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Termessos Antalya

Termessos

The ancient site of Termessos occupies in 30 km northwest of Antalya, which was an important Lycian city also known as Termessus. Termessos was already famed in the time of Croesus for its soothsayers. Due to its high location of 1050 mt. at the Mountains of Taurus, it is one of most interesting ancient cities to visit nearby Antalya. You must have both courage and a time for a short but exhausting vertical hike in order to visit Termessos.

According to the ancient Greek Historian, Strabo; the city was actually built by the Pisidians. Termessos was surrounded by Alexander the Great in 333 BC but he abandoned the conqurence because probably he thought that he wouldnt be able to hold the city due to its difficult geographical situation. After Alexander, Termessos became and ally of Rome. Romans granted independency to Termessos city 71 BC.

It is not easy to find any traces of ancient Termessos in the modern town after two major earthquakes and the subsequent rebuilding. The boundaries of the Roman and Hellenistic towns are for sure marked out by the vertical rock face to the west, the Roman tombs on the east side of Termessos and the Lycian necropolis to the south. The discovery of sarcophagi near the edge of the modern town shows the course of the ancient coastline.

On the castle hill, which was occupied in the Middle Ages by the Knights of St John and by the Genoese, the remains of much earlier buildings can be found. The remains of houses on the northwest side of the hill, with a number of cisterns and water supply channels shows that there was an unwalled Lycian settlement here, though in a later period the focus moved down to the coastal plain. Of the ancient theater, which was located and described by Charles Texier, a famous French traveler before the 1856 earthquake, nothing can now be seen but the outline of the cavea auditorium.

Termessos lies in a natural park. Numerous animals and plants that is in danger of extinction live here protected by the laws. The park, with its wild nature and distinctive flora, has a magnificent view.