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Historical Tourism


Prusias is one of the ancient citi es visited frequently by scientific researchers and travelers. Unfortunately, the sources based on such researches and studies do not give suffi cient informati on on either the ruins of the ancient buildings in Prusias or the plan of the city. From various resources, and considering its topographical structure and several known plan features, it can be said that the sett lement was composed of two parts: the upper city on a slope and the lower city beneath the slope. According to the archaeological fi ndings and epigraphs, the Ancient City Prusias also had amphitheater, gymnasium and agora, which were typical for any Hellenistic city.

The Ancient Amphitheater in Konuralp, which is the best preserved monumental structure of the city, leans against a slope, overlooking Düzce Plain, on the upper terraces of this historical sett lement established at the foothills of a mountain. The amphitheater has been positi oned southward facing the sun and light so as to protect the audiences from the draft . The amphitheater thought to have double diazomata (the walkway behind the cavea) and three caveae has two entrances with symmetrical vaults opening to the caveae. This amphitheater that displays the features of a transiti onal period has more elegant and richer appearance compared to other Hellenistic examples.

The cavea section of the theater built of monolithic marble dates back to the Late Hellenistic Period. From the inscribed block at the stage section, which was read and translated by Prof. Dr. Mustafa Adak, it is known that the construction of the stage building was completed in 130 A.D. The same inscription reveals that the theater was dedicated to Hadrianus, the Roman Emperor of the era. Two arched windows and one arched door on the exterior surface of the stage building have survived considerably undamaged. Konuralp Museum and the Archeology Department, Düzce University have been continuing the excavations there since 2013.

AIn Konuralp that is established on the ancient Roman city called “Prusias Ad Hypium”, Konuralp Museum, which was built for the purposes of preserving and displaying the artifacts and works of art remaining from the ancient times, was opened to visits in the year 1993.

Konuralp Museum contains 1,825 archaeological artifacts, 456 ethnographic objects, and 3,837 coins, which makes 6,118 exhibits in total. They are exhibited in the museum garden, the halls of archeology, ethnography and stone works, and the coins section. The museum garden contains the architectural pieces, grave stelae, sarcophagi, columns, and column heads from the Roman Era. The artifacts in the “Archeology Hall” belong to the Neolithic Age, Bronze Age, Hellenistic Era, and Roman Era. They include the examples of terracotta, bronze and glass artifacts of various functions and types. In the same hall, it is possible to see the grave findings unearthed in Cavuşlar Village near Konuralp.

In the Ethnography Hall of the museum, garments, household effects and weapons from the 19th and early 20th century Ottoman periods are exhibited.

The Stone Works Hall contains various marble statues and architectural pieces belonging to the city of Prusias and unearthed in Konuralp.

In the Coins Section, the gold, silver and bronze coins of the Greek cities, Roman emperors and Ottoman sultans are exhibited chronologically.

Tyche Statue
This work of art was unearthed during the excavations conducted in Konuralp, Düzce in the year 1931. Brought to and displayed in Istanbul Archeology Museum, the Tyche Statue is one of the most valuable works of art in Konuralp Museum. Copied by Istanbul Directorate of Central and Regional Laboratory of Restoration and Conservation, the statue was put on public display in Konuralp Museum Directorate Archaeological Artifacts Hall for the International Museum Day. This work of art, the original of which belongs to the 4th century B.C., is a copy made in the 2nd century A.D. in the Roman Era.

Orpheus Mosaic
Another valuable work of art is the Orpheus Mosaic, one of two important Roman Era floor coverings unearthed in the south of the ancient city Prusias ad Hypium within the borders of Konuralp, Düzce in the year 1998. In the year 2012, Istanbul Directorate of Central and Regional Laboratory of Restoration and Conservation completed the conservation of the mosaic and made it ready for exhibition in the stone works hall of the museum. The partial conservation of the other important floor covering that displays the Greek Mythology hero Achilles and his mother Thetis has also been completed, and the conserved part is on display in the same hall.

Museum Garden
In the museum garden, large architectural parts, columns, bomos (altar), ostotheks (small sarcophagi for ashes of the dead), city law inscriptions, pithos (large stone container), and grave stelae (tombstones) unearthed in today’s Konuralp (Prusias ad Hypium) are displayed.

