The story of The Museum Hotel Antakya is as epic as any ancient text and as intriguing as any contemporary classic. Comprising 2.300 years of history – and counting – it rises from the dust of yesteryear to breathe new life into humanity's past, present and future.
How the story continues from here is up to you…
When the Asfuroğlu family broke ground for a new hotel in Antakya (ancient Antioch), little did they know what they would find or how it would change the region forever.
Turning to Antakya Municipality, Hatay Archaeology Museum and Adana Conservation Council for Cultural and Natural Assets, they commenced what would become a 10-year project to bring the past to life...
The initial discoveries were of such interest that the protection committee authorised the excavation of 29 wells, by hand, as part of a preliminary 2-month investigation into the site. And as the land began to reveal its treasures, the excavation was expanded to the entire 17.132 m2 area: the first systematic excavation in Turkey since the 1930s.
Between May and December 2010, 120 excavators, 35 archaeologists, 3 machines and 10 trucks worked day and night to clear the site of more than 100.000 m3 of soil, revealing one of most astounding finds of the 21st century.
The excavation findings surpassed everyone’s expectations but also brought many hurdles: How do you build on a site that you can’t even stand on? The national and international search began for a visionary designer to create a structure that preserved the artefacts below while creating a luxury hotel above. That visionary was Turkey’s award-winning architect, EAA-Emre Arolat Mimarlık.
By July 2012, 312 pieces of precast reinforced concrete wall had been installed, insulated and filled around the site and the building’s construction work could begin. Over the coming years, 20.000 tons of structural steel – four times more than the Eiffel Tower – were hand-welded in a specialist factory near Istanbul.
With the priceless treasures dictating the painstaking placement of the 66 supporting columns, construction costs soon swelled to more than four times their original estimate but still the team pressed on…
After more than 3000 days and 6 million man-hours, The Museum Hotel Antakaya became the world’s first modern revival of an ancient heritage site: an extraordinary intersection of experiences where visitors can travel through time and feel the energy of history while adding their own new layer to the story of civilisation.
From its 300 BC wall, 30.000 artefacts, world’s largest floor mosaic, Roman baths and breathtaking 2nd century Pegasus depiction to the city’s largest wellbeing hub, first ballroom and five world-class dining venues, this is the story of humanity: past, present and future.