Antalya, the city of history, culture and nature, has hosted many civilizations in the past. With this feature, we have compiled some of our beautiful city’s ancient cities, which attracts thousands of local and foreign tourists every year. We recommend that you include these cities, which attract mythology, history, art and architecture enthusiasts and defy time, in your travel plans.
Selge Ancient City
Selge, located in the district of Manavgat, remains within the boundaries of Köprülü Kalyon National Park, which has forests with many endemic species, galleons with a natural wonder geological formation. The city remained under Lydian, Persian, Alexander and Roman rule, respectively. Its most substantial structure to date is a theatre that was restored in the 3rd century. There are many ancient buildings on the Köprüçay River and the road that follows it. Other essential ruins in the city are an Ionic temple with a stadium, gymnasium and ceiling decorated with eagle motifs. You can also visit the fountain and agora to the south of the stadium and the Artemis and Zeus monuments to the north of the city walls extending to the city’s southwest.
Lymra Ancient City
It is known that the city, located on the southern foothills of Toçak Mountain, 4 km northeast of Finike district, has existed since the 5th century BC. Its main active period is in the first half of the 4th century BC. The city’s acropolis, tombs, theatre, water cisterns, Roman and Byzantine walls are among the most beautiful examples of the period with their architecture. Lymra is one of the cities with the most graves in Lycian towns. There are more than 400 rock tombs in the city, and most of them are known by name, with their inscriptions written in the Lycian language.
Xanthos Ancient City
The city, located on the Fethiye-Kaş highway, 46 kilometres from Fethiye in Kinik Town, was once described as the largest religious and administrative center of the Lycian region. The British Charles Fellows carried out the first research in the ancient city in 1838. Many essential artifacts belonging to the city are exhibited in the British Museum in England today. The most impressive ruins of Xanthos are located to the west of the theatre. The ruins of Xanthos have been included in the World Cultural Heritage List by UNESCO due to the originality of the Lycian civilization and the importance of the excavations’ findings.
Patara Ancient City
Patara, chosen as the tourism theme of 2020, is one of the most important and oldest cities in Lycia. The Assembly Building of the Lycian Union, located in the ancient city of Patara, is known as the world’s first surviving assembly building. In Patara Ancient City, where excavations have been carried out since 1988, the renovation works of Patara Lighthouse, which is the only ancient lighthouse in human history and the primary street columns, have been started. In addition to the archaeological and historical values, the city has particular importance because it is one of the rare areas where the Mediterranean turtles Caretta-Carettas lay their eggs and breed for millions of years.
Phaselis Ancient City
It is said that Phaselis Ancient City, located on a small peninsula extending into the Mediterranean, was founded by the colonists of Rhodes in the 7th century BC. In Phaselis, which has three harbours, the most monumental structure that has survived to the present day is aqueducts, and all the ruins seen on the ground belong to the Roman period. Other essential ruins of the city are two baths, one small and the other large, in the city square. The ruins of the north, south and military harbours, agora, main street, Hadrian’s gate, theatre, city walls, necropolis, temple are among other works that can be seen.