WE CREATED A SELECTION OF THE ANCIENT CITIES THAT ARE BEAUTIFUL IN EACH SEASON BUT MORE BEAUTIFUL IN SEPTEMBER.
No matter how big of an archeology fan you are, having a travel through history in the heat of summer, leaving behind the blue waters, requires good planning for the best time of the day and a game of tag with the sunrays. The ancient cities that take place in the Turkey’s geography are more than satisfying but visiting many of them are tiring especially in the sun. However, the cool September air adds pleasure to your travel in history. We created a selection of the ancient cities that are beautiful in each season but more beautiful in September. May the September breeze be your travel companion…
The natural phenomenon the world admires: Pamukkale
Pamukkale and its travertine pools are famous around the world. The terraced slopes, the pools that were made by the spring that has been used since ancient times look like a cotton field from afar. One of Pamukkale’s most popular places is the Pamukkale Thermal. You can swim between felled and broken columns in the water that fills the thermal pool, which is thought that it was an old road with pillars on the sides or perhaps the ruins of an ancient pool from a nearby Apollo Temple. This unique geological formation is nested within history.
Look at the city from above
You will be overexcited by the history of the city of Hierapolis when you go through the Necropolis (graveyard), walk through the marble road with pillars and get on the top of the theatre after a quick climb. The Hierapolis Archeology Museum, which was converted from an ancient Roman bathhouse which was built upon Hierapolis’s ruins, is a museum not to miss with its location, arrangement, lighting and especially its exhibits.
To taste Denizli’s special oven lamb kabob with pita visit Ali Başoğlu Kebap Salon.
Another world right beside Çeşme: Ildırı
To explore the Çeşme Peninsula’s other face; you must visit Ildırı, famous with its lovely fishing village and its famous ancient city (Erythrai) located there. The Ancient City of Erythrai located in Ildırı, which is also a 1st degree protected area, is a beautiful evening stroll for those who are tired of the beach and the sun. The City of Erythrai, which was famous for its commerce once and is located in the crest of the village that is one of Ionia’s 12 cities that ancient writers spoke about, was a magnificent city during 700-800 B.C. During those times, Çeşme was Erythrai’s seaport. The city was famous with its wine trade. The enchanting taste and effect of the fish that are caught in the coast of the city of Erythrai such as bream, coral, and red mullets are mentioned in many mythological stories. Wool production and pottery were important exports for Erythrai.
Pots excavated from dig sites
During the archeological digs, pottery workshops dating back to the 4th century B.C. were discovered behind the theatre. The ruined theatre, facing Gerence Bay, belongs to the Helenistic Era. When going to the theatre, there is a round gray marble mausoleum with the ruins of a bathhouse to its right, to the north of the theatre there is a house decorated with mosaics that used to belong to the king during the 7th century B.C. The city lost its importance during the Byzantine era.
The Manzara Kahve which is located at the entrance of Ildırı has very delicious gözleme with chard and lokma.
The World’s First Exchange Market: Aizonai
Kütahya’s pride, the ancient City of Aizonai that is located 57 km away from the town center, took its name from the mythological hero Azan, one of the legendary sons of King Arkas’. This area’s most stunning monument is the most well protected temple in Anatolia that was made in the name of Zeus and built upon a plateau… During the early Byzantium era this place was an episcopacy center. In the 7th century during the Medieval Age this place, which had lost its importance, was turned into a fortress. Because it was used as a base by the Çavdar Tatars during the Seljuk era it took the name of Çavdarhisar. In this era, soldiers took shelter in the basement of the temple. During the Ancient Ages, walls were made out of large cut stones on both side of the beach as protection against the surging waters of Kocaçay. There were 4 bridges that connected the two opposite sides. Two of these bridges are still used today.
