Antalya Ancient Places

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Antalya Ancient Places

Termessos 

Termessos Ancient City was built on a steep hillside covered with pine forest, which has helped the ancient city reach the present day untouched and well preserved, and become a tourist attraction in Antalya.

Termessos is one of Turkey's best preserved ancient cities and most outstanding archaeological sites, located in Antalya province of the Mediterranean region.

The ancient city of Termessos was built in between two peaks on Gulluk Mountain of Antalya. This ancient city is also called the Eagle's Nest because of its most remarkable location, 1050 metres above sea level and spread over a wide area.

The remains of Termessos Ancient City are to a great degree scattered amongst the thick marquis and forest area. Remains include the strong defence walls, temples, necropolis, agora, gymnasium, bouleuterion, the theatre with a spectacular view and five vast water cisterns carved into the rock.

Termessos Ancient Theatre: The ancient theatre of Termessos is one of the world's most magnificent historic sites.

History of Termessos:

In ancient inscriptions, the people of Termessos referred to themselves as the Solyms, an old Pamphylian tribe. The language they spoke was unique, being a type dialect of Psidia.

Termessos only really left its mark in history when Alexander the Great surrounded it in 334 BC, defying the invader. It is reported that Alexander did not touch these brave people, he left them in their own fortresses and then continued his campaign into central Anatolia. The city enjoyed a period of prosperity during the Hellenistic and Roman periods. There is not much information available on its subsequent life in the Christian era.

Termessos Ruins:

The ruins of the city of Termessos are perched on a high plateau, lying on the western slopes of Gulluk Mountain within the national park that is situated to the northwest of Antalya.

UNESCO Tentative List: Termessos Ancient City is included on the UNESCO's Tentative List in 2000.

 

Xanthos

Xanthos Ancient City is located near the town of Kas in Antalya. Xanthos, which known as the city of monuments, was one of the most important capital cities of the ancient Lycian Union.

Xanthos, which is famous with its story and ruins, known as the city of those who never thought to surrender to the enemy.

The ancient Lycian city of Xanthos, today in the village of Kinik is included on the World Heritage List. The archaeological values of Xanthos Ancient City make it very important part of world heritage.

Xanthos Ancient City illustrates the blending of Lycian traditions and Hellenic influence, especially in its funerary art. There are many rock tombs, sarcophagus and monumental tombs made with traditional architecture. Archaeologists agree that the epigraphic inscriptions are crucial for understanding the history of the Lycian people.

The ancient city of Xanthos, which was rediscovered in the 1800's, will be returned to its glorious days thanks to excavations by the Akdeniz University.

Ruins of Xanthos:

Theatre: The theatre of Xanthos with 2200 person capacity was built in the Hellenistic Period and renovated in the Roman Period.

Stage Building: The stage building, which constitutes an entirety with its vault entrances, semicircle orchestra and the theatron, bears the qualities of the Roman Period.

Square Area: The square open area surrounded with porches on all sides to the north of the theatre is the Roman Agora.

Unesco World Heritage:

Xanthos was the capital city of Lycians dating back to 3000 BC, is known to be the largest administrative centre of Lycia during antiquity. Xanthos was inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List together with Letoon in 1988.

UNESCO Identity Card:

Official Name: Xanthos
Architectural Type: Sanctuary
Date of Inscription: 1988
Type: Cultural
Reference: 484
Location: Antalya, Turkey

 

Phaselis

Phaselis Ancient City is located within the borders of Kemer town in Antalya province. Established by the people of Rhodes in the 7th century BC, Phaselis is also an ancient port city. It has a rich history and is crucial for its ruins.

Phaselis Ancient City, founded in 693 BC, was an important port city in history. This port city has a rich history and is crucial for its ruins, historical amphitheatre, aqueduct, agora and baths.

The remains of the ancient city of Phaselis start at the seashore. The ancient port city is covered with pine and cedar trees and even on the hottest days of summer can be visited in comfort. There is a well preserved theatre which is used for evening performances during the Phaselis Art Days.

Combining history and the sea, Phaselis is an ancient settlement where ancient ruins enrich your holiday experience. You may breathe the historical tissue in Phaselis, which is a must see place.

Ports of Phaselis:

Phaselis was the oldest settlement in the region and, through its trading activities, the ancient port city rapidly developed and prospered.

Entrance Port: The ancient city of Phaselis has three ports, one of which is right at the entrance in the north.

Protected Port: To entrance port's right there is small port, the middle of the three, which is known as the port of War or Protected Port.

Sun Port: At the end of the port street comes the port of Sun. Now the cruising boats for the blue voyage make a stop or anchor for the night at this port.

History of Phaselis:

Phaselis joined the Lycian Union and became one of its important cities. With the weakening of the union it fell under the control of pirates as all other port cities. The reign of the pirates in the area ended with the Roman Empire coming to dominate the region. In the Byzantine period it became a bishopric. It retained its importance until the 3rd century AD and declined after that.

