Ankara’s 2,000-year-old Roman baths are being restored

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Restorations and conservations have been carried out in the Roman baths of the Turkish capital Ankara, one of the most important ancient ruins in the city. Following the works, the open-air museum opened to local and foreign tourists.

Excavations that revealed the bath, commissioned by Roman Emperor Caracalla in the 3rd century on behalf of the Greco-Roman god of medicine Asclepius and believed to have been in use for around 500 years, began in 1938.

A view of the Roman baths, Ankara, Turkey, June 22, 2022. (AA Photo)

As a result of the excavations carried out in the Phrygian, Roman and Byzantine floors, which partly show Seljuk and Ottoman traces, the palaestra (school of wrestling sports) and closed bath sections were unearthed between 1940 and 1943.

The General Directorate of Cultural Heritage and Museums of the Ministry of Culture and Tourism launched restoration work on the Roman baths in April. In the open-air museum, the joints of the walls have been restored, conservation work has been carried out, landscaping carried out and new walking paths have been created. In addition, statues from the ancient period were also cleaned and placed on pedestals to prevent them from further aging.

The landscaping of the bathing area and the palaestra area has also been completed. The marble placed on the pool part was then removed and the pool returned to its original texture. The lighting and camera systems have also been renewed.

The reopening of the historic bath took place within the framework of the Başkent Cultural Route Festival. The Roman bath also hosted outdoor concerts throughout the festival.

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