The World Heritage Committee, who met in Krakow last week, added the ancient ruins of Aphrodisias in southwestern Turkey to the UNESCO’s World Heritage List, bringing the total number of UNESCO sites in Turkey to 17.

Aphrodisias

Located in southwest Turkey, Aphrodisias was renowned throughout the Hellenistic and Roman empires for its school of sculpture and art. Comparatively recent excavation work means that most of it’s treasures are still intact, and the on-site museum displays many examples of the monumental statuary produced by the school.

Ancient ruins of Aphrodisias in Turkey added to UNESCO World Heritage list
Statues in the museum at Aphrodisias

The Temple of Aphrodite

The temple of Aphrodite, the Greek Goddess of Love, dates from the 3rd century BCE and the city was built one century later.  All that remains of the ancient temple are fourteen of the over forty Ionic columns that once surrounded it and the foundations of the cellar section.

Ancient ruins of Aphrodisias in Turkey added to UNESCO World Heritage list
Gateway to Temple of Aphrodite, Aphrodisias

The wealth of Aphrodisias came from the marble quarries and the art produced by its sculptors.

Ancient ruins of Aphrodisias in Turkey added to UNESCO World Heritage list
One of the many marble quarries. The quarry face is on the right.

The city streets are arranged around several large civic structures, which include temples, a theatre, an agora (a public open space used for assemblies and markets) and two bath complexes.

Ancient ruins of Aphrodisias in Turkey added to UNESCO World Heritage list
The agora – Photograph courtesy of Turkish Culture Portal

Click here to read Aphrodisias: The Lost City of Sculptures on the Turkish Travel Blog

How far away is it?

Depending upon which route you take, Aphrodisias is approximately three to four hours drive from Fethiye. You will need a further three to four hours to spend at the site. You don’t want to miss anything!

It’s well worth a visit if you haven’t been yet.

Two further sites in the United Kingdom and Brazil were also added to the list.

The English Lake District (United Kingdon)

Ancient ruins of Aphrodisias in Turkey added to UNESCO World Heritage list
An aerial view of Grasmere from the slopes of Silver Howe – Photo courtesy of AboutBritain.com

Valongo Wharf Archaeological Site (Brazil)

Ancient ruins of Aphrodisias in Turkey added to UNESCO World Heritage list
Slave ships in the 19th century docked at the huge stone Valongo wharf, exposed by archaeologists near Rio’s port. Credit Lianne Milton for The New York Times

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