OLYMPOS ANCIENT CITY

Olympos has been settled down in a deep valley at the west gulf of Antalya.

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Olympos Antik Kenti

Olympos Ancient City

The ancient city of Olympos is situated on the sea shore, close to Cirali, Kumluca, 70 km from Antalya, on the southern side of Tahtali Mountain.

The city, founded in the 3th century BCE, was a pilgrimage center for the temple of Hephaestus at nearby Chimaera reachable on a Roman paved road. Olympos was also one of the six leading Lycian League cities. Conditions deteriorated in the 1st century BCE, when pirates under the command of Zenicetes took control of Olympos and nearby Phaselis. The pirates disrupted coastal shipping and kidnapped local residents and travelers for ransom or to sell into slavery. In response in 78 BCE the Roman governor of Cilicia, Publius Servilius Vatia, accompanied by the young Julius Caesar, attacked the pirates and besieged Olympos. To avoid capture, Zenicetes burned up himself and his family. Servilius destroyed Olympos and declared the land of Olympos and Phaselis public property available for resettlement.

In 67 BCE the area became even more secure after Roman general Pompey the Great decisively defeated the Cilician pirates. When Lycia was formally brought into the Roman Empire as a province together with Pamphylia in 43, Olympos enjoyed a period of prosperity. Emperor Hadrian visited the city in 129 and constructed the granary on the south side of the river. Christianity developed early in Olympos and the city’s bishop Methodius became a leading author and theologian in the early church until he was martyred in 311 under Emperor Galerius.

Archaeological Site

The temple gate, the theatre, the southern and northern necropolis, the necropolis church, the entrance complex, the alcestis sarcophagus, the monumental graves of the harbour, the harbour basilica, the southern slope settlement, the bathhouse with mosaic pavements and the agora that have reached today from ancient times, are the important structures worth to see. The city walls and towers in the bay are from the Middle Age.

Temple Gate: The most interesting structure is the gate of the temple that is located on the south of Akcay River.

Olympos Theatre: The theatre, located in the southern city was built on the northern slope of the hill, has a capacity of around 5000 seat.

Necropolis Church: Necropolis Church is located in the northwest of the ancient city divided into two by the river.

Acropolis Hill: The view from the 50 m high acropolis is also very beautiful.

The entrance fee of the ancient city is 30 Turkish Liras per person as of 2021. You can also buy a “Museum Card” (A card provided by Turkish Ministry of Tourism which can be used to museum entries in the whole country during the visit) or multipass cards for 10 pass.

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