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Olympos

In order to reach Olympos from the Antalya- Finike Highway, you need to turn off at the Ulupmar Road, where there is a signpost that indicates the ruins. This narrow road, which is surrounded by abundant natural beauty, descends all the way down to shores of Olympos. In order to reach the ruins from the parking lot, you cross the stream and after walking along the wide beach for some time, you will reach the banks of the stream which runs through Olympos. The path running along the banks of the stream leads up to the ruins. If perchance you have the time and you have got your swimsuit with you, you shouldn't pass up the opportunity to go splash in the deep blue sea.

Olympos was established in the Hellenistic Age. In 100 B.C., Olympos became one of the six primary members of the Lycian League that entitled to three votes. Coins were struck there 2nd century B.C. and during the 1st century E became a place where pirates, lead by Zeni frequented quite often. This fearless pirate was j defeated in 78 B.C. by the Roman Governor of publius Servilius Vatia, in an open-sea battle, which Olympos and the surrounding area was n to became a Roman province.

During the Roman period, the area became quite famous with the Hephaistos cult and their of the Blacksmith where they worshipped at the the natural gas that spewed from the ground nearby Cirali.

During the 2nd century A.D., the man known throughout Lycia for his assistance and philantropy, Opramoas from Rhodiapolis, made lavish gi money to Olympos to have many new buil erected and old ones repaired. Thus, Olympos extremely prosperous during this century, but i in the 3rd century that the pirates returned to , Olympos. The pirate raids were the reason this rich and flourishing city became impoverished ovel and lost its importance. From this point on, the city continued on as an insignificant small town.

It was used by Venetian and Genoese I for a period, during which time the harbo enclosed by a wall built by the Genoese. When the pirates in the area were chased off by the Ottoman fleets, the city was abandoned in the 15th century.

Olympos was spread out over both sides of the stream that passed through it. Let's trek along the banks of the stream to wander around olympos. The high hill, which can be seen from the shoreline, and which has a number of tombs, is the acropolis of olympos. As for the structural remains on the hill, they belong to walls that were erected in the manner of a tower during the Middle Ages. When you look from the hilltop, you can take in the magnificent view of the river which looks oddly reminiscent of Venice. The stream was turned into a canal with walls that were built along the banks using a polygonal technique, whereas one can tell from traces that there was a bridge that spanned both sides.

From the shoreline, the first thing we see as we enter the city beneath the acropolis are two chambers. The tombs belong to the 2nd century were used for a second time in the 5th century wasn't until recently that the ruins behind acropolis walls, which were turned into a tower in the Middle Ages, were brought to light. Through excavation work of the Antalya Museum, a number of tombs were uncovered. We don't have too much information about the single sarcophagus that re the eastern part of the acropolis. Next to this is a burial chamber dating back to the 5th century that contains two sarcophagi which also has mc embedded in the floor of a soldier and a lion. The sarcophagus that faces east was that of an Olympian named Marcus Aurelius Zosimas, whereas the one next to it belonged to the uncle of Zosimas, Captain Eudemos. On top of the captain's sarcophagus is a ship in relief along with an inscription that tells of the voyages made by Captain Eudemos to the Marmara and Black Seas. There is also a very emotional poem on the left side of this inscription, which is framed.

By moving on past these tombs a little bit, let's turn down a narrow road that goes by the right side of the second spring. There are a few ruins located on this side of the river. In this part, a monument tomb with two sarcophagi can be seen. Just a bit further ahead is another tomb. If we walk past these tombs towards the west, we will reach the bishop's house. This structure, which has been determined to be the house of the bishop, was built during the 5th century, whereas we are able to ascertain that the floor was left one meter underwater as a result of earthquakes that struck in the 15th century. It is also understood that both floors of this two-story structure were decorated with mosaics. Just past the bishop's house is a temple that is known from an inscription next to the gate to have been erected during the reign of Emperor Marcus Aurelius. Only the gate of this temple, of which it is unknown which god or goddess it was built to honor, survives to this day. This temple, with its 'in antis' plan and Ionic order, lies in a heap of rubble. Let's move away from the trees that blanket the ruins back over to the main avenue of Olympos. This wide avenue runs parallel to the stream. As was previously mentioned, there used to be a bridge to get from one side to the other. One can still see the footprints where the bridge once stood.

