Demre, Turkey-Ancient Myra and Andriake Tour

A group of 40 Kaş residents travelled to Demre recently for an archaeological tour. Our tour guide was one of the archaeologists on the site and the group was entered through their housing and offices rather than the main gates because our “patron” of the event was the Kaş Turizm Ve Tanitma Derneği(Association Of Tourism And Promotion)PolVam

The group visited the Ancient Myra Theatre, a recently excavated 12th Century Church, and Hadrian’s Granary and Covered Spring at Ancient Andriake.

Myra was considered to be one of the six most important cities of the Lycian Federation the others being Xanthos, Patara, Olympos, Pinara and Tlos.

For a fun look at the outing see the Picasa Web Album titled “Myra Theater And Andriake Tour.”

(Editors Note) Peter Talloen, a Kaş resident and archaeologist reminds us that “There are NO amphitheaters in Turkey! The definition given (below) is correct but none of structures identified (in Turkey) as such match the definition. An easy way to remember: the colosseum in Rome is an amphitheater, and since there are no similar buildings in Asia Minor…”

An amphitheatre (or amphitheater) “is an open-air venue used for entertainment and performances. They were given this name because their shape resembled that of two theatres joined together. Modern amphitheatres (incorrectly so named, but the word has come to be used in this sense) are more typically used for theatrical or concert performances and typically feature a more traditionally theatrical-style stage with the audience only on one side, usually at an arc of less than a semicircle; these compare more closely to the theatres of ancient Greece, and have been more commonly built throughout history as performance spaces.”

“The theatre has 35 rows of seats. Built sometime before the 1st Century BC, it was rebuilt after an earthquake in AD 141. It was used as an arena for gladiators. There were many ornamental theatre masks carved on the facade of the cavea. In Roman times the cavea were the subterranean cells in which wild animals were confined before the combats in the Roman arena…”

“Andriake (Andriace) was Myra’s seaport and one of the three most important; the others being Patara and Phaselis. The largest existing structure is the granary of Hadrian.”

Lycian Turkey-Lycian Sites: Myra says that “The city is well known for its amphitheatre (the largest in Lycia) and the plethora of rock-cut tombs carved in the cliff above the theatre.”

Wikipedia tells us about Myra that: “The ruins of the Lycian and Roman town are mostly covered by alluvial silts. The Acropolis on the Demre-plateau, the Roman theatre and the Roman baths (eski hamam) have been partly excavated. The semi-circular theater was destroyed in an earthquake in 141, but rebuilt afterwards.”

“Andriake was the harbour of Myra in classical times, but silted up later on. The main structure there surviving to the present day is a granary built during the reign of the Roman emperor Hadrian (117–138 CE).”

“Andriake, the port of Myra, was founded as a sister-town at about the same time as Myra. It is located in Çayağzı, at about 5 km of the city centre of Demre at the mouth of the Androkos river. Andriace was one of the most important ports of Lycia and it was the port where Saint Paul and his companions Luke and Aristarchos changed ships on their way to Rome. The most important ruin in Andriace is the Granarium or Granary of Hadrian. This impressive and well preserved 65×32 meter building was erected during the reign of Emperor Hadrianus (117-138).”

Go-Turkey is Turkey’s Official Tourism Portal. They write about the Deesis of Jesus Christ in Highlights-New Archeological Discoveries: “Deesis of Jesus Christ, the Virgin Mary and St. John the Baptist was represented in the fresco. The excavations carried out jointly by The Ministry of Culture and Tourism and Akdeniz University in the antique city of Myra are presided by Prof. Dr. Nevzat Çevik, academician from Akdeniz University.”

“The fresco placed in the wall of the well-preserved church found in Myra-Andriake excavations in Demre district of Antalya has drawn great attention. It is told that Deesis of Jesus Christ, the Virgin Mary and St. John the Baptist was depicted in the 12th-century fresco.”

Wikipedia Defines Deesis as: “In Byzantine art, and later Eastern Orthodox art generally, the Deësis or Deisis (Greek: δέησις, “prayer” or “supplication”), is a traditional iconic representation of Christ in Majesty or Christ Pantocrator: enthroned, carrying a book, and flanked by the Virgin Mary and St. John the Baptist, and sometimes other saints and angels.”

We also found some incredible Panoramic Tours of Myra on this site AND on this one!

In the Heart of the Lycian Way – Kaş, Turkey
“The Lycians were an ancient people who inhabited the area of present day Turkey between the bays of Antalya and Fethiye, a compact, mountainous territory.”

Peter Talloen and His Ancient Lycian Sites  tells us “His professional and scientific career in Turkey started in 1998 with the Sagalassos-Project, an ancient city located near Burdur in modern Turkey…”

Ancient Greek Theatres  and Roman Theatres of Turkey

Saint Nicholas of Myra  “is the primary inspiration for the American Santa Claus, as well as the Anglo-Canadian and British Father Christmas, which are all derived from the Dutch Sinterklaas.”

Turkey-South Western Tour
Natalie Sayin is “Setting Off On My South Western Tour and has “planned a rough route on the South Western coast of Turkey.”

Patara, Turkey-Ancient Republic
“Dozens of scientists and workers are working to finish the restoration of the Lycian League’s parliament.”

Kaş Turizm Ve Tanitma Derneği
0 531 438 66 98

For further information about Kaş, ancient sites or to arrange guided walking tours of Lycia and the Lycian Way contact:

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