We have been exploring the Turquoise Coast for over three years now and only scratched the surface of discoveries. In September we ventured north from the coast, just 20 minutes from our Kalkan location in order to walk the ruins of Xanthos. (*NB: if you see a photo you admire, by all means click on to see an enlarged version to be dragged on to your desktop to keep!)
The winding road soon has us discovering the fabulous old ruins of an ancient civilization. Xanthos is actually the Greek name whereas the Romans called the old city Xanthus. The city became the centre of commerce and culture for the Lycians and after the Persians. After the fall of the Byzantine Empire in the 15th century the region became Turkish but the old city had long since been abandoned.
Xanthos has been designated a UNESCO Wold Heritage Site since 1988. Trojan War Heroes and the Lycians had approached the land of the Xanthos River lying just under the southern & western slopes of the old city. From the surrounding hill one looks down today on the Turkish town of Kinik
When the Persians arrived they found only a small Lycian army and easily conquered the the city in 540BC. Being besieged by Harpagus the Lycians retreated to the inner structures destroying their own acropolis, slaughtered all their wives, children and slaves and then began their suicidal attack of the Persians. None survived save eighty families who were away from the city at the time.
It is said that Alexander the Great also besieged Xanthos and the city destroyed in the Roman Civil Wars but rebuilt by Mark Anthony where the amphitheatre ruins are still in good condition today.
As we walk the original streets of Xanthos one can only marvel at its beautiful condition and the amazing detail found in all the structures still lying in the open to be explored by thousands of visitors each year.