HomeAsiaTurkeyThe ancient city of Fazelis in Turkey

The ancient city of Fazelis in Turkey

Time erases the memory of cities and civilizations. This is how the ancient city of Phaselis was abandoned and forgotten. Once it was a major trading center, standing in a very favorable place near the sea, had three harbors. Only the picturesque ruins of temples, palaces, and the few surviving arches of the aqueduct remind us of its greatness.

History of the ancient city of Phaselis

Around Kemer in Antalya are the ruins of several ancient settlements. This land was inhabited even before our era, the palaces of the nobility rose here, temples were built beautiful in their proportions, learned the sciences and conducted trade transactions. Well known are the ancient cities of Kaleici, Perge, Aspendos and Faselis (Phaselis).

It is located among pine forests, between the settlements of Chamyuva and Tekirova. Over time, the sea shores have changed their line, Faselis moved inland, and previously it was located on the shores of the Mediterranean Sea, for which it was called “sea town”.

The Ancient City of Faselis, Kemer (Turkey)

From a small settlement formed in the 7th century B.C., Faselis has become a major trading center. The population increased quite rapidly, because for 100 drachmas anyone could become a citizen. Religious and secular buildings were erected, the city grew and became rich.

The Eastern and Middle Ports received merchant ships. South had an important military significance, as evidenced by the remains of the once powerful defense fortifications.

The visit of the Roman Emperor Hadrian was such an important event for Faselis that numerous statues and the Triumphal Gate were erected to commemorate it.

The ancient city of Phaselis - overview, photos

A favorable geographical location has attracted increased attention. Founded by natives of the island of Rhodes, it has passed from one ruler to another. The townspeople at various times were subjects of the Ptolemies, then the city joined the Lycian League, became part of the Roman Empire, belonged to the Byzantines, the Persians and the Turks. Faselis reached its peak as a commercial and cultural center by the 7th century. All the significant buildings on its territory belong to this period.

The wheel of history is inexorable; the rise is invariably followed by the fall, as happened in the 13th century. Fazelis was gradually losing its position, not withstanding the competition with other Mediterranean cities, younger and more dynamic. Residents began to leave its walls in search of a better life, the once vibrant city eventually turned into a monument to its former greatness.

Fazelis Attractions

The ancient city of Fazelis - the famous ruins of Turkey

The temples of Athena, the patroness of the city, and Hermes, because the city lived on trade, have survived.

In addition to these buildings you can see:

  • the watchtower;
  • fragments of an ancient aqueduct;
  • ruins of gymnasiums and baths;
  • remnants of the acropolis, theater, and agora;
  • the surviving parts of palaces, tombs, and temples.

On the hill, near the remains of the amphitheater, is a magnificent observation deck from which you can view most of the ruins of the ancient city of Faselis in Turkey, including the remains of the Arc de Triomphe.

The city was built according to a single plan, a map of Faselis confirms the clear layout, the style is characterized as “Roman classical”. The central place was allotted to the temple of Athena; according to legend, the spear of Achilles was also kept there. The best preserved buildings and fragments are within the main street, which stretches for 20 meters. It connected the southern and northern harbors. Along it are concentrated the main state buildings, gymnasiums, shopping malls.

The second largest and most important aqueduct, second only to Aspendos, is beautifully preserved. It was built of golden limestone and was intended to supply the city with fresh water. The underground reservoir reservoir was built using unknown technology and will keep the water fresh for a long time. It was of strategic importance and was guarded very carefully.

Ruins of the ancient city of Faselis (Faselis) in TurkeyThe ruins of the amphitheater are on a hill. In its heyday it could seat 1,500 spectators. It was built in the likeness of the Roman ones, where the stage was at the bottom and the stone terraces for the audience went up in ledges, like an expanding funnel.

According to legend, somewhere in the city is the burial place of Alexander the Great. There is no documentary evidence, but it is quite possible, as he did visit Faselis and accepted a golden crown from the inhabitants.

Not much has survived of the warehouses; they were used to store supplies of timber and other goods that were transported to the cities of the Mediterranean.

Beaches near Fazelis

Fazelis in Turkey - the famous ruins of an ancient city near Kemer

Tourists after visiting the ancient city of Fazelis happy to go for a refreshing dip in the gentle waves of the Mediterranean Sea. There are all the conditions for this. The beaches are on the site of ancient harbors. They are not equipped, there is no infrastructure, but also a large crowd of tourists is also not observed.

Beach accessories and drinking water must be brought with you.

The northern harbor was near the Necropolis, the shore there is pebbly, the water is very clear and clean. The branches of the trees provide shade, and there is amazing silence all around.

On the site of the central harbor, there is only a small section of beach, next to the parking lot. Swimming here is not convenient, but the shore is closed by rocks, the waves do not reach this picturesque corner, the sea is almost always quiet and serene.

The most popular beach is in the area of the southern harbor, near the ruins of the fortress. It is covered with fine sand, the coast offers a magnificent view of the mountains, the water is clear, the bottom is clean. Food and beverage vendors occasionally appear on this stretch of beach. In the heat it is better not to risk such purchases and take everything you need with you.

How do I get to Fazelis?

It is located near the resort villages, transport links are well established and there are no problems with the passage. The ancient town of Phaselis on the map of Kemer is marked as a tourist attraction. It is located at the foot of Mount Tahtali, which in ancient times was called Olympos. Trips to it are organized by almost all travel agencies. It’s a convenient option where you don’t have to worry about driving and finding your way around.

Fazelis on the map of Turkey

The ancient city of Fazelis on the map of Turkey

To find out how to get from Kemer to Faselis on your own, just take a map with routes in the tourist center, or use a GPS navigator. The distance from Kemer is 14 km, you can take a shuttle bus to Tekirova, then change to a local line and drive another 3 km.

There are special flights from Antalya directly to Fazelis, no transfers required. Buses coming from the west, do not reach the ancient ruins, they stop at the turn, where you have to walk about 1 km on foot through a picturesque pine forest.

From Geyniuk to Fazelis there is also a shuttle bus, the stops are located on the main road. For a small company or family trip it is more profitable to rent a car or order a cab.

Opening hours are from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m., seven days a week, with a ticket price of 30 Turkish Liras.

A trip to Faselis will bring vivid impressions, bring dry historical facts to life and awaken admiration for the grandeur of the ancient city and the skill of ancient architects.

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