Discovered in the east of the city, the architectural blocks decorated with notch arrays, rosettes and coffers, and the composite style column heads from the 2nd century A.D., decorated with Gorgon on one face and plant motifs on the other face indicate the rich history of Konuralp (Prusias ad Hypium). One of the most sublime ones of the artifacts exhibited in the museum garden is the big marble sarcophagus dated to the 1st century A.D. This sarcophagus was found in the hillock west of Konuralp, which includes the necropolis, in the year 1937. The long face of the sarcophagus is decorated with garland and bucranium reliefs. The lower part of the sarcophagus depicts various animals such as pig, lion, eagle and heron. The bomos constitutes some part of the artifacts exhibited in the garden. It has been found out that they are eulogy inscriptions erected to pay respect to important persons who had done good things for the city of Prusias, or to do honor to the dead.

Archeology Hall
The artifacts in the Archeology Hall date back to the Neolithic Age, Bronze Age, Hellenistic Era and Roman Era. It is possible to see here the examples of terracotta, bronze and glass artifacts of various functions and types. The grave findings unearthed in Cavuşlar Village near Konuralp are also exhibited in the same hall.

Ethnography Hall
In the Ethnography Hall, garments, household effects and weapons reflecting the Ottoman culture of the 19th and early 20th centuries are exhibited.

Stone Works Hall
Exhibited in the Stone Works Hall are various marble statues and architectural pieces which belong to the city of Prusias and unearthed in Konuralp.

Coins Section
In the Coins Section, it is possible to see gold, silver and bronze coins of the Greek cities, Roman emperors and Ottoman sultans in chronological order.

Minting of coins in the Roman Empire period of the city starts under the reign of Vespasianus (69-79 A.D.). Most of the coinage minted in the city are bronze. The increase in coinage in the periods of Antoninus Pius and Septimius Severus indicates a bright era of the city in terms of economy. It has been found out that the coinage activity continued until the 3rd century A.D., but no coin was minted after the reign of Gallienus. While the front faces of the coins depict the portraits of emperors and empresses in general, their rear faces bear the symbols such as altar, mace, bow and quiver, arrows and quiver, crescent and star, fire altar, urn, and serpent vase. In addition to these symbols, various animal figures, god and goddess figures in sitting or standing position and depictions of the architectural structures of the city are also conspicuous.

In Konuralp, which was under the Roman rule in the year 74 B.C., there is a 10-meter long, 3-arch Roman Bridge. The Konuralp Roman Bridge is the most intact one of the surviving Roman era bridges in Turkey. The project of the restorati on works has been prepared by the General Directorate of Highways Historical Bridges Division, and the restorati on works will be commenced following approval of the project by the board.

The aqueducts had been built to carry water from the place known as Kemerkasim Village today to Konuralp (Prusias ad Hypium) ancient city. It is possible to see some of their surviving parts in the neighborhood above the Ancient Amphitheater in Konuralp and some in Kemerkasim Village.

The aqueduct ruins of the water system of the city prove that water was being carried to city from a far distance. According to various sources, Gavinius Sacerdos, one of the leading aristocrats of the city, provided fi nancial assistance for the aqueducts in the 3rd century A.D. In the early 2nd century A.D., P. Domiti us Lulianus provided fi nancial support to the eff orts to bring water to the city.

From the aqueducts located in the acropolis of Konuralp town, 11 abutments have survived to the present day. Although it has been documented, with reference to an epigraph, that Prusias also had a stadium, its locati on in the city plan is unknown.

The existence of a gymnasium in Prusias has also been proven by epigraphs. However, there is no scienti fi c study on the locati on and plan of this building yet. Besides, the epigraphs also menti on an agora and the persons who had made fi nancial contributi ons for constructi on and repair of the agora.

Another public building known to have existed but neither the plan nor the locati on of which could be discovered is the Roman bath. The honor epigraph erected for the son of M. Lulius Cabinius Sacerdos of Prusias menti ons Domiti an baths in the city.

