Patara: A journey to the past in cradle of Anatolian civilizations

Patara: A journey to the past in cradle of Anatolian civilizations

ANTALYA, Turkey (AA): The ancient city of Patara, known as the “cradle of civilizations” since it houses many relics from the Romans to the Ottoman Empire, takes its visitors on a journey through history, according to the excavation head, professor Havva Işkan Işık.

Located in southern Antalya province’s Kaş district, Patara was the capital of the Lycian League, which consisted of 23 cities in the middle of the first century B.C. The findings obtained from archaeological excavations in the ancient site bear important traces and information about human life in the past.

Patara is synonymous with the stories of many different important figures, from Alexander III of Macedon, commonly known as Alexander the Great, to the Roman Emperor Nero, St. Nicholas, known as “Santa Claus,” and Ottoman Sultan Abdülhamid II.

A general view of remains in the ancient city of Patara, Antalya, southern Turkey, May 5, 2022. (AA)
A general view of remains in the ancient city of Patara, Antalya, southern Turkey, May 5, 2022. (AA)

The remains of many structures await visitors in Patara, including the Lycian League’s parliament building, a historical lighthouse, an ancient theater, a bath built by Emperor Nero, a road guide monument, the city gate, churches and aqueducts.

The ancient site is expected to host 500,000 visitors this year.

The city’s details

Professor Işık said that the theater in the ancient city has started to host art and cultural events following its restoration.

Noting that the theater is still standing in its natural, original form, Işık explained that the parliament building next to the theater also hosted the meetings of the Lycian League at that time. “The parliament building, where the Lycian League, defined by French philosopher Montesquieu as the world’s most perfect republic model, is governed, is among the places most visited by visitors,” she added.

A view of the lighthouse as it restored in the ancient city of Patara, Antalya, southern Turkey, May 5, 2022. (AA)
A view of the lighthouse as it restored in the ancient city of Patara, Antalya, southern Turkey, May 5, 2022. (AA)

Describing the city gate as one of the emblems of the ruins, Işık continued: “There may be a city gate in many ancient cities, but the city gate of Patara is also a water structure. It is one of the structures that should be seen in terms of architecture, almost completely preserved.

The lighthouse, harbor bath, and columned street are among the most striking works, as well. At the same time, Patara also hosts a very important technological heritage. Anatolia’s first radiotelegraph station, which was built in 1906 and the only connection of the Ottoman Empire with Tripoli – the last land of the Ottoman Empire in North Africa – is located in the ancient city. The restoration and museumization of the station continue.”

Patara is a must-see ancient city in Turkey with its natural beauty, flora and fauna, sprawling beach, sand dunes and important remnants of great empires.

Courtesy: Dailysabah

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