Lycia in Turkey - ancient city with numerous historical sites

By Hana Emily
Posted on May 22, 2024 12:34 AM

Located in the Mediterranean area and belonging to Turkey, Lycia has joined the list of ancient cities owning the best-preserved historical sites. Having been existing for hundreds of years, this place still maintains the wildness of nature, which is an ideal destination for those who would like to enjoy the fresh air and impressive landscapes. If you want to be free from noisy cities and the stress of work, Lycia in Turkey is a good choice for you to release all of your pressure with a peaceful pace of life.

Before coming to visit Lycia, If you are a foreign citizen, you must apply for a Turkey E-Visa online and learn about the requirements for citizens of other country's visas to Turkey.

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Lycia - from a mysterious place that endures for hundreds of years...

Viewed from satellites, Lycia is a beautiful place with lots of colors. It looks like a colorful painting with green trees, grey rocks, brown mountains, blue sea and sky. On arrival in this amazing destination, you can't stand holding your camera up and taking many photos of it. For its attractiveness, it is not surprising that Lycia has got more and more tourists coming to visit each year.

Lycia is a large peninsula with the shape of a crescent moon. Starting from the Asian shore on the South, it is situated next to famous old cities such as Fethiye and Antalya. Besides, facing an outstanding sea called Assos which seems to be endless far away, Lycia is also a popular tourism site for travelers desiring to spend their holidays on the shores. By standing in the mountains nearby, you can feel the cool winds blowing from the sea.

lighthouse in turkey

Surprisingly, Lycia is not the name that local ancient people gave to this land. Instead, it was a short way which residents from other places (maybe Greece or Rome) referred to this beautiful area. Back in the second millennium BC, Lycia was a word that the Hittite empire used to call a group of Lukka people.

rocks and monuments in turkey

In spite of possessing plenty of historical sites, Lycia has been still mysterious and somewhat unknown to archeologists due to the lack of information. It is partly because this peninsula may not be downtown in the past. Therefore, ancient people did not write much about it. Not until the fifth century did Athens beat Persia that Lycia joined Delian unwillingly. Only after that, there was some information about Lycia.

To the one with numerous well-known historical sites

A trip to Lycia may give you unforgettable memories thanks to its peace and wildness. In addition, there are also many buildings with old-style designs left ruined. There is nothing that can make you more curious than exploring a mysterious place which archeologists still look for some of its details. Here, you will have a chance to live in stress-free nature.

Talking about Lycia, you cannot miss Xanthos as this is a famous place in history. After a lot of research, Xanthos has been confirmed as the center of culture and business of ancient people from Lycia, Rome, Persia to Greece. Therefore, this site hides plenty of antiquities for students of archeology to discover. Since the beginning of the 19th century, there have been groups of history learners visiting Xanthos for studying and doing research about Anatolian civilization. Xanthos was honored as the world's heritage in 1988 by UNESCO for its historic value.

Strange graves located in this area attract most visitors' attention. Depending on their features and appearance, archeologists divided them into many kinds such as "stone house", "free grave" or "sub prism". They are special for unique designs which cannot be found anywhere else.

At first sight, the graves look like being made of wood. However, when having a closer look, you will see that they are made of well-sharpened stones with sophisticated textures carved on them. Among those, there are two ones called Nereid and Payava are displayed in a museum in England. However, Harpy tomb has still been under the wreckage.

Not just the graves, houses and temples of ancient people here are also sculpted with images of Greek legends. As there were some problems with politics in Lycia at that time, these kinds of architecture are considered the cultural identity of local residents.

New hints for the answers 

Among valuable things that have been found, there are several documents written in Lycian and Greek being top important tools for archeologists to know more about this mysterious place.

ancient manuscripts in turkey
Old map, paper scrolls, raven feather for writing. Vintage image

Once coming to Xanthos, you also have an opportunity to touch the fort which people in the past used to defend their land against attack. This renowned fort was built around the fifth century BC. After such a long period of time, it still exists and remains something belonging to the past despite mostly being ruined.

Another thing that may surprise you is the appearance of coins. At that time, people could create their own money units with unbelievable sculptures following Greek traditional techniques. The government of Lycia came up with the idea of coins and then put them in use for business purposes, which can display the development in both trading and culture of ancient Lycians.

ancient coins in turkey
Turkish Ancient Coins

Located near Xanthos is another site for archeology which is known as Letoon. Not only is it an important historical place but Letoon is also an area where different religions gather. After many projects of excavation, archeologists have found out three kinds of languages used by local citizens which are Greek, Lycian and Aramaic. This is a turning point for modern people to have a better understanding of the ancient generation.

Letoon | Saklıkent Gorge Club

By doing research based on those clues, archeologists know that the writing, language and history were built on the combination of Europe and India, which is an important key that has never been discovered before. Moreover, these documents also play a big role in giving answers to the questions left by historic experts during their discoveries.

Xanthos-Letoon - UNESCO World Heritage Centre

Although there are still lots of mysteries about this site of tourism, the number of travelers turning up here for holidays keeps rising each year. People come here not only to get free from the stress of life, escape their busy work but also to see and touch real antiquities, listen to strange stories and have more knowledge about the ancient center of business and culture.

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