 

Perge

The magnificent ancient city of Perge is set amidst the beauty of Antalya. The ancient city is 2 km from the main road Antalya - Alanya and 15 km from Antalya. Also, you can see some of the excavations continuing on the site.

Perge, one of the Pamphylian cities and was believed to have been built in the 12th to 13th centuries BC. After coming under the rule of Lydia and Persia, the city surrendered to Alexander the Great in 334 BC. The brightest era of the city was during the reign of the Romans in the 2nd to 3rd centuries AD.

Ancient Perge is famous by the fact that when Saint Paul started his journeys, he visited Perge in 46 AD. and preached his first sermon here. That is why it became an important city for the Christians during Byzantine period.

All the remains of the city can be seen in this area. Social and cultural buildings reflecting the majesty of the Perge Ancient City are the necropolis, theatre, city walls, stadium, gymnasium, Roman baths, rectangular planned agora, high towers, monumental fountains, column lined streets, Greek and Roman gates.

UNESCO Tentative List: Archaeological Site of Perge is included on the UNESCO's Tentative List in 2009.

ANCIENT RUINS OF PERGE

Basilica and Baths: The first entrance to the city is the Roman gate of the later period. On the right there is a Byzantine basilica. After the basilica comes the agora and on the left there are baths. Among the cities of Pamphylia the largest and most glamorous baths were to be found in Perge.

City Walls: When you continue to walk, there are two walls that run parallel to each other. These walls, which have become the symbol of Perge, are dated to the 3rd century BC. The oldest gate of the city is in these walls as well as two towers, all from the Hellenistic period. After the Hellenistic gate comes a colonnaded street. To the left of the street there is a palaestra located to the north of the acropolis.

Theatre and Stadium: The theatre is away from the historical site is the first view of the city you have on the road when approaching the entrance. Behind the theatre is the impressive and large stadium, which is principal structure of the ancient city of Perge. It is one of the best preserved stadiums of the ancient world and the second largest after the stadium in the ancient city of Aphrodisias.

The ancient city of Perge was part of Pamphylia. The region says the rise and fall of many civilisations, with their remains surviving to today.

 

Olympos 

Olympos Ancient City is located within the borders of Kemer town in Antalya province of the Mediterranean region in Turkey. Olympos, which was a member of the Lycian Union, a maritime trading city.

Ancient City of Olympos is situated on the sea shore, close to Cirali, Kumluca, 70 km from Antalya, on the southern side of Tahtali Mountain.

Olympos, which was a member of the Lycian Union and a maritime trading city, just like its neighbour Phaselis. And also like its neighbour, it was saved by the Roman Commander Isauricus, after falling in the hands of pirates.

Where the ancient city is spread there are numerous springs that have cold, drinkable water. These waters have caused the area to be covered in many types of herbs. However, this overgrown vegetation can cause one to miss some of the historical sites in the area.

Olympos Ancient City should not only be viewed in respect to the historical remains but also should be seen in respect to its rich variety of vegetation.

Ancient Ruins of Olympos:

There are Roman and Byzantine works in the Ancient City of Olympos that you can visit.

The temple gate, the theatre, the southern and northern necropolis, the necropolis church, the entrance complex, the alcestis sarcophagus, the monumental graves of the harbour, the harbour basilica, the southern slope settlement, the bathhouse with mosaic pavements and the agora that have reached today from ancient times, are the important structures worth to see. The city walls and towers in the bay are from the Middle Age.

Temple Gate: The most interesting structure is the gate of the temple that is located on the south of Akcay River.

Olympos Theatre: The theatre, located in the southern city was built on the northern slope of the hill, has a capacity of around 5000 seat.

Necropolis Church: Necropolis Church is located in the northwest of the ancient city divided into two by the river.

Acropolis Hill: The view from the 50 m high acropolis is also very beautiful.

 

Aspendos

The main reason history buffs visit Antalya is to make the day trip to Aspendos, about 47 kilometers east. This archaeological site is home to a Roman theater commonly thought to be the best preserved in the world and one of the top tourist attractions in Turkey. The glory days of this dazzling, ancient town were during the 2nd and 3rd centuries, when most of the ruins that can be seen today were built.

Apart from the theater, which has been fully restored and can seat 15,000 people, much of the rest of the site still lies in ruins and is probably only interesting to the most enthusiastic sightseer. If you're short of time but keen to pack in as many highlights of the Antalya region as you can, the Aspendos, Perge and Manavgat Waterfalls tour allows you to cover three of the most popular attractions all in one day. It includes tours of the Roman ruins of Aspendos and Perge, entrance to Aspendos and the waterfalls (which are near Side), lunch, and pickup and drop-off from your Antalya hotel.