The market prices are on the inscription
The round structure (Macellum) that belongs to the second century A.D., which was used as a food market, is located further south. On an inscription which was found here, the prices of all the goods sold in the imperial markets during the 4th century are listed. This was so to speak the price estimation of Emperor Diocletianus to fight against inflation. For this reason, this place is accepted as the world’s first market exchange. We can understand from these inscriptions that 2 donkeys were worth 1 slave, 1 horse was worth 3 slaves and 1 slave was worth 30 thousand dinars. There are also a theatre, a stadium, two bathhouses of which one is tessellated, a gymnasium, streets with columns, necropolis areas and the holy cave of Meter Steune in the city.
DO NOT MISS
See the stunning Amazons Sarcophagus exhibited at the Kütahya Museum which describes the battle between the Amazons and the Hellenes.
A history fit for the sundown: Patara
Patara is one of Likya’s important seaports. In 4th century A.D. Myra gained fame as the birth place of St. Nicholas, also known as Santa Claus, and the bishop of the God of Prophecy Apollo. The city was never completely dug. The well protected arched Roman gate, belonging to the 1st century, marks the entrance to the city. In the area, a Necropolis, a bathhouse complex, an agora, the foundation of a basilica, a beautiful temple belonging to the 2nd century where the city walls are in good shape though it is hard to reach, are in really good shape. Also, the temple is too small to call it the famous Apollo Temple.
A stage dedicated to a woman
The theatre located to the southwest of the bathhouses is on the slope of the acropolis. A Greek inscription states that the stage was made for a woman. A lovely path to the south of the theatre climbs up to the city’s Acropolis. The arched lighthouse, located to the west of the hill, has the scenery of the harbor, the sea, and the beach. When you go further from here, you will see the Hadrian’s silos after the sandy hills.
Go for a walk on Patara’s long white beach, swim there and don’t miss the sundown view from the dunes.
Discover it while no one is around: Euromos
Perhaps, it may stand more modest compared to the other ancient cities, but it is worth visiting with its atmosphere and nature that surrounds it. It feels like you are the first person to discover this place when you arrive at the columns rising among the olive trees. The place is 12 km behind Milas, after passing the Bafa Lake within 4km distance of the Town Selimiye. Only 16 of the 32 columns belonging to the Temple of Zeus located in the Ancient City of Euromos.
The unfinished temple
There was a Karya cult center here during the 6th century B.C. In the Hellenistic Era, the Zeus Cult united with the previous god. While Euromos’s importance could compete with Milas in the Hellenistic and Roman Eras, it lost its importance during the Byzantium period. The temple was made during the reign of the Roman Emperor Hadrian but was never completed. The only remains of the city that is a few hundred meters away from the temple are ruined walls with only one tower left and a ruined theatre that only has a few visible rows. Euromos is also called ‘Ayaklı’ (footed) because of its columns.
A faith station on the Royal Road: Gökyurt
Inside an untouched nature, there are seclusion rooms carved into caves and high boulders… The panoramic view of the Royal Road at the entrance of the city is quite impressive. 50 km southwest of Konya, the village of Gökyurt or with its local name Gilissıra was founded on ancient Kilistra that has been mentioned in the legends that take place in the Bible. Large faith tourism potential is foreseen. Saint Paul of Tarsus visits Lystra and Kilistra while passing through that area, when he was on the Royal Road as an apostle during the 1st century A.D. as the Christianity started spreading in Anatolia.
A shelter against Pagan pressure
Lystra that was raided by the Homonad’s who lived in the mountains, was an important center for Rome at the time. The locals, who were mostly Christians, came to Kilistra to escape and hide from pagan pressure and built an underground city here. The life in the Village of Gökyurt that protected its traditions stayed the same as well as its untouched nature. One of these traditions is the drink made with the local fruit known as Gilabba, it is known as Kirebolu in Cappadocia. The pumpkin here that is accepted to be holy is only eaten at women’s tables during weddings. The girls do not cut their hair until they wed.
DID YOU KNOW?
The wall painting made in 6200 B.C., which was found at Çatalhöyük that is 50km away from Konya, depicts the eruption of the volcanic Hasan Mountain. It takes place at the Konya Plains and it is titled as the ‘First Landscape Painting In History’ by the Guinness Book of World Records.