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Titus Tunnel: Historical and touristic heritage of Hatay

Titus Tunnel: Historical and touristic heritage of Hatay Titus Tunnel, in Hatay, Türkiye, June 23, 2023. (Photo by AA Photo)
Jun 24, 2024 1:13 PM

Despite the recent earthquakes affecting Samandag district in Hatay, the Titus Tunnel continues to significantly contribute to the city’s tourism potential. Hatay is renowned for its rich cultural heritage where people from different religions, sects and ethnic backgrounds have peacefully coexisted for centuries.

However, the earthquakes originating from Kahramanmaras on Feb. 6, 2023, inflicted substantial damage on the city’s historical and touristic structures.

Numerous residential buildings along with mosques, churches, and tourism-related establishments were impacted.

Titus Tunnel: Historical and touristic heritage of Hatay
A tourist points at an engraving on Titus Tunnel, which was constructed by father Vespasian and finished by son Titus at the end of the 12th year, in Hatay, Türkiye, May 23, 2023. (Photo by Koray Erdogan/Türkiye Today)

Tunnel took 12 years to build

Constructed under the orders of Roman Emperor Vespasianus in A.D. 69 and completed during the reign of his son Titus in A.D. 81, the Titus Tunnel stands as one of the few structures to have survived these destructive events intact.

Spanning 380 meters, this ancient tunnel was built in Samandag to prevent mountain waters from filling the harbor. Today, it remains a significant historical artifact that draws the interest of tourists, solidifying its role as a prominent attraction contributing to Hatay’s tourism sector.

Titus Tunnel: Historical and touristic heritage of Hatay
Affected by earthquakes, the Titus Tunnel in Hatay’s Samandag district continues to contribute to the city’s tourism, in Hatay, Türkiye, June 23, 2023. (Photo by AA Photo)

Since the earthquakes, Hatay has seen a surge of interest, with students and visitors drawn to experience its historical and cultural treasures firsthand.

Abdullah Yuksel, deputy principal of Ordu Anatolian High School, mentions that their visit not only provided an educational experience but also offered moral support to the region. Students expressed excitement during their exploration of the tunnel, marveling at Hatay’s rich history.

Deniz Nalca reflecting on the aftermath of the earthquakes, emphasized the profound joy in witnessing the Titus Tunnel standing strong amid the devastation. Nalca underscores the importance of preserving such vital tourist landmarks within Hatay.

Hatay continues to preserve and showcase its rich cultural heritage, exemplified by landmarks like the Titus Tunnel, ensuring these treasures are passed down to future generations.

Last Updated:  Jun 24, 2024 2:29 PM