Anemurium Ancient City

Top choice in Eastern Mediterranean

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 with 350 tombs, walk south past a 4th-century basilica; look behind it for a mosaic of a leopard and a kid flanking a palm tree. Above the church is one of two aqueducts. The best-preserved structure in Anemurium is the 3rd-century baths complex, with a palaesta (training area) with mosaic floor.

Also worth seeking out is the theatre dating from the 4th century AD and, opposite, the best preserved odeon in Turkey, with 900 seats and a tiled floor and dating to the 2nd century AD.

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, Byzantine and medieval periods. Archaeologists have also uncovered evidence that an earthquake destroyed the city in about 580.

Anamur is 8.5km to the west of the centre. Approaching from Anamur or down from the Cilician mountains, a sign points south towards the ruins of Anemurium Antik Kenti. The road then bumps along for 3km to the gişe (ticket kiosk); it's another 500m to the car park.

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