Patara Ancient City is located in today's Ovagelemiş Village at the southwestern end of the Xanthos Valley between Fethiye and Kalkan and is one of the most important and oldest cities of Lycia. Patara Ancient City, which has been excavated since 1988, has a special importance with its archaeological and historical values as well as being one of the rare beaches where Mediterranean turtles Caretta-Carettas lay their eggs and breed for millions of years.
Patara Ancient City History
The name of the city is mentioned as Patar in the Hittite texts of the 13th century BC. While the ceramic pieces found in the Tepecik Acropolis contain features of the Middle Bronze Age, the stone ax dating back to the pre-Iron Age, unearthed on the slopes of the eastern slope of Tepecik, shows how old the history of Patara goes. Patara, which has maintained its feature of being an important city throughout history as it is the only place to sail in the Xanthos Valley, is mentioned as Patara in the inscriptions and coins in the Lycian language.
Patara became the leading city of Lycia when it came under the rule of Ptolemy in the 3rd century BC. At the beginning of the 2nd century BC, when Lycia began to be controlled by the Seleucid Kingdom, Patara was accepted as the capital of Lycia. This situation became official in 167/168 BC, when Patara gained its autonomy against Rome and independence against Rhodos, and Patara became the capital of the Lycian Union. Monumental structures such as the Assembly Building and the Theater built in the Hellenistic Period in the capital are parallel to this historical process. Patara, which did not lose its importance after the Roman sovereignty, maintained its importance as a naval base where Rome established its connection with the eastern provinces, as well as being a center where the Roman Governorates carried out judicial affairs. While Lycia became the Roman province in AD 43, Lycia and Pamphylia were combined into a single state in AD 74 and Patara's capital continued.
Patara, which has a reputation as an important prophecy center of Apollo, is also a port where grains transported from Anatolia to Rome are stored and kept. The city, which continued its importance during the Byzantine Period, became an important center for Christians. Saint Nicholaos, known as "Santa Claus", is from Patara. Also in St. Paul got on the ship from Patara to go to Rome. Headed by Emperor Constantine AD. The fact that Bishop Eudemos, the only signatory authority of Lycia at the Iznik Council in 325, was the Bishop of Patara, proves that the city was also popular in this period. Continuing its importance throughout the Middle Ages, Patara has reached today as an important center with the arrival of the Turks.
The entrance to the city's today's ruins is made from the magnificent and well-preserved Roman Triumphal Arch. BUSINESS. It is understood from the inscriptions that it was built in the name of the regional governor in 100 years. On the slopes of the hill to the west of Tak, the cemetery area with Lycian type sarcophagi lies. The theater, which is leaning on Kurşunlu Hill at the southernmost end of the city, was built after the earthquake AD. It is understood from the inscriptions that it was rebuilt in 147. Kurşunlu Tepe, where the theater leans, is the most beautiful corner where the general view of the city can be viewed. Other ruins of the city from here; Vespasian Bath, Corinthian Temple, main street, port and granary can be easily viewed. The granarium behind the swamp in the northwest of the hill is one of the monumental structures of Patara, and was built by Emperor Hadrian and his wife Sabina AD. It was built in the 2nd century. To the north of the theater is the Parliament Building, where Patara, the capital of the Lycian Union, hosts the meetings. The water of the city was brought from the rock on the slope of Kızıltepe, near the village of Islamlar, about 20 kilometers northeast. Between the spring and the city, north of the Fırnaz pier; The section called "Hole Arch" in the district is the most monumental part of the waterways.