The temple of the ancient city in Bursa is unearthed

More information is available when the structure was partially unearthed during the excavations started this year in the temple, which is thought to be from the Hellenistic period, on Kız Ada, which is located to the southwest of the touristic Gölyazı Quarter in Bursa’s Nilüfer district, and very close to the shore of Lake Uluabat.

According to AA’s report, the excavation team is trying to unearth the remains based on a drawing made by some researchers in the 19th century.

Head of the excavation and Bursa Uludağ University (BUÜ) Faculty of Arts and Sciences Archeology Department Lecturer Prof. Dr. Derya Şahin said that the settlement, whose modern name is Gölyazı, was known as the Ancient City of Apollonia ad Rhyndacum in ancient times.

Şahin stated that the area was discovered by some researchers towards the end of the 1800s and the sketch plans of the ruins were drawn.

Stating that the area has been a known settlement since the end of the 19th century and is now called Kız Ada, Şahin said, “The place we call Kız Ada is defined as the Apollon sanctuary. In other words, it was dedicated to the god Apollo in ancient times, surrounded by a temenos walls, with a temple inside, around it. We are in the building complex, the sanctuary, where the stoa is located,” he said.

Şahin stated that a survey was conducted in the area by Serdar Aybek and Ali Kazım Öz in the early 2000s, and said:

“At that time, very short results about the area were published, but since excavations were not carried out and there was very dense vegetation in the area, not much data could be obtained about the structure. It was the first time in 2017, under the presidency of Bursa Museum Directorate, under the scientific consultancy of Bursa Uludağ University Archeology Department and again under the supervision of Nilüfer Municipality. With their support, drilling works are carried out at some points and data about the structures are started to be obtained. Then, the studies on the area stop for a while.”


Stating that they started working under the presidency of Bursa Museum Directorate again last year, Şahin continued as follows:

“This year, with the Presidential decision, we are continuing the excavations with the permission of the Ministry of Culture and Tourism. Here, we have now started to obtain more data about the temple. Our aim is to see if there are really finds of 19th century drawings in the area, to obtain data on the history of the finds and structures on the island. It is among our primary duties to ensure that it is published and shared with our people. Ensuring that the island is also open to visitors is among our primary duties. Because there is a heavy tourist visit in Gölyazı and people go on boat trips. We want to bring them together with cultural assets on their trips.”


Şahin stated that they witnessed that some parts of the temple were moved to Gölyazı District over time and used as spolia.

Providing information about the chronological process of the sanctuary, Şahin said, “When we look at the features of the walls in the temple, we can see that a larger temple was obtained, which can go back to the Archaic period and was expanded frequently in the process. There are architectural pieces that we have identified in the area regarding the upper architectural elements of the temple, as well as the cornice finds. We know that it was also used as spolia in the city walls in the settlement,” he said.

Şahin explained that the work continues and that they will provide preliminary information about the structure on the island, the temple and the stoa and vaulted structures that are estimated to exist around it in 5-10 years.

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