The coins from the Emperor Gallienus era, minted in 253-268 A.D., depicts the city gate of Prusias-ad-Hypium with two towers. Of the Byzanti ne era city walls, the 200-meter part has survived. These walls start by the side of Akçakoca Road, exactly opposite of the ancient bridge, and go to Hamam Street. Some parts of the walls remaining in the gardens of the houses consti tute either foundati ons or garden walls of the houses today.

It is not possible to see on the ground the main gate of the city, which is depicted on the Prusias city coins minted in the Emperor Gallienus era (353-368 A.D.). This door was most probably at the end of the road reaching the city from the southern plain.

Today, the city walls start by the side of Akçakoca Road, exactly opposite of the ancient bridge, and go to Hamam Street. Some parts of the walls remaining in the gardens of the houses are included in either foundati ons or garden walls of the houses today. Of the existi ng city wall ruins, almost 200-meter part is preserved. Numerous spolia and inscribed blocks are seen in the masonry of these walls.

Other remains of the defense walls of the city are located by a narrow alleyway near the main road coming from Düzce, which reaches the amphitheater: This gate known as ‘Horse Gate’ has a large lintel made of local limestone.

This lintel bearing a horse depicti on and an inscripti on in Greek is in fact a grave stela gott en made by a Prusias dweller for his mother. The city wall that extends southward from the gate connects to a tower that has square plan.

It is esti mated that the city walls consti tuted some part of the measures taken against the Gothic raids. In the upper parts of the slope on which the city was established, there are also city walls dati ng to the Ott oman era.

There is a gate called “Horse Gate” located by a narrow alleyway running on the right of the arterial road coming from Düzce and reaching the amphitheater, south of the city center. The Horse Gate, which is also the name of the alleyway, has a large lintel made of local stone used for the second time. It is thought that the stone bearing a horse depiction and an inscription in Greek was had made by a Prusias dweller as a grave stela for his mother. From here, the city walls continue southward for some more distance, and end with a square shaped tower. The ramparts have been made with altars with epigraphs, pedestals, the caveae of the theater, and large blocks. The large part of the city walls from the Byzantine era have been buried by half. The parts that have managed to remain on the ground, on the other hand, have been used as foundation stones or garden walls of the houses. In the upper part of the city, i.e. the acropolis, there are city walls remaining from the Ottoman era.

In Konuralp, Düzce, there is the shrine of Konuralp Beg who conquered the city from the Byzantines in 1323. It is known that one of three graves in the shrine that looks like a new building today belongs to Ali Hamza, a relative of Konuralp Beg.

The History of Konuralp is being unearthed with the Ancient City of Prusias Ad Hypium The first scientific archaeological excavation works carried out by the Archeology Department of the Faculty of Science and Literature, Düzce University under the management of Düzce Governorate Provincial Culture and Tourism Directorate and Konuralp Museum Directorate continue. Konuralp Ancient Theater is monumental for the reason that it is the only integrable sample that was built in the Hellenistic and Roman periods in the Eastern Marmara and Western Black Sea regions, managed to survive to the present day, and can be brought in tourism. The Ancient Theater was built in the Hellenistic age, and has survived to the present day together with the additions made in the Roman period. The amphitheater colloquially known as 40 Basamaklar is one of the most visible works of art that shows the artistic richness of the Prusias Kingdom that ruled the region until the 1st century A.D. The theater plan of the orchestra and stage building of the Ancient Theater, which have not been unearthed, will be drawn and thus documented by architects through the excavations, and the topographical map of the region will be prepared by topographical engineers. It is planned to unearth the caveae and the stage building as much as possible by making historical analysis of the same through sounding works in the orchestra section of the theatre, and to use the discovered blocks in the restoration works.

There are 46 registered artifact in Konuralp include a mosque, a museum, a monumental Rome Bridge and 41 number of private places.

The houses, on the ancient theater road are important under favour of relations with New Town Square and The Door with Horse. These masonry houses generally have 2 or 3 floor area and guillotine windows.

“Three knap” are necropolis area of ancient city Prusias ad Hypium from Rome Era that is located in Konuralp. Historical ruins such as bukranion, rosettes, tomb, Rome Era sculpture, monolithic cobble block stone, grave bricks, ceramic fragments from 1st century, are exhibited in Archeology Museum. Tepecik necropolis has 173696,92 m2 square measure.