Myra Historical Place

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Myra rock tombs

Myra rock tombs (Necropolis of Ancient Myra) constitute the most magnificent building group in Myra Ancient City. The tombs are one of the important representatives of the Lycian Classical Age culture with their rock facades following the wooden architecture of the 5th and 4th century BC Myra. The Lycians built necropolises on mountains and cliffs, as they believed that the souls of those who died were carried from the grave to the next world.

There are two main necropolises to the east and south of the acropolis. The city of the dead, which each tomb creates by imitating the architecture of the life next to it, also creates an imitation of civil settlement, completing an uninterrupted panoramic city view.

There is a road network connecting both the city’s neighborhoods and the acropolis and necropolis areas, as well as passages and rock stairs that provide access to the grave groups in each necropolis. Much of what appeared to be now was painted in bright hues of red, yellow, blue, and purple during the city’s heyday. The necropolis, which has largely faded over the years, has regained its current colors.

The rock tombs are mostly dated to the 4th century BC. 23 of the tombs are inscribed, 13 of them are in Lycian and 10 of them are in Ancient Greek. All but three of the graves are of the house type. The differences in the type and quality of the tombs, where only the upper and middle classes were once buried, provide important information about the social status of the tomb owner.

There are carvings on the tombs of the ancient Myra Necropolis, the cemetery of the Lycians. Scenes form an important group of Lycian Classical Period reliefs. The most famous example of this was documented by the early explorer Charles Fellows during his visit in 1840.

The ‘Lion’s Tomb’, named after the lion and bull decorating its façade, contains 11 life-size stone figures thought to represent the family of the tomb owner. A series of inscriptions in ancient Greek and Lycian seem as if they were carved only yesterday: “Moschos loves Philiste, daughter of Demetrios.”

Myra Theater

Myra Antique Theater is the largest in the region with its capacity exceeding 10 thousand people. Its magnificent theater is a structure that has survived to the present day in a very solid way. The open-air theater was destroyed in an earthquake in 141 but was later rebuilt. A box for the King was added to the theater.

The building, which was completely rebuilt as a Roman theater, leaving the much smaller Hellenistic theater under it, has a horseshoe-shaped cavea (seats) with 29 rows of seats at the bottom and 9 at the top. It is known that the theater was also used as an arena for gladiator fights.

Myra Theater has the most magnificent and qualified decoration of the region. The facade of the theater is decorated with sculptures, columns and reliefs. Ganimed, Kartal, Mithras, Medusa, garlands carried by various masks, syren and menads have an embroidered design on the friezes of the three-storey stage building.

For the first time in Lycia, the outer face of the stage building has an embossed frieze with garland bearers. There are many god figures among these reliefs. Near the theater, on the way to the city, at the end of the road, you can see the late period ruins that could be a bath or basilica.

Andriake

Andriake was the outer quarter and port of Mya in antiquity. For the first time in 197 BC, King of Seleukos Dynasty III. It came to the stage of history when Antiochus captured the city, which was previously under the rule of the Ptolemies.

In AD 60, St. Paul stopped by Myra on his way to Rome and changed ships in Andriake. Andriake, which became a center as important as the cities of Phaselis and Patara during the imperial period, proves its importance with the customs inscription containing the customs law of the Lycian province.

Today, the ruins of the city of Andriake, whose harbor was closed and turned into a swamp due to the silt carried by Kokarçay (Andriakos), are spread on both sides of a small bay.

The most important and best preserved among the ruins that have been preserved from the city of Andriake until today is the Granarium, the granary dedicated to Emperor Hadrian. This building now hosts the Lycian Civilizations Museum .

Myra Ancient City entrance fee and visiting hours

Myra Ancient City is located in the Demre district center of Antalya, within the borders of Alakent District. You can reach Demre, which is 147 km away from Antalya, from the west in addition to Antalya, from the direction of Kaş. If you are going by private vehicle, transportation is provided from Antalya Airport to the city center via the D400 highway. The journey from the airport to Demre by private car takes 2.5 hours.

From Antalya Bus Station to Demre, Batı Akdeniz company has flights every half an hour. The bus departs from the center of Antalya. It follows the route of Kemer, Olympos , Kumluca, Finike and departs from Demre to Kaş . The closest airport to Demre is Antalya Airport, 155 km from Demre. Antalya can be reached by direct flights from many cities in Turkey and the world.

While you have visited Myra Ancient City and Andriake , you can add Santa Claus Church , Kaleköy , Üçağız and Kekova Island , Demre Bird Sanctuary, Dolkisthe Ancient City and Soura Ancient City to your route.

If you like to visit ancient cities, the famous cities of the Mediterranean geography , Xanthos , Patara , Tlos , Pınara and Olympos , should be on your list of places to visit. Many of the ancient cities are located on the Lycian Way , Turkey’s first long-distance hiking trail.

Myra Ancient City is one of the most magnificent settlements of the Mediterranean coastline. The magnificent port city of Myra, which has three voting rights in the Ancient Lycian League, is worth seeing with its theater that has survived to the present day, relief rock tombs and the memories of Santa Claus.

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