Visiting Ağlasun

Printer-friendly versionSend to friend

For transportation information, click here. For tourism information, click here.

Ağlasun is a town of about 5000 people set in a beautiful valley surrounded by mountains. Because it’s “off the beaten path”, the town and the valley around it offers the visitor both beautiful landscapes and a taste of life in a rural Turkish town. Although the town seems quite remote, Ağlasunlus are open-minded and friendly to strangers – don’t hesitate to smile and say ‘Iyi Günler’ (good day) or ‘Iyi Akşamlar’ (good evening).

People have been living in Ağlasun since at least the 13th century, when a Selcuk hamam (recently investigated by the archaeological team) was constructed near the current town square. The square itself is organized around a huge plane tree (çınar in Turkish) that may be as much as 1000 years old.

Ağlasun is a pleasant town for walking. Houses are interrupted with small rose and cherry orchards framed by dramatic mountains in the distance. The town has many charming old traditional houses made of mud-brick and stone. If you look closely, you can see ancient stonework that was reused in some of the lower stories. A few even have inscriptions in Latin and Greek!

Around the main square are several restaurants, an internet café, small shops, and a pleasant outdoor tea garden. Every Friday morning, the local market is held near the center of Ağlasun. Recently, a pansiyon (pension) opened adjacent to the town square. During the summer months, it is also possible to stay in student dormitories, which are vacant during the summer holidays.

The economy of Ağlasun and surrounding villages is mainly agricultural. The main products are wheat, sugar beet, and cherries. Many farmers also grow roses for the perfume industry, which is important in the nearby city of Isparta.

Although friendly, Ağlasun is a rather conservative country town. People are not used to extravagant dress or skimpy clothes. While beer is available in local stores, we encourage you not to drink alcohol in public. (Buying drinks for the archaeologists once in a while, however, is highly recommended).

The Sagalassos Community Archaeology Project are collaborating with the local mayor and other authorities to develop a visitors’ centre with more information about the history and culture of Ağlasun and the Sagalassos excavations. We also plan to develop walking tours of Ağlasun’s historic houses, and to help local residents market local handicrafts and artisanal food products. Stay tuned for updates!