Alaşehir in Manisa, home to one of the seven churches mentioned in the Bible and rich in ancient cultural heritage, is being revitalized through extensive excavation and restoration efforts by the Alaşehir Municipality, aiming to transform the district into a vibrant cultural city.

Alaşehir, renowned for its world-famous seedless Sultani grapes, defies geographical limitations by exporting fresh fruits and vegetables through its Customs Directorate, despite lacking direct sea access or a border gate. Beyond its economic prowess, Alaşehir boasts a rich cultural heritage.

Among its treasures is the Saint-Jean Church, one of the seven churches cited in the Bible, nestled in the ancient city of Philadelphia. This historical district is steadily evolving into a tourist destination, bolstered by extensive restoration efforts led by the Alaşehir Municipality. Directional signage now guides tourists to explore its cultural gems independently.

Visitors can delve deeper into Alaşehir’s history by scanning QR codes, which provide comprehensive information in both English and Turkish. The municipality’s ambitious investments aim to elevate Alaşehir into a pivotal cultural hub, transforming it from an industrial town to a beacon of tourism.

Continuing its efforts towards becoming a cultural city, Alaşehir Municipality is preserving cultural treasures through excavations and restoration projects across various parts of the city, Manisa, Türkiye, July 7, 2024. (IHA Photo)

Mayor Ahmet Öküzcüoğlu emphasized Alaşehir’s ancient roots, dating back to 150 B.C., and outlined ambitious projects to enhance its tourism appeal. “Our roadmap includes initiatives such as registering monumental trees, establishing an archeopark in Toptepe, converting historic sites like Bakkal Şükrü House into museums, and promoting local delicacies like grape and tahini pita for UNESCO Heritage recognition,” he stated.

“Directional signs and QR code panels now facilitate cultural exploration, thanks to support from the Union of Municipalities and the League of Historical Cities.”

Öküzcüoğlu also highlighted efforts to boost geothermal tourism, earmarking three key regions for development. “Alaşehir offers diverse attractions, from mosaics and underground tunnels to religious sites like Saint-Jean Church and adventurous activities like paragliding,” he noted. “We envision Alaşehir as a vibrant hub for geothermal tourism in the near future.”

With these initiatives, Alaşehir not only preserves its past but also charts a dynamic course toward a flourishing tourism future.

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