Olympos Ancient City

Olympos is the second important port city after Phaselis on the southern coast of Antalya. The city takes its name from Tahtali Mountain with a height of 2 thousand 375 meters, one of the western extensions of the Taurus Mountains, 16 km north. It is within the borders of Beydaglari - Olympos National Park. Although the exact date of establishment is not known, Olympos, which is mentioned in the Lycian Union coins minted between 167 and 168 BC, is one of the six cities with three voting rights in the Lycian Union. He represented the east of Lycia in the Union. Most of the surviving ruins of the city are covered with trees and bushes in the forest and belong to the Hellenistic, Roman and Byzantine periods.

The surviving remains of Olympos are usually located from east to west, at the mouth of a river flowing rapidly into the sea and on both sides. The riverbed, which divided the city into two in the ancient period, was enclosed in a canal, and both sides were used as piers and connected by a bridge. Today, one pillar of the bridge remains in place. On the South shore, the polygonal masonry wall of the Hellenistic Period and the part indicating the Roman and Byzantine repairs next to it seen. In the small and steep acropolis close to the mouth of the river, there are building remains from the late periods. The Hellenistic-based and Roman-repaired small theater on the South bank of the river is quite ruined, and one side of the entrance is well preserved.

Another important structure of the city that can be seen is the temple gate located 150 meters west of the mouth of the river. From the architectural pieces that it belongs to a small temple in Ionic order, it is understood from the statue base in front of the door that it was built in the name of Roman Emperor Markus Aurellius (AD 172-173). The most interesting of the remains is the Tomb of Captain Eudomus, which was unearthed during the excavations carried out by the Antalya Museum. The sarcophagus, which is located in the cavity of the rock next to the river mouth, is of great importance both in terms of giving the name of the captain in the poetic dedication inscription full of emotion and giving the shape of the ship in the relief of the ship on the long side. To the east of Olympos, 300 meters from the beach, there is the Chimera settlement, which is famous for its magnificent beach where Carettas lay their eggs and the coastal dunes where many plants live. A few km southwest of the city, there is a continuous flame from the southern slope of the hill known as Çakaltepe.

This natural phenomenon, which is very impressive especially at night, is nothing more than methane gas reaching the earth from the same point for centuries. This natural event was identified with the Chimera Monster, who lived in Lycia and was believed to breathe fire, and thus Olympos hosted the Legend of Bellerophontes. It is possible to see the foundations of some buildings around the flames with the sacred road, the original blocks of which can be seen from time to time, in the cult center of the blacksmith God Hephaistos and the religious center in the Roman and Byzantine periods. The Byzantine Church, whose interior walls are decorated with frescoes in places, is the most monumental ruin in the area.


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