Tlos Ruins: Ancient City in Fethiye

Tlos Ancient City, located 42 kilometers from Fethiye, is one of the most important settlements of Lycia. Located within the borders of Yaka Village, the ancient settlement area has developed enough to be one of the largest Lycian cities of its period.

Saklıkent Canyon in the south and Kemer Town in the north draw the borders of Tlos Ancient City. The city built on the western slopes of Akdağlar in this region is so large among the ancient cities of Lycia that Tlos is mentioned as a country, not a city, in Hittite sources.

The fact that there are many neighborhoods in Tlos and villages connected to Tlos in the surrounding areas strengthens this source.

The city of Tlos, known in mythology as the place where Bellaforonte, the owner of the winged Pegasus horse, lived, is the oldest city in Lycia dating back to 2000 BC.

The fact that the Lycian road connects to Tlos from 7 different directions and that it is recognized as one of the six largest cities with three voting rights such as Xanthos, Patara, Olympos, Myra and Pinara are important data to understand the importance of the city.

The first studies on the ancient city started in 1992 as a survey, but excavations were started in 2005 after the necessary permits were obtained. In 2009, with its inclusion on UNESCO’s Tentative List of World Heritage Sites, excavations accelerated and priority was given to important structures such as the Acrapolis, Rock Tombs, Stadium, Agora, Baths, Temple of Kronos, Theater and City Basilica.

The theater, which is among the monumental structures of the city with its original architecture, is in the form of the great theaters in the Lycian region with its three-storey stage and two-tiered cavea.

As can be understood from the inscriptions and architectural ornaments found as a result of the excavations, it was repaired many times during the Roman period.

Tlos Antik Kenti Tiyatrosu
Tlos Antik Kenti Tiyatrosu Gezi Rehberi

Apart from the 84 x 33 meter basilica, which resembles the cruciform basilica of Anatolia, another important structure is the Temple of Kronos. Built in Corinthian architectural order, the temple covers an area of 15 x 7 meters.

Dedicated to the first titan, the god Kronos, who created time, the temple is dated to the 2nd century AD.

Tlos Antik Kenti Kronos Tapinagi
Tlos Antik Kenti Kronos Tapinagi Gezi Rehberi

The large arched structures are the baths of the city. These baths, which have a great view and are surrounded by various changing cabins and fountains, belong to the Early Roman Period.

Tlos Antik Kenti Hamamlari

In addition to the stadium built in the Hellenistic period, they accepted the Acropolis of the city as the center of the ancient city of Tlos because it bears traces of many periods.

The last time the Acropolis was used during the Ottoman Period in the 19th century, Ali Aga, the Ottoman Overlord, had a mansion built on the summit of the Acropolis using the ruins of the ancient period.

Tlos Antik Kenti Stadyum

One of the most interesting points of the city is the Necropolis area. The tombs with a flamboyant arrangement were carved into the bedrock.

Not only room burials, but also Lycian-type sarcophagi with saddle drums and sarcophagi with triangular pedimented lids, which started to be used in the Roman period, are also seen in the city.

Tlos Antik Kenti Nekropol
Tlos Antik Kenti Gomme Mezarlar