Termessos – Mysterious and Isolated, A City lost in Time

Termessos Amphitheater
Introduction To Termessos

The remote valley in which the ruins of the ancient city of Termessos were discovered is a place filled with mystery and intrigue. For centuries, nobody knew of the existence of this city, which was seemingly lost to time. However, recent archaeological excavations have revealed that this city was once one of the most thriving and important cities in Anatolia. The ruins date back to the 4th century BC and are now a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Termessos is another ancient city in Antalya Region
Ancient Termessos City is huge
Heroum in Termessos

Antalya, as discussed in previous articles (Phalesis, Olympus, Gelidonya) is a huge area Southern Part of Turkey. Antalya is known for many things but outstanding is definitely a number of Ancient cities. Since we as a family started to explore the region that we live in a little bit more these days, therefore more articles will be coming about focusing on our experience and discoveries. In this article we will explore Termessos – another jewel of Antalya’s never ending Ancient cities.

Entry gate at the Termessos
Termessos gate to another dimension

Like many of ancient cities around Antalya, Termessos was a large city. Upon arrival, you will see the necropolis on the left side and a large car park on the right. At the back of the car park there is a somewhat modern toilets. These toilets are fairly clean but would probably be under strained during the touristic season. Since there is a lack of modern infrastructure, make sure you have plenty of water and food with you.

the bottom of the Termessos city is in ruins
Termessos has a narrow path to the top

Once you get over the feelings of the past and want to start exploring. You can start moving up the hill. Like many of the other ancient cities, the pathway to the city is extremely narrow. This was a specific design during the ancient times making sure that the large sums of armies would not attack at the same time. This has provided the city of Termessos with an extra defensive points. The trees have over taken a lot of the ruins and now its the feeling of the past that is being hidden in the overgrown forests.

what do Termessos pathways look like?
Termessos has large ancient amphitheater

Once you get through the narrow path you will see the fairly large flat area. This area could possibly be the ancient place for people to live and stay with their animals, however it is not as clear in comparison to other places like we have seen in Phalesis or Olympus. In this case the area is right next door to the amphitheater. Most of the tourists that come to the city they are specifically looking at the amphitheater rather than exploring the area. From the hiking perspective getting to the Termessos amphitheater is below moderate. A bit of a hike up and that’s about it. While the overall walk to the top of the Fire station could take hours.

just before you reach the Termessos amphetheater
ancient water supply captured in Termessos

In order to be self sustaining in case of the ambush and the city siege. Local citizens of Termessos have designed a number of the underground wells. These wells go down to 20 meters deep in some places and looked from the top like a labyrinth. The never endings underground streets are sealed from the random people entering and we could only enjoy the glimpse of the marvelous architecture from the top. Also, it is important to note that the wells have been designed on an angle. During the cold days when the snow builds up and after the spring comes, most of the melted snow will dripple into the above mentioned labyrinths. Creating a never ending supply of fresh water.

water wells in Termessos
Termessos is worth the visit

Throughout the hike or the walk around the ancient city of Termessos, it is often seen a large wall along the city line. When on top of the Termessos amphitheater and having a 360 degree views, you would easily be able to see how far it actually stretches. Amazingly with our technology today we still wont be able to replicate such an infrastructure neither the architecture. Lastly. looking at the ancient bazaar you can only wonder what have they actually traded and how this whole area looked like. It is worth the visit.

Termessos ancient city wall
Termessos shopping center

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