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Science&TechnologyArcheology2000-year-old Roman bath welcomes tourists with healing 50-degree water

2000-year-old Roman bath welcomes tourists with healing 50-degree water

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Following a major restoration, the ancient Roman bath of the Basilica of the Thermae, known as the “daughter of the king”, near the city of Kayseri, central Turkey, was open to tourists.

After the ban on paganism during the reign of Emperor Theodosius, the Basilica of the Therma became an episcopal center thanks to the church built next to the Roman Bath. During this period, a marble baptismal font with a cross was placed in the middle of the large thermal pool. The pagans were baptized in the basin of the Basilica of the Thermae. This place was sacred to Christians.

The Basilica of the Thermae (Aqua Sarvenae) was used as a thermal medical center during the Roman Empire. It was also a place of rest and recovery for Roman soldiers going and returning from campaigns and battles.

The figure “snake with the tongue removed”, which is rarely seen in works from this period, is located in the Roman bath Sarkaya. This figure is also considered a symbol of medicine and health.

The relief of Asclepius, the god of health, proves that this structure was used not only for bathing but also for healing.

It is believed that the daughter of the Roman ruler, who lived in Kayseri and had an incurable disease, recovered in the pools of the ancient bath.

After the Byzantine period, the Turkish people continued to benefit from this healing water. People who want to find healing can still take a dip in the hot pool today.

The ruins of the ancient building were discovered during construction activities in the area in 2014. Restoration activities were initiated by the municipality of Sarikaya and the Provincial Directorate of Culture and Tourism.

After several years of cleaning, excavation and restoration work near the Sarkaya baths was continued by the Yozgat Museum Directorate. The unique structure attracts the attention of visitors with its architecture and healing water, which flows at 50 degrees for 2000 years.

In a conversation with the Anatolian State Agency (AA), provincial director of culture and tourism Hussein Shiftchi said the Roman bath was known as one of the world’s first centers of thermal medicine.

He explained that the excavations began in 2014 and continued until 2018. “The Roman bath is included in the preliminary list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites in 2018,” said Shiftchi.

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