On the south side of the stream, opposite the spot where the bridge once spanned, are the remains of the city bath that once had windows. To get to this side of Olympos, you can cross the stream by stepping over some wide stones. It is here that one encounters the theater of Olympos, access of which is not easy as one has to hike through a lot of bushes. The theater's vaulted galleries as well as pieces of decorated doors and niches that are spread over the surrounding area and piled up in the orchestra show this to have been a theater of the classical Roman type. A large Byzantine basilica that lies between the theater and the sea, together with the bath on the banks of the stream with the wall all make up a fabulous view. In the between these structures and the stream lies ruins of another structure, which is surrounded on three with columns. According to the wide space t formed in the middle, this site was the city's and gymnasium. In moving from the theater to' the west, one can see remnants of a two- structure on the other side of the stream that da the Byzantine period. After a ramp which constructed of polygonal stone, one encountel city's necropolis on the hill to the west. Despite fact that various types of tombs can be seen near city, tombs located at higher elevations are aIli same type. There are inscriptions on the marble door lintels of the vaulted tombs.

Now, while we are at the spot o mythological story of the burning stone, which is located an hour outside of Olympos, let's tell the story.

Once upon a time, in Argos Greece, there a young man named Bellerophontes who possessed the looks of a god. As he wanted very much to possess the flying horse Pegasus and ran Pegasus for days over mountains and meadow couldn't succeed. One day, the gods told him i dream how he might possess the flying horse does what the gods tell him to do and slips the h( golden bit just as it is drinking water, whereas u way he is successful. However, one Bellerophontes accidentally kills somebody. For this reason, he is forced to leave Argos and take refuge the palace of the King of Tiryns, Priotos. Not time passes before the Queen falls in love wit handsome youth, whereas she wants to make with him. However, as a guest, Bellerophontes not desire to be disrespectful to the landlorc therefore rejects the queen's desire. The queen her revenge by lying to her husband in telling that the youth tried to force himself upon Though the king gets mighty upset, he does not want to kill him, so he sends Bellerophontes to his father-in-law in Lycia with a letter stating that he must be killed.

Bellerophontes reaches Lycia. The king welcomes him near the Xanthos River and puts him up for nine days. On the ninth day, he takes the letter written by his son-in-law and understands that the young man needs to be killed. However, he cannot bring himself to having the young man killed, but instead, wants him to kill the Chimera, thinking that he would be freed of the youth forever.

The Chimera is this strange beast that breathes flames from its mouth, with a front of a lion, the rear of a snake and a middle section of a goat. Bellerophontes carries out the gods' request and thanks to Pegasus, lays the Chimera on the ground. Though the king might had given Bellerophontes a few more tough jobs, he manages to take care of them in fine fashion. As a consequence, the king believes that the youth has something godlike about him, whereby he gives the youth several gifts and gets him to marry his daughter. Bellerophontes comes from the Poseidon lineage. Three children result in this marriage, whereas the daughter Laodameia makes love with Zeus and subsequently gives birth to Sarpedon. Sarpedon grows up to become the Lycian king. He also joins in the Trojan Wars.

In saying "I came a long way from here to help I came from distant Lycia and the eddying Xanthos"

He scolds those reluctant to fight and after exhibiting several heroic feats, is killed by Patroclos, who was fighting with the weapons of Achilles. He dies as he turns over his command to Glaucus, while breathing his final breath. Zeus orders Apollo to take his dead son's body to Lycia.

Well, Chimera, who was born as a result of two underground creatures called Typhon and Echidna, lived on a mountain which is visible from Olympos, called Cirali (Yanartas) .Chimera, which was killed when Bellerophontes rode the flying horse Pegasus, was breathing fire even as it was taking its last breath. The natural gas that spurts out of the ground at regular intervals gets intertwined with this legend. We are going to qualify this flame, not as Chimera's still-burning fire, but one that signifies Lycia's freedom.

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