If you are holidaying anywhere near the Turkish resort of Kaklan on the Lycian coast, you may want to consider visiting the ancient site of Tlos. These spectacular ancient ruins are just four kilometres from the great canyon of Saklikent.
Perched on the top of a rocky outcrop on an Eastern slope in the Xanthos valley with huge cliffs falling away to one side, Tlos’s location is a marvel in itself.
It is believed that settlement of the site began more than 4,000 years ago and is one of the oldest and largest settlements of Lycia.
This ancient city comprises of tombs cut out of rock which are carved into the cliffs and are almost temple-like in appearance. The site is made up of six fundamental features: the hill with the sarcophagi and rock cut tombs, the baths, the stadium, the tomb of Bellerophon (a mythical figure who used to ride Pegasus) and the market hall which is complete with gymnasium and the amphitheatre.
During the Roman era, the city was dubbed as, “The very brilliant metropolis of the Lycian nation.”
During the ensuing centuries, various invaders built on and extended the city of Tlos and what remains a collage of styles. The additions are however sympathetic to the original Lycian structure and the beautiful nature which surrounds Tlos.
When visiting this incredible site and witnessing the effort and craftsmanship that has gone into the making of the tombs, one gauges an understanding of the great importance that must have been bestowed onto the deceased by the Lycian people.
The ruins are extremely well preserved and a spectacular sight awaits for all who venture to this remarkable city from antiquity.
Remarkably this brilliant metropolis was continually lived in right up to the 19th century!
If you do have the pleasure of visiting the site of Tlos in the Antalya Province of southern Turkey, remember to take your camera!