The Ministry of culture and Tourism had declared 2018 “YEAR OF TROY” in order to draw attention to the cultural and historical values of Turkey in tourism and highlight the city of Troy, whose history dates back to B.C. The Ministry had also declared 2019 the “YEAR OF GOBEKLITEPE' to draw attention to Göbeklitepe, located in SANLIURFA where the oldest known collection of cult structures in the world has been unearthed. It is now reported that the Ministry of culture and Tourism has chosen Patara ancient city in the KAS District of Antalya, for its 2020 theme.
With the establishment of Patara as the theme of Turkey this year, many investments are planned, including the intensification of excavations and restoration works, especially the Museum in Patara.
The ancient city of Patara, which was confirmed to exist in the 8th century in archaeological excavations conducted, is 42 kilometers away from the town of Kas in Antalya and one of the oldest settlements in the Lycian Union and a capital city. In the ancient city, which is thought to have covered 10 square kilometers, excavations and restoration work have been carried out for quite a long while.
Patara, where dozens of unique historical monuments have been unearthed, is the only place to sail in the Xanthos Valley which is on the UNESCO World permanent heritage list.
Patara is the birthplace of St. Nicholas also known as Santa Claus and the place where his childhood passed. It served as the capital of the Lycian civilization for a long time and has the oldest parliament building in the world where representatives of the cities of the Union met. An amphitheatre, a historic lighthouse, a main street, baths, a Roman triumphal arch, a small hill of the cemetery, the Basilica and several temples with great wealth from a historical perspective with the world's oldest democratic parliament building known as Patara Parliament Building were was restored by the Turkish Parliament and opened to visitors.
During excavations a Viking sword was found in the Harbor Bath area in 2018, estimated to date from the 9th or 10th century. The Neron Lighthouse, built by the Roman Emperor Neron is the oldest surviving lighthouse in the world. 2 thousand-year-old dolphin description was unearthed in the form of relief on the stones belonging to the 26-meter Lighthouse, whose restoration process is ongoing.
One of the most important developments this year is as follows: The ancient ship replica “Abora-IV” which is 14 meters long was brought to the ancient port of Patara to be exhibited. On August 1st, the ship, designed by a German archeologist sailed from the Bulgarian port of Varna in the Black Sea to the Mediterranean under the slogan “sailing for peace and international understanding”. About three months ago, the ship reached Kas Harbor and moved to Patara ancient city, which is 43 kilometers away, by road.