The architectural characteristics of the
temple and the altar, built in Corynthian style, dates the construction to the
second century B.C. The small buildings around are generally dated to Late
Hellenistic and early Roman periods. This indicates that the round building was
not meant for the Aphrodite of Praxiteles. Furthermore, an omphalos of Apollon
and part of an inscription of Dionysos, unearthed during recent excavations,
show that this sanctuary was not dedicated to a single deity. As yet, no
concrete evidence has been obtained to prove that the round building was erected
for the Aphrodite of Praxiteles.
In 1962, thanks to the ceaseless efforts of the head official of Fethiye, Mr.
Recep CEYLAN, the first steps were taken to compile archaeological objects in
the vicinity, which were in abundance, with a view to inaugurate the Museum. At
first, it was only a depot-museum on the first floor of the Municipality
Building. The construction of the present-day building was completed in 1982 and
the Museum was opened to public on 3 April, 1987, with exhibits organized in
line with contemporary concepts. Most of the objects exhibited have been
collected in and around Fethiye. Some were unearthed in excavations in the
The Museum has ethnographical and
archaeological sections. In the latter, statues, pottery and coins, dating from
3000 B.C. up to the end of the Byzantine period, are exhibited. In this section,
one of the most significant objects is the trilingual stele which aided the
deciphering the Lycian language. In the ethnographical section, objects typical
to the region can be viewed. Here, the loom used for weaving the Üzümlü "dastar"
is presented in actual operation. In the courtyard of the Museum Psidiatype
sarcophagi and the Izrasa mausoleum are objects of primary significance.
The island is approximately 9 km. to the
south of Fethiye. It can be reached by boat from the Bay of Gemile through
Kayaköy. Gemile, or Saint Nicholas Island, situated at the Ölüdeniz Lagoon Area,
known as Sybola in the Middle Ages, was a prominent religious centre, especially
in the 5th century B.C. It was a port of call for commercial and cruising
vessels from Europe and Eastern Mediterranean, as well as a centre of
pilgrimage. In addition to numerous churches and chapels, there were
There are various narratives in connection
with the name of the island. For example, in a medieval Portulan, there is
mention of the dedication of a church on the mountain top to Saint Nicholas.
However, it is not yet certified whether this
Nicholas is the same as Saint Nicholas of Demre (Myra), more popularly known as
A certain Nicholas lived on this island, but his identity is not very clear as
yet. The significance of this island will, therefore, be open for discussion in
Since 1990, a surface survey has been carried
out by a
Japanese team which unearthed 11 churches on and around the island. Four are on
the Gemile Island, one on Karacaören and the rest at Ölüdeniz and around the Bay
of Karaören. The Island of Gemile and its vicinity are doubtless a significant
centre for Christianity. Besides religious buildings, there are houses for
people working or living on the island. Since it is a rocky terrain, the
foundations of the churches and the houses are carved into the rocks. The ruins
continue within the sea along the shore. The island is declared as a protected
area and there is a watchman to meet and guide the numerous visitors.
In 1995 a salvage excavation was instigated
in collaboration with the Fethiye Museum and a Japanese team, which is still
under way, presided by the Director of the Museum.
24 km. from Fethiye, the site can be reached
by an asphalt road which is stabilized on the last 8 kms.
In Lycian inscriptions the name is recorded
as Kadawanti. However, the -ND suffix in the name indicates its existence in
3000 B.C. Nevertheless, the earliest ruins of the antique city, preserved on the
city in our present day, date back to the 5th century B.C.
Part of the city walls around Cadianda, the rock tombs and some inscriptions are
dated as such. In addition, the Hellenistic theatre, repaired during the Roman
period, the baths, the city stadium, the agora and the remains of an
as-yet-undated temple, as well as numerous civic buildings all indicate that
Cadianda was a prosperous settlement in antiquity.
The city was reconstructed many times. On the
steep slopes, in line with the topography of the terrain, it was surrounded by
city walls. Of these walls, the southern portion is well preserved. The
polygonal city wall supporting the theatre is from the Hellenistic period and
reflects a refined workmanship. The necropolis, where there is evidence of
vandalism, is beyond the city walls in the south.
Another significant group of ruins is the
numerous water cisterns. To the east of the temple, on a vast plain, there are
four interconnected water cisterns, indicating the severe shortage of water
supply, which may have resulted in the abandonment of the city. Most of the
ruins at Cadianda are from the Roman period.
Although the city was inhabited until the 7th century A.D., not much is
witnessed from the later period. In 1992, a salvage excavation was carried out
by the Directorate of the Fethiye Museum. During this work, a promenade of
approximately 2.5 kms. was constructed to facilitate the tour of the visitors.
The antique city, within the boundaries of
be reached either by land or by sea from Dalyan and Ortaca. According to poet
Ovidius, Miletos had twins, namely a girl called Byblis and a boy called Caunos.
