Lymra Ancient City, Antalya, Turkey

Heroon of Pericles, Ptolemaion Monument, Cenotaph of Gaius Caesar, and Rock Tombs

Lymra Ancient City, Antalya, Turkey

Lymra is one of the most important cities in ancient Lycia. This city, which was the capital of Lycia during the Pericles period, was one of the six cities which has three votes in the Lycian Union  Limyra has gained importance as an episcopal center in the Byzantine period.

The remains of the ancient city of Limyra, are situated on the Kumluca-Finike road 11 km after Kumluca, in Zengerler village, and on the mountain hillsides to the northeast of the Finike plain.

Location of Lymra

Lymra is 10 km from Finike via Turunçova. Lymra can be reached via Finike Elmalı road. Approximately 4 km from Finike in the direction of Finike-Elmalı road after the Yuvalılar turn (right side of the road). Here the “Limyra” sign will meet you. From here you can reach the ancient city of Limyra by going to the right and going about 1 km.

History of Lymra

Lmyra’s name is written as “Zemuri” in the Lycian inscriptions. This proves that the city has been inhabited at least since the 5th century BC. This city was the capital of Lycia during the time of King Perikle in the first half of the 4th century BC. Pericles who wanted to establish the Lycian Union used Limyra as capital.

After Alexander the Great put an end to the Persian sovereignty, City came under the rule of Helen, Ptalemaios, Lysimakhos, and the Kingdom of Syria.

The 2nd and 3rd centuries after Christ were the golden age of Limyra after the Pericles Period. The city, which was a bishopric center during the Byzantine rule, was abandoned after the Arab raids in the 8th and 9th centuries.

City Plan and Buildings in City

The excavations at Limyra in 1969 continue under the supervision of the Austrian University of Vienna, Department of Archeology. The ruins of Lymra can be visited in three parts. You can see this from the map below.

The first part is the acropolis and Perikle Heroon in the south of the acropolis which was restored by Brochhard. It’s a 40-minute walk up the hill. You can find the guide from the village.

The road to Kumluca passes through the middle of the ancient city. The second part of the city is located to the north of this road and the third part to the south of this road. The second part is at the foot of the mountain and partly on the plain. This section includes the amphitheater, the Roman and Byzantine walls, and the Kenotaph Byzantine Church.

The third part consists of necropolis areas. Among the cities of Lycia, the rock tombs are mostly found in Mrya and Lymra.


On the Tocak Mount extensions, approximately 300 m. at the height, there is the acropolis of the city. The acropolis, located to the north of the ancient city, consists of an inner fortress and a lower castle in the north. There is a castle and a palace on a sheltered acropolis surrounded by walls. The fortress and the complex on a high rock are supported by overflowing bushes. Inside the castle, there are steps and pits carved into the rocks. They are likely to be local examples of Persian fire altars.

Mausoleum of Pericles (Heroon of Pericles)

On the south side of the acropolis, there is the  Mausoleum of Pericles, decorated with caryatids of the 4th century B.C. The monumental tomb of the Lycian king Perikle (Heroon) is located on the slope just below the acropolis. It is not to be missed.

This Heroon is a tomb with a temple façade. The tomb overlooks the city and the Mediterranean from the most privileged location of the acropolis. The location and importance of this monumental tomb indicate the wish of the tomb owner to be mentioned as the founding of the city. The mausoleum was built on a 19×18 meter terrace measuring 10.40x 6.80 meters.

Important parts of the Perikle Heroon are exhibited in Antalya Museum.

Ptolemaion Monument

The monument of Ptolemaion is a temple tomb with a conical roof and a cylindrical body rising on a square base with 15 meters each.

It is a monument built by the Ptolemaic Kings. After the death of Alexander, the Kingdom of Ptolemaicos, founded by his general Ptolemy in Egypt, ruled the Lycian region from 300 BC to 197 BC. Influenced by the ancient cults in Egypt, the Ptolemaic kings, who had declared themselves as gods, built such temple structures in the lands under their rule. Ptolemaion monument in Lymra is the best-preserved Ptolemaion monument, except those in Egypt. But, since the city wall was passed over the structure during the Byzantine period, the structure was largely destroyed.

The main structure of the cylindrical main temple was sitting on a square plan. Some of the temple friezes and king statues found around the monument are exhibited today in the Antalya Archeology Museum.


Where the acropolis reaches the plain, the theater building is located just off the Turunçova-Kumluca highway. The theater, which was originally built in the Hellenistic period, underwent a major repair in 141.

The theater is right by the road, so if you arrive by car you can park in front.

Cenotaph of Gaius Caesar

Cenotaphs are monumental and symbolic empty burials. This monument is the monumental tomb of Gaius Caesar, the spiritual son of Emperor Agustus, built in 4 years. When Gaius Caesar was wounded in battle and was taken to Rome, he died in Limyra on 21 February 4. A monumental tomb was built in his memory.

This monument, dated to the 1st century AD, was considered as a cenotaph (the symbolic empty tomb). There are reliefs describing the life of Gaius Ceaser on friezes that continue for 60 meters.

Rock Tombs in Lymra

The hill behind the theater is full of rock tombs. There are over 400 rock tombs in the ancient city and most of the graves are known with their inscriptions written in the Lycian language. A small part of rock tombs and hillside houses were restored. Most of the tombs in Lykia are found in Limyra.

Most of the tombs that are spread over a large area belong to the important people of Limyra. These are Lycian house-type tombs. Although they contain differences in terms of form and decoration, these tombs have historically varied from the Classical Period of Lycian to the Roman Period.

One of the most important tombs in the necropolis area is the tomb monument located at the top of the theater.

It is understood from the inscription of this tomb that Xatabura, brother or relative of the King of Limyra, Perikle. This monumental tomb, where a sarcophagus rises above its pedestal with reliefs, dates back to 350 BC.

Another important tomb is the Tebursseli grave known for its relief reliefs.




There are many buildings from the south of the highway and many spring water in this part of the ruins. In summer, the local people use the ancient city as a picnic, swimming and cooling area. This makes Limyra Ancient City different from other historical sites.

Opening/Closing Time and Entrance Fee

Summer Period (15 April – 30 October)
Opening/Closing Time: 08:30/19:30
Winter Period (30 October – 15 April) 
Opening/Closing Time: 08:30/17:30
Box Office Summer / Winter Closing Hours 
Summer Period: 19:00
Winter Period: 17:00
Entrance Fee: 6 TL
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