since 2009 on the 25-kilometer, sixth-century road in Didim and that its route had been identified through satellite coordination.

He said that as part of the restoration plan, the road with sculptures, resting places and columns had been cleaned and that road signs had been erected.

The holy road was very significant in terms of history and nature, Aktakka said. “There are various traces from the ancient times on the holy road. There are sculptures and columns in some parts of the road. There are ancient resting places at two points. The whole road was covered with stone in the past, but it has been destroyed in many places. As part of our restoration plans, we identified these historical structures and reorganized them. We put road signs on the route. Now the 25-kilometer road has been opened as a walking trail. Tourists walking here will see the ancient traces on the road and view natural life on the route.”

Aktakka said prophecy was dominant in the ancient times and people from different regions came to the ancient city of Miletus and used the road to meet oracles in the Temple of Apollo.

He said the holy road was popular among tourists thanks to its ancient features and that they planned to promote the road at international events.

“It is known that the ancient city of Miletus was a coastal town of trade and education. Those visiting the city felt the need to meet the oracles who were living in the Temple of Apollo to learn about future.

They used the holy road at this time. We plan to organize international walking events and festivals on this road in the next years. Talks are continuing with tourism managers and travel agencies about the issue,” he said.

Source: Hurriyet Daily News [December 12, 2014]