An astonishing new extravagance hotel opened in Antakya, Turkey in 2020. Amazingly it is at once an engineering wonder, an architectural attractiveness, and a world-class archaeological site. In 2009 a construction crew was digging the foundation for a new hotel and surprise to see an amazing discovery at Antakya Turkey. The digging crew unearthed a gigantic mosaic of Roman times, along with over 35,000 artifacts ranging 2,300 years from at least 13 diverse civilizations.
This amazing discovery put the hotel construction on hold however; they have completed six months’ excavation work. Hence, the dreams of building a hotel dashed, potentially derailing the entire project. But a group “Asfuroğlu” decided against that, and embrace the daunting challenge, they work hard with archeological find into the hotel’s blueprint.
So, they started to work with the Antakya Municipality, Hatay Archaeology Museum & Adana Conservation Council for Cultural and Natural Assets on Turkey’s leading systemic archeological excavation since the 1930s. So, negotiation took place 11 years to conclude a final result of building the hotel come into being. Finally, the 200-room Museum Hotel Antakya opened its doors for customers.
The Hotel Antakya was designed by Turkish architect Emre Arolat. The five floors are balanced on near 20,000 tons of structural steel four times more than the Eiffel Tower columns on top of the actual archeological site. Where the eleven thousand square feet Roman mosaic lay in-situ.
The hotel’s Antakya lowest floor houses an open-air museum with glass floors and walkways providing a superb and clear view of the mosaic and the various excavation pits. The visitor rooms are massed above this open space, hovering over the site in a stacked honeycomb structure, with glass windows straight overlook the archaeological findings.
The Ancient City of Antioch
The Turkish Hotel whole story started in 2009 when the famous city of Antakya stands on the site of the ancient city Antioch, founded in the 4th century BC. At those times, this region was the center of the Seleucid kingdom until the 1st century BC, when it was annexed by Rome and was made the capital of the Roman province of Syria.
Antioch was once the third-largest city of the Roman Empire in size and significance, after Rome and Alexandria, and possessed superb temples, theatres, aqueducts, and baths. Antioch was also one of the earliest centers of much ecclesiastical significance in the Byzantine Empire. However, the city changed hands more than a few times, conquered by Byzantine, Seljuk, Crusaders, Ayyubid, Mamluk, finally the Ottoman in the 16th century.
Therefore, the archaeologists trust the mosaic may once have been part of a government building or a villa dating back to the 5th century. Thus, the other artifacts found inside date back to the Hellenistic Age, which started in 323 BC. Moreover to the mosaic, which the biggest single-floor mosaic ever found, archaeologists exposed ruins of a Roman bath, the first unbroken marble statue of the Greek Eros, and several more artifacts.
The Turkish Hotel project is completed after a hefty amount of $120 million and took 10 years to complete, just from the perspective of the hotel but also for the impressive archaeological findings. The Asfuroğlu family anticipating, that what they would have found or how it would have changed the destiny of the region forever.
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