Olympos, located on the southern coast of Antalya and the second important port city, takes its name from Tahtalı Mountain, 16 km north of the Taurus Mountains. Known as the city of the gods, the city is located in the Kemer district of Antalya, within the borders of Beydagları-Olympos National Park.
Olympos Ancient City
Although there is no exact information about the exact foundation date of Olympos, some sources indicate that the city dates back to BC. It says that it was founded in the 3rd century. B.C. In the 1st century, it was used as a shelter by pirates as it had a very sheltered location. For many years, it was used as a base by Zeniketes, who was the head of the pirates and terrorized the Mediterranean. The use of the city by pirates BC. It lasts until 78. The city is cleared of pirates by the Roman commander Servilius Isauricus.
Olympos attracts the attention of many people with its historical structures, unique nature and unquenchable fire. It is believed that this fire, which for a long time was a light to the ships at night, guiding like a lantern and playing an important role in the development of the belief in the blacksmith god Hephaestus, is associated with Chimaera, who spews fire from his mouth.
The ancient city is among the three cities mentioned in the Lycian Union coins minted between 167-168 BC. At the same time, it is one of the 6 cities that have three voting rights in the Lycian Union system. In this time, Olympos represented the eastern part of Lycia. The city, which contains many historical buildings, is on the UNESCO World Heritage Tentative List.
Olympos Historical Buildings
Most of the artifacts that have survived from the Ancient City of Olympos are located within the forest boundaries and are located on both sides of the river flowing into the sea from east to west. The majority of these historical structures belong to the Byzantine, Roman and Hellenistic Periods.
On the south side of the city is the polygonal masonry wall belonging to the Hellenistic Period and the part that points to the Byzantine and Roman repairs. Near the mouth of the river, there are some late period ruins in a steep and small acropolis.
On the south bank of the river, there are the ruins of the theater belonging to the Hellenistic Period. Although a large part of this theater, which was repaired during the Roman Period, is in ruins, a part of the entrance is well preserved until today.
Another historical structure you can see within the city limits is the temple gate located 150 meters west of the river mouth. It is understood that this door is a temple door, thanks to some architectural parts. It is understood from the statue base in front of the door that the door was built in the name of Roman Emperor Markus Aurelius.
Among the ruins of the city, the historical ruin, which attracts a lot of attention by many, is the sarcophagus belonging to Captain Eudomus, which was found as a result of the archaeological studies carried out by the Antalya Museum.
The sarcophagus is located in the mass grave area in the hollow of a rock next to the river mouth. Marcus Aurelius Zosimos had these tombs built for his mother, wife, children, grandchildren and uncle Eudemos. On the sarcophagus there is both a poetic inscription full of emotion for the captain and reliefs of the ship.
You can reach the beach area by walking along the stream from the ancient city of Olympos. In a part of this beach area, there are also spawning areas of Carettas. Although there are no facilities such as showers and changing cabins on the beach, many people swim in the cool waters of the beach while visiting the ancient city.
If you are traveling with your private vehicle, you can take advantage of the paid parking area at the entrance of the ancient city or the free parking lots in the area where the pensions are located.
Olympos Ancient City Visiting Hours
The visiting hours of the city, which is open to visitors seven days a week, are determined according to two different periods.
It is open to visitors from 1 April to 1 October between 08:00 and 19:00.
Between 1 October and 1 April: It is open to visitors between 08:00 and 18:00.
By visiting the ancient city of Olympos, you can both visit the historical buildings and have a pleasant time by doing activities such as swimming in its unique nature. If you add this place to your list of places to visit in Antalya, you will have both a trip and a sea vacation.
If you want to have both a historical trip and a sea vacation outside of Olympos in Antalya, you can also visit the Ancient City of Phaselis. If you want to get detailed information about Phaselis Ancient City, you can take a look at our blog post about this place.