The 2020 Year of Patara

The Culture and Tourism Ministry determines a new theme each year, Turkey’s cultural and
historical value of tourism to the forefront. Established as the theme of 2020 by the Ministry of
Culture and Tourism, Patara is waiting for you for a fascinating journey with thousands of years
of history, beach and the oldest parliament building in the world.

Capital of Lycia

Lycian chose the Teke Peninsula in southwest Turkey as abroad, they have brought about a unique culture; they have changed the course of history with their settlements on these beautifulcoasts. Patara, which is one of the most important cities of these lands, is referred to as “Lukka Country” in Egyptian and Hittite sources. The Lycian League was founded in 1668 BC. It was the capital of the Lycian Province, which was founded in 433 AD during the Roman Empire Period, and became a favourite of the whole region with its wealthiness.

The Triumphal Arch

This monument, which we can call the symbol of Patara, is dated to the end of the 1st centuryAD. On the 19-meter long and 10-meter high Arch, there is an inscription honouring the governor and family of the period. Another importance of the Arch, which is the symbol of the entrance to the city, is that Patara is a significant part of the canal system that meets the water needs.

Oldest Lighthouse Survived

The lighthouse, which was built by Patara Port by Emperor Nero 2 thousand years ago, has the title of “the oldest lighthouse that has managed to survive until today”. The lighthouse is approximately 500 meters from the shore due to the harbour being filled with sand. The original of which is 12 meters and reaching about 4.5 meters today. The inscription on it says that it was built in the years’ AD 65 or 65 for the salvation of the sailors.

Archaic City

Patara, known as “Patar” in the Hittite texts of the 13th century BC, has not lost its importance throughout history; With the port, it has been the gateway of the region to the Mediterranean for many years. With the location and climatic features, the port, which is one of the important stops of the sea trade, is the main reason for the development of Patara. The settlement was shaped and enriched around the port. Patara, which was conquered by Alexander the Great after the Persian domination and served as a naval base in the following years, lived its brightest years in the Roman Period; It became one of the episcopal centers of early Christianity. However, one of the factors that overlooked Patara, whose population has declined due to epidemics and wars, is the nature that once again became a significant settlement. The city, which lost the port and was left to its fate, had lost its importance when the biggest of the earthquakes that took place in 1481 was added to Xanthos or today’s name, Eşen Stream, and it filled the Patara Bay in thousands of years.

Santa was Born Here

Although the settlement, which is most commonly identified with St. Nicholas known all over the world as Santa Claus, is Demre, where he is a bishop and has his church and tomb; Patara is the place where St. Nicholas was born and spent most of his life. Also, Saint Paul, who assumed one of the most critical roles in the spread of Christianity, boarded the ship here to go to Rome. One of the events that showed the importance of Patara, the bishopric center in the Byzantine Period, was the participation of the Patara bishop in the name of Lycia to the Iznik Council where decisive decisions were taken in terms of Christianity.

Marks of Ancient City

One of the structures that the visitors show the most interest in Patara Ruin is “Granarium”, which is one of the proofs that the cereals to be sent from Anatolia to Rome were built here. The “Palace” in the Tepecik Acropolis, which is the oldest settlement in Patara, “Assembly Building” where the Lycian Union meetings were held, “Theater” for 5,000 people, “Corinthian Temple”, “Vespasian Bath” and “Street with Columns” were lost by some of the sands. Few of the ruins that can be seen in the ancient city.

Ship of the Ancient Period: Abora-IV

The ancient ship replica Abora-IV, 4 m long and wholly made of cane, was brought to Patara Ancient Port in 2019 for the exhibition. German archaeologist Dr. The ship, designed by Dominique Görlitz and built with the shipping techniques of the ancient period, continues to be exhibited in the ancient city of Patara.

The Desert-looking Beach

The 12 km long Patara beach, which takes the splendour of Patara Ancient City, is one of the most beautiful beaches in the world. It is standing out with its golden, soft, and desert-like appearance sands, Patara beach is one of the most important nesting areas of endangered caretta carettas in the world.