Byblis loved her brother and could not help fondling him. Well aware that such
feelings are unnatural, she wrote to Caunos, revealing her
devotion which exceeded a fraternal affection. Upon reading the letter, Caunos
was disgusted and ran away from Miletos, arrived at the Lycian border and
founded the city of Caunos.
Strabon describes Caunos in the antique
period as "the city having a harbour that may be closed up, as well as
dockyards". However, as is true for most cities with harbour in Anatolia during
antiquity, Caunos today is located inland. The most signifi cant ruins on
arrival at the antique city are the imperial tombs. The large and imposing tombs
resemble the Ionian temples with inantis plans on the façade. The half-finished
tomb at the eastern end is an interesting exhibit of the construction technique
of the period. Another significant building is the higher acropolis.
The southern slope is quite steep and on the top there is a city wall, supported
by towers, built in medieval times.
The history of Kayaköy, which is 8 km. from
Fethiye, dates back to 3000 B.C. philologically. However, there are only remains
of a few sarcophagi and rock tombs from the 4th century B.C.
The buildings on the slopes belonged to
Greeks who had
settled here by provisions extended to minorities by the Ottoman Empire during
the second half of the 19th century and the first half of the 20th century.
During the early years of the Turkish Republic, the Greeks resident in this
region were exchanged with Turks living in Western Thrace. In time, the wooden
panels in doors, windows and on the roofs fell victim to natural destruction
when the city acquired a ghost-like appearance.
In the deserted city, the houses, each
maximally 50 sq. meters, were built in a plan to allow for panoramatic view and
light fusion. The first floor was usually used for storage purposes and there
were underground water cisterns to collect the rain from the rooftops. The
houses were 350 to 400 in number. Scattered among them there were many chapels,
a school building and a customs office.
The antique city of Letoon is reached by a 3
km. road branching south on the 65th km. of the Fethiye - Kaş highway.
According to poet Ovidius, Goddess Leto,
impregnated by Zeus, gave birth to her twins, Artemis and Apollo in Delos. She
then walked along River Xanthos, reaching the delta at the point where the
temple of Leto stands today. When she wished to wash her children at the spring
here, she was driven away by the locals whom she punished by converting them to
This is the epic of the site of Letoon.
The discoveries in excavations, carried out
for the last 30 years, date back to the 7th century B.C. The ruins and the
inscriptions unearthed indicate that Letoon was a political centre and a
sanctuary during the Lycian League. At the centre of the antique city, there are
three temples erected side by side. The one on the west is Ionic in style and is
dedicated to Leto. A smaller one at the centre is for Artemis, and the one on
the east is a Doric temple in honour of Apollo. In a rubbish heap from Hellenic
times near the Temple of Apollo, a trilingual inscription of great significance
was discovered and is exhibited at the Fethiye Museum. The inscription, written
in Lycian, Greek and Aramaic, played a prominent role in deciphering the Lycian
language. To the south-west of the temples there is a fountain dedicated to the
cult of Nymphae and to the east of this lies a church from early Christian
times. Other points of interest at the site are the stoa and the Hellenistic
The site is located above İncealiler village
on the 60th km. of the Fethiye-Korkuteli highway. The antique city may be
reached by a half - hour walk from the village.
The name Oenoanda is first mentioned in the
Hitite inscriptions. However, the ruins that have reached the present day date
back only to the 3rd century B.C. No epic is yet known in connection with the
history of the city.
The real fame of Oenoanda is due to the
Epicurean philosopher Diogenes who lived in the city in the first half of the
2nd century A.D.Diogenes carved his discourses as a long inscription on the
walls of the stoa on the north. However, as the wall collapsed, pieces of this
inscription are scattered all over the city.
The earliest ruins in the antique city are
the city walls in the south dating back to the 2nd century B.C. It is in
striking masonry and has a pentagonal tower.
In Roman times, a Doric temple was built on
the mountain top, probably during the rule of Augustus, overlooking the agora. A
piece of an inscription written for Emperor Augustus was discovered in the
temple. In the year 70 A.D. during the reign of Flavius, two gymnasiums, a bath
complex were built in the small square on the south of the road leading to the
The larger gymnasium-bath complex, on the
other hand, was built to the west of the upper agora in 140 A.D., financed
partly by donations from Opramoas of Rhodiapolis.
Early in the third century a columnar
courtyard was added to the building and the whole complex was dedicated to
Emperor Septimus Severus and Caracalla. The aqueducts in the south of the city
may have been built during the reign of Flavius.
In early Byzantine times, several churches
were built, the largest of which was the temple immediately to the east of the
lower agora. The city is surrounded by tombs built on the slopes. Almost all the
tombs are from the Roman period. The largest one was Hereone built by Licinnia
Flavilla in the second half of the second century A.D. In this mausoleum there
is an inscription listing the family tree of Flavilla I. by virtue of which we
can be acquainted with the elite of Lycia during the Roman period.
