Anemurium Ancient City

Top choice archaeological site in Anamur

Anemurium's sprawling and eerily quiet ruins stretch for 500m down to a pebble beach, with mammoth city walls scaling the mountainside above. From the huge necropolis area (which itself looks like a city), walk southeast past a 4th-century basilica; look behind it for a mosaic pathway of tiles leading to the sea. Above the church is one of two aqueducts. The best-preserved structure in Anemurium is the baths complex with coloured mosaic tiles that still decorate portions of the floor.

Also worth seeking out is the theatre dating from the 2nd century AD and, opposite, the more complete odeon, with 900 seats and a tiled floor.

Although founded by the Phoenicians in the 4th century BC, Anemurium suffered a number of devastating setbacks, including an attack in AD 52 by a vicious Cilician tribe, and most of the visible ruins date from the late Roman and Byzantine periods onward. Archaeologists have also uncovered evidence that an earthquake destroyed the city in about 580.

Approaching Anamur from the west, or down from the Cilician mountains, a sign points south towards the ruins of Anemurium Antik Kenti. The road then bumps along for 2km to the gişe (ticket kiosk); it's another 500m to the car park.

Advertisement