Patara was the capital city of the Lycian League. It’s referred as Patar in the Hittite inscriptions of 13th century BC. It’s well preserved and survived ancient city to present times because of being only reachable from the sea in the Xanthos Valley. The city has a great significance for earlier Christianity. Saint Nicholas known as Santa Claus was born here in the 4th century AD. Also thought that St Paul took the boat from Patara to Rome. Back in the Roman period, Patara was a famous port city for the grains shipment from interior Anatolia to the imperial Rome. During the Seleukos kingdom in the 2nd century BC, Patara was accepted as the capital of all Lycia. In the 1st century AD, along with Pamphylian region, Patara became a province of Roman Empire. It had a great reputation for being prophecy center of Apollo after Rome and later became very important Christian center which sent a delegate who was called Eudemos as the Bishop of Patara for the First Nicaea Christian Council led by Emperor Constantine the Great in 325. Top monumental buildings in Patara are the huge Granarium which was built by Emperor Hadrian and his wife, Sabina, and the Lycian League Parliament building, where It hosted many meetings as a capital city for Lycian delegates. Plus its ancient amphitheater worths to be visited, since it’s very well preserved.
The most popular destination in the Lycian coast line is Kekova Island. Nearby at Simena, there are many stone cottages intermingled with Lycian and Roman sarcophagi nestling below a hilltop medieval small castle. By a glass bottomed boat from Kale to Kekova Island, it allows you view the submerged the ancient wall remains, stone stairways, and the harbor mole of a sunken city at the Kekova’s rocky beaches.
In ancient Myra, the best lasting buildings are the Father Christmas’ church and the Lycian rock-cut tombs at the adjacent to its Roman theater. Cut very neatly above and next to one another like multi-story blocks of flats, they closely resemble the wooden houses the Lycians lived in, with windows, doors and lintels, some bearing detailed carvings. Alongside, the splendid Roman theater has the unique vaulted passageways underneath the seats and a pair of carved marble made theater masks nearby there.
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