» ancient sites
The hotel is on the doorstep of the ancient archaeological site of Patara , once a thriving port of vital importance on the Mediterranean trade routes... According to Mythology Apollo was born here and it is also the birthplace of St. Nicholas, who later went on to become bishop of Myra.
» ancient archaeological sites
History and Culture
The old city now forms part of a protected area along with the beach. The site is fascinating- the remains part buried in the sand, evocative and intriguing- they include a theatre, baths, temples, granary, a magnificent main street and the stunning Triumphal arch.
Excavations are carried out each year and most recently archaeologists have excavated and reconstructed the ‘Bouloutrion’, (the ancient Lycien parliament building. The seat of one of the first democratic parliaments in the world. This has attracted a huge amount of international interest. Work has now started on strengthening and reconstructing what is believed to be one of the oldest standing Lighthouses in the world. The lighthouse stands at where would have been the entrance to the harbour at Patara. The Southern Mediterranean coast of Turkey is also known as the Lycian coast. There are many other archaeological places of interest to visit in the area, all dating from the Lycian period and all set in stunning locations. The most impressive of these, within easy reach of Patara are :
A 15 minute drive from Patara and once the Lycian capital. This beautifully located world heritage site stretches along a high rocky outcrop high above the River Eşen.
Only 4km from Xanthos, located near to the sea, Letoon was the main religious centre of the Lycian league where three temples were built side by side.
Once ranked among the 6 most important Lycian cities, Pinara is set in a stunning location with magnificent views. Not for the faint hearted as it requires a lot of hill climbing!
One of the oldest and most important cities in ancient Lycia, Tlos has a dramatic mountain location with incredible views. It boasts an Ottoman castle, an amphi- theatre, baths, and several rock cut tombs, including that of Bellerophon.
A striking honeycomb of rock-hewn Lycian tombs and a well preserved Greco-Roman theatre, which includes several carved theatrical masks.
A long narrow island opposite the harbour village of Üçağiz. Along the shore of the island are Byzantine, Roman and Lycian ruins, partly submerged 6m below the sea and know as the ‘sunken city’. The result of several earthquakes in 2nd century ad. Foundations of buildings, old staircases, door arches and the harbour can be seen,( accessed by boat only.)
Around 300Ad, during a prosperous era for Patara, a rich wheat merchant had a son and named him Nicholas. Many years later after the death of his father Nicholas inherited a large estate and decided to use it to aid the poor. At around the same time, one Patara’s wealthiest men fell into poverty to such an extent that he lacked the means even to gather dowries for his daughters. He felt so desperate that he even considered selling his daughters. Nicholas decided to help them – he entered their house secretly in order to remain annonymous and spare the family’s honour. While they were sleeping, he crept in through an open window and left a bag of gold, to cover the dowry of the eldest daughter. Later he then helped the two younger daughters in the same way, but as the windows were closed he dropped the small sacks of gold down the chimney. The small bags of gold landed in their shoes which were drying infront of the fireplace. This is one of the many stories that started the legend of St. Nicholas delivering gifts to children. Now on the 6th December every year, children in many countries in Northern Europe eagerly await a visit from St.Nicholas leaving small gifts in their shoes. At St. Nicholas church in Myra (Turkey) there is a church ceremony every year on the 6th December.
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