The ancient city of Termessos, one of the best preserved ancient cities in Turkey, is located within the National Park (Beydagları-Termessos National Park) of the same name.
Location of Termessos
Termessos is located in the southwestern part of Pisidia region called Milyas. It is located on the valley between the peaks of Mount Solymos.
Hisyory of Termessos
Termessos is an important ancient city founded by Solyms who descended from the Luvids of Anatolia.
The city is famous for defending the city against the siege of Alexander the Great in 333 BC. It is a legend that the Termesians did not deliver the city by making a strong defense against the siege of Alexander the Great in 333 BC. After the death of Alexander, the city came under the domination of Ptolemy.
It is understood from the coins that the city has maintained its independence during the Roman Empire period. There is no information about the status of the city in the Byzantine period and later periods. As the city of Termessos was abandoned, it did not witness a new settlement and could be seen as one of the well-preserved ruins except for earthquake and natural destruction.
Buildings in Termessos
The ruins of the city are 500 metres away from car/bus stop.
Some ruins (towers and walls) of the city emerge when you go towards Termessos, which is located at the top of Mount Gulluk. Following King’s Road, you can reach the water tank (no. 4 in the map above) and the grave of the soldier (no. 5 in the map above) with your car. This is the last point that can be reached by car.
The King Road, which was built in the 2nd century BC, passes by the walls of the city and extends to the center of the city as a straight road.
The city of Termessos, with its official buildings, is located on a flat terrain just ahead of the inner walls. Agora is the most remarkable structure in the city center. Agora, which has very special architectural features, consists of stone blocks. The agora is surrounded by stoas on three sides. The most famous of these stoas is Osbaros Stoa (no. 19 in the map above) built by Osbaras, a rich Termessian.
The ruins in the northeast of the agora are thought to be gymnasium (no. 15 in the map above), but among the trees, it is difficult to understand this.
Just to the east of the agora, there is an amphitheater, best preserved building in Termessos, with a view over the Pamphylia Plain. Amphitheater (no. 20 in the map above) is undoubtedly the most magnificent structure of the plain of Termessos. Reflecting the Hellenistic theater plan, this theater exhibits the most distinctive features of the Roman theater. Hellenistic caeva or semi-circular seating area is divided into two by diazoma. The theater has a capacity of approximately 4000 – 5000 people. The wide arched entryway connects the agave with the cavea. Under the stage there are five small rooms where wild animals are kept before the fight.
There is an odeon about 100 meters away from the amphitheater. This structure dating back to 1 century BC resembles a small theater. The odeon, which is quite well preserved up to the roof level, exhibits an example of the best quality stone masonry. The roof of the building is certain to be the original one because it takes light through 11 large windows on the eastern and western walls.
There are six temples of various sizes and varieties in Termessos. The most famous of them extend in the southwest corner of the odeon. According to an inscription at the entrance of the temple still standing, this temple was dedicated to Artemis. The temple and the cult statue inside were built by Aurelia Armasta and her husband, using their own income. It can be said that the history of the temple dates back to the end of the 4th century AD.
How to Get Termessos Ancient City
The ancient city of Termessos is accessible from the Antalya – Korkuteli highway. The ancient city is 30 km from Antalya. You can go by tour or private car. 200 meters from the Termessos signpost on the road, you arrive at the main entrance of the National Park. Entrance fee is paid here.
You can continue from here with your car and about 8 km from here, you reach the the car park and starting point of walk. After leaving your car in the parking lot, you can reach the ancient city about 2 km by foot.
After leaving your car in the parking lot, you have to climb a steep hill about 2 km long.
1) Come to the ancient city early in the morning. So you don’t have to climb in extreme temperatures.
2) There is no facility in the city so you should always have water with you.
3) We recommend that you choose clothes that will protect you from thorny plants.
4) Choose trekking shoes for the comfort of your feet.
5) If possible, it is advisable not to come to Thermessos with small children. Because children can get tired of climbing and also fall on the road.
Opening/Closing Time of Termessos
Summer Period (1 April – 31 October) Opening/Closing time: 08:00/19:00
Winter Period (31 October – 1 April) Opening/Closing time: 08:30/17:30
Summer Period: 18:30
Winter Period: 17:00