Kibyra Ancient City is built on three hills with lake and plain views, within the borders of Gölhisar district of Burdur . Known as the ‘City of Gladiators’, the city is located 110 km southwest of the city center of Burdur. It is built at an altitude of 1,100-1,300 meters, covered with juniper and cedar forests, at a point overlooking the western slope of the Gölhisar Plain.
Strabo of Amasya, who mentioned Kibyra, which had its brightest days in the Lydian and Roman periods, in his notes, stated that the people of Kibyra were originally Lydians. With the excavations started in 2006 in the city, which has a history of 2,300 years, gigantic monumental structures with a magnificent view were brought to their feet.
The city, which has a deep-rooted state tradition and bureaucracy, has become the judicial center of 25 cities around it. They bred fast-running horses, showed their mastery in wood carving, leatherwork, ceramics and ironwork, and became famous for their military strength. They established the world’s largest parliament building in the city identified with gladiators.
The Upper and Lower Agora, one of the most magnificent stadiums in Anatolia, the Parliament Building and the Theater, with their ancient structures that do not block each other, are located at a point overlooking the endless plain. Although it takes a lot of time to reach the 2,300-year-old ancient city from Burdur and Isparta, it is a heritage worth visiting.
Kibyra Ancient City, Burdur
Kibyra Ancient City is located within the borders of Gölhisar district of Burdur. Kibyra, which was one of the most important military garrison cities of these civilizations during the period when the Lydian and Roman Empires dominated the lands of Western Anatolia, is located on a point overlooking the western slope of the Gölhisar Plain, covered with juniper and cedar trees, at an altitude of 1,100 to 1,300 meters.
In the records of the famous traveler Strabo from Amasya, the people of Kibyra are originally mentioned as Lydians. According to Strabo, the Kibyrans migrated from Lydia and came to the Kabalis region. In a very short time, they took control of the region and took the Pisidians and other peoples living in the geography under their yoke.
Before long, they changed the residential areas and turned the area into a planned living center. It is reported that they established a city with a circumference of 100 Stadia. In the same source, it is emphasized that four different languages are spoken in Kibyra, namely Lydian, Solyme, Pisid and Hellenic.
Kibyra, II. During the reign of Eumenes (197-159 BC), they came under the rule of the Kingdom of Pergamon. In the following period, 2 BC and 1 BC They established the Kabalis Region Four Cities Union, consisting of the ancient cities Boubon, Balboura and Oinoanda located in Kibyra and its immediate surroundings.
Kibyra had two votes, while the other three cities had one vote, as it was able to deploy 30,000 infantry and 2,000 mounted cavalry to the Kabalis Region Four Cities Union army, which was formed by the four joint councils. The city has always been ruled by tyrants.
The Roman general Murena dissolved the 40-year-long union, ending the reign of Moagetes II, the tyrant of Kibyra, in 82 BC. Bubon and Balbura were included in the Lycian League, while Kibyra was included in the Roman Empire’s Asia Minor Province.
Although Strabo, who tells the story of Kibyra, does not mention the other city of Oineanda, which formed the union, it is estimated that this city was connected to Lycia like the others.
The Roman Emperor Tiberius of the time brought tax amnesty for 5 years and provided financial aid to the city, which was mostly destroyed by an earthquake in 23 AD. The people of Kibyran, who did not give the emperor’s support unconditionally, showed their gratitude by changing the name of the city to Caesarea Kibyra (Emperor’s Kibyra).
Kibyra had its heyday especially in the 1st and 3rd centuries AD. The city, which also functions as the judicial center of 25 cities in the region with its strategic geographical location, was famous for horse breeding in ancient times. Because of this feature, the city was also referred to as ‘the city of fast-running horses’.
Excavations continue at full speed on three hills with magnificent views of the lake and plain where the ancient city was founded. The majority of the structures that have survived to the present day belong to the Roman period. The works for the inclusion of the ancient city, which was included in the UNESCO World Heritage Tentative List in 2016, on the permanent list are also ongoing.