One Belt One Road: Antalya

Antalya Editors note
Antalya is the eighth most populous city in Turkey and the capital of its eponymous province. Located on Anatolia's flourishing southwest coast bordered by the Taurus Mountains, Antalya is the largest Turkish city on the Mediterranean coast with over one million people in its metropolitan area.
The area is shielded from the northerly winds by the Taurus Mountains. Antalya has a hot-summer Mediterranean climate with hot and dry summers and mild and rainy winters. Around 300 days of the year are sunny, with nearly 3,000 hours of sunlight per year.
Agricultural production includes citrus fruits, cotton, cut flowers, olives, olive oil and bananas. Antalya Metropolitan Municipality’s covered wholesale food market complex meets 65% of the fresh fruit and vegetable demand of the province.
The development of tourism in Antalya presented opportunities to hold cultural and art festivals and other events. The most significant activity in the region is the Aspendos International Opera and Ballet Festival which is held annually each June and July in the two-thousand-year-old ancient theatre. The Antalya Film Festival, previously known as Antalya Golden Orange Film Festival held annually since 1963 in Antalya, is the most important film festival in Turkey.

Main Historical Relics and Sites of Interest

Kaleiçi, with its narrow cobbled streets of historic Ottoman era houses, is the old center of Antalya. With its hotels, bars, clubs, restaurants, and shopping, it has been restored to retain much of its historical character.
The Antalya museum has three sections, with the first exhibiting archaeological finds and works from the Hellenistic, Roman and Byzantine eras. One of the most impressive displays is the bronze statue of Hercules. In the second section there are displays of ethnographic works, with the predominance of exhibits being from the Ottoman period. The third section, in the garden of the museum, consists of displays of sarcophagi and some archaeological finds.
Aspendos was founded by colonists coming from Argos, under the sovereignty of Mopsos. Aspendos flourished even more in the Roman era. The ruins visible today belong to this era. The theatre, which is in an excellent condition and is currently used for concerts and similar activities, can hold circa 12,000 people. It is a splendid example of the work of Roman architects, which managed to combine the auditorium and the stage in a harmonious manner.

Marco Polo


Marco Polo was an Italian explorer. His well-documented travels to China were some of the most influential in world history, and did much to kickstart the European age of exploration.


Marco Polo was born in Venice, Italy on September 15, 1254. His father and uncle were prosperous merchants who already begun trading with Chinese and Eastern merchants. Because of the constant threat of war, the Polos left Venice and eventually settled in what is now Uzbekistan. The move east to Uzbekistan made trading with China and the East much easier. In 1264, Marco’s father Nicolo, and uncle, Maffio set out on a two-year long journey to meet Kublai Khan, the emperor of China in what is now Beijing. According to the account of Marco Polo, Kublai Khan received them well and requested they come back to teach the Chinese people Christianity and western customs.

Marco polo's description of China and the Silk Road:

In 1271, the Polos set out to return to China. This time, they took Marco with them. The four year voyage across western and central Asia was long and arduous. After traveling by sea to the Persian gulf, the Polos were forced to take an ancient caravan route through present day Iraq, Iran, and Turkmenistan. They then traversed the desolate Gobi Desert, and made their way through several ancient mercantile cities.

In the spring of 1275, the Polos finally reached Shangdu, the summer residence of Kublai Khan. The route taken by the Polos became known as The Silk Road. Kublai Khan and his royal court immediately took a liking to Marco and appointed him commissioner in the Mongol government. In the meantime, Marco studied the native languages and culture. Marco soon became a trusted advisor to Kublai Khan and began recording his observations of the great ruler and his vast territories, palaces, arms, and riches.

Marco described the vast Asian trading network and, in particular, the thriving silk, iron, and salt industries. He also described the foreign concept of paper money as well as Chinese inventions such as porcelain pottery (China). Marco wrote that Khan’s city (known as Cambuluc) was the most fantastic city on the world. When Marco’s descriptions reached Europe, a new generation of explorers was born who imagined amazing fortune for themselves in the East. 


Marco Polo 

Marco remained with Kublai Khan for seventeen years and recorded his observations throughout China. His recordings of a culture completely unknown in Europe proved priceless.

Marco's Journal is Published:

In 1292, the Polo’s finally traveled home. The voyage took three years and took the Polos to the Spice Islands (Indonesia), where Marco described the exotic sights and amazing resources. After he returned to Italy, Marco was imprisoned during a clash between Venice and Genoa. While in prison, Marco dictated his observations to a fellow prisoner. His descriptions were soon published as a book called “II Milione”, or, The Travels of Marco Polo. The book became a huge success and undoubtedly inspired future explorers such Christopher Columbus. Marco Polo died in 1324.

Edited By Wang Huilin,Zhou Zhonghui/Modified by  Glyn David