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( Kalkan - Kaş )
Turkey Travel Guide
Best-known for its fortress-topped acropolis, with its rock-cut tomb-covered
sides and its 360 degree panoramic views. I especially like the Roman era
baths. One of the six principal cities of Lycia.
is the Greek appellation of the name of the city of Arñna, of Lycian origin.
The Hittite and Luwian name of the city is given as Arinna The Romans called
the city Xanthus, as all the Greek -os suffixes were changed to -us in
Latin. Xanthos was a center of culture and commerce for the Lycians, and
later for the Persians, Macedonians, Greeks, and Romans who in turn
conquered the city and occupied the adjacent territory
once bore the title under the Roman empire of 'the very brilliant metropolis
of the Lycian nation'. It is one of the oldest and largest settlements of
Lycia (known as 'Tlawa' in Lycian inscriptions) and was eventually inhabited
by Ottoman Turks, one of the few Lycian cities to continue it existance
through the 19th century. There is evidence that Tlos was a member of the
Lycian Federation from the 2nd century BC. Two wealthy philanthropists, one
of which was Opramoas of Rhodiapolis, were responsible for much of the
building in the 2nd century AD. Inscriptions tell us that the citizens were
divided into demes, the names of three of them are known: Bellerophon,
Iobates and Sarpedon, famous
Lycian legendary heroes. A
Jewish community is also known to have existed with its own magistrates.
Acropolis Hill -
overlooks a lovely valley of fertile fields and orchards with mountains
rising in the distance. Lots of Lycian rock-cut tombs and sarcophagi.
Crowning the top is the fortress of Kanlı Ağı ('Bloody Chief Ali'), a
notorious Ottoman feudal lord, built upon the foundations of a Lycian
fortress. It was still in use in the 19th century - the explorer Spratt was
entertained here in 1842 by the brother of the ağa occupying it at that
time. Also upon this hill are a Lycian wall and a Roman era wall. Since
early Lycian times, the city's settlement was probably concenrated on the
southern and western slopes, for wide terraces with huge cisterns and the
back walls of buildings carved from the rock are found there.The view from
the top is spectacular with amazing 360 degree views over the Xanthos valley
and the surrounding mountains. Although the hill looks high, there is a
good path and it is actually not difficult to get to the top.
Tomb of Bellerophon' -
An interesting tomb of Tlos, a large temple-type tomb with an unfinished
facade featuring a relief in its porch of the legendary (from Greek myth)
hero Bellerophon riding Pegasus, the winged horse. Punished by the Lycian
king Iobates for an improper love affair, Bellerophon was sent to kill the
Chimaera, a fire-breathing monster. With the aid of Pegasus, a gift from
Athena, Bellerophon slew the monster from the air and then married the
king's daughter. From their offspring came the later rulers of Lycia.
Today the Chimaera continues to exist as a perpetually-burning fire in
eastern Lycia near Olympos. Another carving of a lion or leopard is also
seen inside the tomb.
located just under the acropolis hill, from the Roman period. It had a
seating capacity of 2,500. Today only the seats remain and the sporting
area is being used as a farmer's field. Granite columns were found strewn
about the area and these probably indicate that there was a columned portico
standing at the north side of the area.
Market Hall -
running parallel to the stadium is what researchers presume to have been a
market building. This a a long 150 metre hall with two stories, over 30
feet wide, not divided into chambers, with small rectangular doors and large
arched doors in its west wall. The building is constructed of carefully
jointed ashlar masonry. At the south end is a wider building with several
chambers and four large arched doors. In the first photo below, you can see
the palaestra (gymnasium) to the right of the market hall complex. The
baths are on its other side.
Tlos has two baths. The smaller stands right next to the larger bath (to
its north). Even today, the larger bath is still a very impressive
structure and consists of three large adjoining rooms of equal size. An
apse with seven windows opens the easternmost room towards the south. This
is called "Yedi Kapı" ("Seven Gates") by locals and its dramatic set of
seven arches overlooks a lush valley. This magnificent room is probably the
"exedra in the baths" that Opramoas donated
to Tlos, along with contributions towards the theatre. This would date the
baths to around the first half of the second century AD.
The smaller bath is joined to the south end of a large hall. Two of the
bath's three rooms are located in the western part of the building while the
third is a large rectangular room to the east. Another room to the west may
have been part of the complex. All the rooms had barrel-vaulted ceilings.
To the north of the smaller bath stood a palaestra (gymnasium). Also near
the baths are the remains of a Byzantine church, temple and what is believed
to have been the agora. The area thought to be the agora is located across
the road from the amphitheatre.
A large Roman era theatre with 34 rows of seats. A portion of the stage
building still stands and its many highly-decorated carvings are scattered
about. An inscription records donations for the theatre from private
citizens, ranging from 3,000 denarii by the priest of Dionysus and high
priest of the Cabiria to lesser donations of 100 denarii. The famous
philanthropist Opramoas also
made a very large donation for the theatre. It is also known from
inscriptions that the theatre was under construction for at least 150 yea