Myra Tombs and Ruins
Southern Coast, Turkey
In the center of the Lycian peninsula of southwest Turkey lies Myra, one of the crucial and larger cities of the Lycian League. Although not much remains of the city today as it lies burred under a broad alluvial basin, what has been excavated reveals the importance of Myra. A large theater, beautifully excavated, stands on the northern edge of town against the cliffs. Beautiful motifs and carvings of flowers, fruit and goddesses harkens to their worship of Artemis, Greek god of nature. The carvings of faces in various impressions are some of the most unique found in ancient Lycia, and has been associated with Myra since their discovery.
Perhaps the most magnificent treasures of Myra are the ancient tombs found on the cliffs overlooking the city. Dozens of carefully carved rock-cut tombs of various sizes and detail overlook the town. They are dated all the way back to the 4th century B.C. and were once painted in bright colors, as noted by a foreign explorer in 1840. Not much however is known about these tombs or who they held, but they stand as a reminder of the former splendor of Lycia.
In the northern edge of the Mediterrean town of Demre, situated in the central region of the Turquoise Coast.
The rock-carved tombs date to the 4th century B.C., in which Myra served as an important town of the Lycian League.
A once prosperous town in ancient Lycia. The tombs likely held the remains of the nobles of the town.
Open for visits to the public, in which visitors can climb the theater and other ruins. The tombs cannot be explored; only viewed from below.
For what it lacks in size, the substance and uniqueness of this ancient city surpasses many others we’ve explored in Lycia. The rock-cut tombs are a world treasure in my eye and should be witnessed, as well as the beautiful carvings found throughout the site. This site, in combination to a quick visit of the Saint Nicholas church, gives a thousand year representation of the importance of this town.
As of 2023, the city costs 90 Lira to enter (although the fee appears to be in constant fluctuation due to the instability of the Turkish lira).
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