The antique city is close to Minare village,
40 km. from Fethiye, on the Fethiye-Kaş highway. The city may be reached by a 2
km. stabilized road from the village. Stephanus, referring to Byzantion
Menecrotes, writes "the Xanthians, suffering from over population, sent a group
of their elders to the top of Mt. Cragus who founded a city there and called it
Pınara, meaning spherical". The higher acropolis, where the earlier ruins were
discovered, is indeed spherical which supports this story. The name of the city
is Pinale in Lycian inscriptions. Today, the village near the antique city is
called Minare, harking back to the name Pınara.
Strabon, basing himself on Artemidoros,
writes that Pınara was one of the 6 cities having 3 votes in the Lycian League.
Approaching the antique city, hundreds of
rock - tombs carved on the steep eastern slope of higher acropolis are
noteworthy. When the higher acropolis soon became too small, the lower acropolis
was built which was more accessible.
Although the slopes of the lower acropolis
were very steep, a terrace was built, supported in places with city walls.
Entering the city from the gate on the south, the odeon, leaning against the
slope, and the agora on the level ground form the centre of focus.
Around the water spring below the lower
acropolis, there are various tombs with lintels, which were destroyed by
earthquakes in antique times, as well as numerous rock tombs.
Most of the rock tombs here are house-type
and one of them is eye-catching with reliefs on the pediment and on the inner
surface of the ante wall. There is a single chamber with one bench at the back,
raised unusually high above the ground, with reliefs of educational context,
which supports the belief that this may be a Royal Tomb.
On the eastern slope of the lower acropolis,
beyond the city walls, there are remains of a Roman bath which was quite popular
throughout the Lycian area. The second building outside the city walls is the
theatre, leaning against a natural slope, opposite the acropolis and the bath.
It has Hellenistic characteristics as far as planning and location are
The antique city is reached by a 12 km.
stabilized road branching to the west at the 50th km. of the Fethiye-Kaş
The name of the city appears in historical
records in connection with an incident involving Emperor Marcian (450-457 A.D.).
The Emperor, at the time a simple soldier, on a campaign against the Persians,
fell sick and two brothers nursed him. Recovered, Marcian went hunting with the
brothers. Having an afternoon nap, an enormous eagle shaded him with its
outstretched wings. The brothers recounted this event to Marcian and prophesized
that he would succeed to the throne. Marcian promised that in such an unlikely
event he would appoint them as Elders of the city. Years later, upon the death
of Theodosius II, he became the Emperor and fulfilled his promise, appointing
the brothers to the highest offices in Lycia.
The hill above the city is the first settlement where the acropolis was built.
However, the ruins here are from more recent periods. On the south-western slope
of the mountain there are city walls, 400 m. in length.
At the eastern end, supported by the city
walls, there are the remains of a small theatre where present-day village houses
are built. Most of the ruins are from the tombs. In the necropolis on the east,
many pillar and rock tombs from the classical age to the Roman times are the
ruins from Sidyma which have reached to present day.
The Telmessos antique city is the only one of
its kind along the Mediterranean coast which has been a continuous centre of
settlement since 3000 B.C., philologically. However, no concrete evidence of
this fact has yet been achieved. According to Suidası, during the Trojan War,
Apollon came to Odysseus and Menelaos as ambassador from Athens and fell in love
with their daughter Antenor. He disguised himself as a dog and seduced the
daughter. The child born of this affair was named Telmessos and a city along the
Lycian border was built in the name of this child. Apollon appointed his son as
the oracle of the city.
The antique city was burned and destroyed with each siege, as well as by various
earthquakes. Therefore, not much has remained except for rock tombs and a few
sarcophagi. The Telmessos theatre, mentioned in the records of the 19th century
travellers and appearing in the engravings, was buried underground until
recently. By virtue of excavations carried out by the Fethiye Museum, it once
again embraces the public. Although its location and planning show Hellenistic
characteristics, the remains are mostly from the Roman period. The theatre was
used as an arena in the 3rd and 4th centuries A.D. The earliest ruins from the
antique city are the rock tombs. The most significant among them is the one
which has an inscription in the middle of the right-hand pillar "Amyntas, son of
Hermapios", thus it is called the Tomb of Amyntas. The front is in the form of
an Ionian temple. On the eastern slope of this is another group of rock tombs,
two of which have temple-like façades similar to that of Amyntas. One is left
half-finished. On the south of the modern city, there are remains of a large
fortress, built in medieval times, from various reused material. The fortress,
built on a main rock, has little evidence of settlement. It must have been
constructed mainly for defensive purposes.
The antique city is within the boundaries of
the Yaka village, 40 km. from Fethiye, accessible by an asphalt road.
Panyasis, an ancient writer, refers to all
the cities within the Valley of Xanthos, namely Tlos, Pinara, Xanthos and Cragos
(which was outside the valley) as the children of Praxidike, who was a Nymphae,
The name of Tlos appears in the Hitite
records of the 14th century B.C. in the form of Dlawa, in Lycian inscriptions as
Tlawa and in Greek records as Tlos. All the names must refer to the same city
which dates back to 2000 B.C.