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Lmyra - Lycian Ancient City

Limyra Ancient City, located at the borders of Finike District, Turunçova and Sahilkent Townships of Antalya Province, covers the area located in the Roman and Byzantine Age ramparts just south of the acropolis with the early period buildings, on the southern skirts of the Toçak Mountain. . You will see a sign of Lmyra which indicates ''5 km to Lmyra ancient city''  when going from Antalya to Finike. I made a sudden, unplanned  decision to visit the place which I have never hearth about before & I came across one of the most beautiful ancient places I've ever seen. It is about 5.5 km away from the Finike-Elmali Highway (D635). Turn on the Kumluca Finike Highway (D400). After approximately 4 km you will see a turn to right where you will see a brown "Limyra" sign to the Yuvalılar village. From here you will reach the ancient city of Limyra.  This road to Kumluca passes through the middle of the ancient city  and divides the city in two. on both sides there is also a village settlement. 3 km ahead of this road at the side of the road are rock tombs. Parking is no problem and can be parked into the village. It is free to visit the city and it is not under protection.
Research in the ancient city began in 1812 when the archaeologist C. R. Cockerell visited the ruins and discovered Siderija / Sidarios Lahtini. The name of the city is written as "Zemuri" in Lykish inscriptions. The City is known to be inhabited since the 5th century. The most active period of the city, BC. In the first half of the 4th century which was the time of the Lycian King Pericles. Historical records related to the region; describes Perikle's  efforts to set up Lycian Union by expanding the sovereignty during the  era when the area was under the dominance of the Persian state.  Ancient City of Limyra During the classical period, was the capital of the Eastern Lycian Principality & was in brightest period. Limyra became one of the six powerfull cities of the Lycian Union with three voting rights in the senate. East Lycian ruler Pericles In the first half of the 4th century, he captured the Principality of Xanthos and held the sovereignty of the region for a while.

The most fascinating part of visiting the city is that the Lmyros tea, flow over the main street of the city by occupying marble-covered streets. The street starts from the arched door and now it looks like a natural river bed with the waters starting from the same arched door. It is a very rare and unique experience to know that you can take your feet off and walk in a tea in a half-meter depth, and that you are stepping on a marble ground.

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Lmyra kemerli kapı ön cephe
Lmyra kemerli kapı ön cephe

Lmyra lived the brilliant revolution again in the 2nd and 3rd centuries after the period of Perikle. The city, which was a bishopric center during the Byzantine rule, was abandoned after the Arab raids in the 8th and 9th centuries. Excavations in the ancient city of Limyra have been carrying out by an Austrian team since 1970.


The acropolis, located to the north of the ancient city, consists of an inner fortress and a lower fortress in the north. In the lower castle, there are walls, cisterns, Byzantine churches and the Monument of bravery ''Heroon'' of Perikle.


A monumental tomb belonging to King Perikle, dated to 4th century BC, is among the must-see. On the edge of the Turunçova-Kumluca motorway; In 141, a large theater building is known to have undergone a major repair.


South of the highway; Limyros is divided into two separate islands and east and west. The area to the west of Limyros contains ruins of Lmyra and ruins from early Byzantine period. The structure called "Ptolemaion" was found in the south wall . Another important structure in this area is the monument which was built for the spiritual son ''Gaius Caesar'' of Emperor Agustus . The monumental tomb took 4 years to be built. This monument is known to be built because Gaius Caesar died in Limyra while returning from Jerusalem to Rome. The ashes or body of gaius were taken to Rome and an empty tomb with a symbolic memorial was built.
Limyra has one of the most famous necropolis containing more than 400 rock tombs in the Lycian region. There are more than 400 rock tombs in the ancient city and who was burried in most of the tombs, can be known because of the inscriptions written in Lycian language.  .

Gaius ceasar anıtı kabartmaları
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Jews in Limyra & Lycia,

During the latest excavations (2012) a synagogue was also unearthed in Limyra belonging to Byzantine era. İt is known as the second synagogue in Lyciaan cities. Dr. Martin Seyer of the Austrian Archaeology Institute. reported that they first found a bath and a menorah. After further investigation, they found out that it was a synagogue. 

The synagogue in Limyra, which is located in Turunçova in Antalya’s Finike district, is the second to be found in the historical Lycian region after one discovered in 2009 in the ancient city of Myra in Antalya’s Demre district. Limyra was the former capital of the Lycian Federation, which some have called the first democratic union. 

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The menorah sign that was found in Limyra Antalya (Altalya Museum)

Lmyra Photo Album-click for bigger images

Lmyra Road Map

 
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