Akbel – Delikkemer – Patara
The road which goes on the asphalt reaches to Akbel after 1 km south from the İslamlar (podamya) settlement. When you go right from the cemetery and left from the first opening when going towards the mosque and then take the first right from the opening, the pathway goes straight from near the school and then when you cross the Antalya asphalt you see the Delikkemer sign. The pathway goes on asphalt from Akbel to this point and then goes on with a view of Kınık-patara valley for 6km inside shrubberies. When reached to Delikkemer the road splits into two. One goes towards Kalkan and the other goes towards Patara as parallel to the Delikkemer. When passing near Kemer the Patara table is shown. At the dirt road on left the Lycia road signs are partly erased. At the left side Fırnaz bay and Kalkan view can be seen. After going straight for 2-3 kilometers the road goes on in zigzags and reaches to Pınarkürü. There is a fountain active both in winter and summer. The road which goes up and down with the view of the islands on the shores of Kalkan, goes on among the pine and olive trees in some places and descends a couple of kilometers from a hilltop overlooking Patara beach and then Patara table can be seen. The left side reaches to Patara and Gelemiş settlement and the right side reaches Delikkemer again after a 10km dirt road from inside a pine forest after going up from the gardens and river bed.
Patara beach is a sight to see with its endemic crabs some aquatic species, its endless beaches with fine sands which carry the title of the World’s and Europe’s 3rd longest beach. There is the opportunity to travel with public transportation from a couple of kilometers north of Patara to Gelemiş settlement except for a few months of the year.
PATARA : Patara which is the “main port” of not just Eşen valley in which it is located but all of Lycia, with its protected port located at Gelemiş village east of Eşen river which draws the borders between Antalya and Muğla. The city has been settled on either side of an inlet which goes on 2km towards the land.
The remains found in the Tepecik acropolis, shows that the city has been founded at least in First Bronze Age, in 3rd millennium B.C. Its name in Lycian language is Pttara. Lycia entered under Persian rule around 540 B.C. Patara entered under Alexander who came into Lycia 334/333 B.C. and then Ptolemaios through 3rd century B.C.; and during this period the name was changed as Arsinoe. It is the capital city of Lycia League which was founded in 168/7 B.C. and capital of Lycia State of Roman Empire in the year of 43.
The council building which is one of the biggest in Ancient Anatolia with the size of 42.80×32.60 m. of which east front overlooks the agora and located at the north of the theatre, had been built in 2nd century B.C. after the official foundation of the Lycia League. This is the only structure of Lycia which is capable of servicing League meetings. When Lycia turned into a Roman state, it served as Odeon after being enlarged to 1500 people.
Its importance comes not from its size but from its function. Montesquieu declared Lycian League as the “first known perfect republic regime of the history” and this system crated an example for the work of U.S. Constitution.Lycia League had been continued even in the Roman period. Pax Romana period had brought peace and welfare to Patara and in 131 Emperor Hadrianus and his wife Sabina had come to Patara. Patara had become one of the greatest and richest cities of Lycia with its advanced lifestyle as a result of the Apollo divination and trade and important monumental buildings constructed in the city.
After the city being the capital of Roman State, in 46, Lycia Road Guide Monument in front of the intersection across the port on which the routes and distances between Lycian settlements are written and which is the single oldest known road map of the world has been placed. Delikkemer which is the greatest building of the system carries water from Bodamya with water channels, Port Bathhouse, Lighthouse which was named Pharos, Main Street with pillars connecting Port to Agora, Honor Gate, Granarium are some of the monumental buildings constructed in this period.
Lighthouse is now approximately 500m away from the shore due to sand shifting. On the outer surface of it, an inscription of honor on which written “for the wellbeing of the seamen” with gold covered huge letters in 64/65 A.D. was placed so that is is to be known that this lighthouse was made on request of Emperor Nero.
At the north of the city near Tepecik, the Honor Gate with its “Greeter” location symbolizing the “entrance to the city” has been erected in memory of Mettius Modestus, one of the governors of Traian around 100 A.D. This is a great monument which stands on four stands and is 19m long and 10m high with three passes. The building also has the duty of aqueduct for the Port Bathhouse which is located at southwest.
In the flat area at the south side of Tepecik acropolis, the Port Bathhouse which is located at the eastern side of the inner port, with its three rectangular places side by side (coldness, warmness and hotness) reflects the planning tradition of Lycian bathhouse architecture.
Both sides of the main street which connects the Port to Agora with two passes, belted and authentic gate had been surrounded by porticos with pillars on the both sides. It is one of the widest and best preserved streets in Anatolia with its 12.60m width and shops are located at the east of it. The passage to Agora, Council and Theater was made with the monumental door at the southern end. The theatre which is located at the south end of the city on the north slopes of Kurşunlu Tepe has 34 sitting rows and has a capacity of approximately 5000 people. The Corinth temple which carries all the properties of Roman temples is just one of the eight ancient temples which the ancient sources tell they are existed in Patara. It is dated back until Marcus Aurelius period with its ornamental form.
Patara has all the grave types of Lycia except for the erected graves. 3. African type expensive sarcophaguses made in 3rd century is very common in the area. Stone graves are less common due to their natural texture not being appropriate. Room type mausoleums carved underground have taken over their place. Granarium which was preserved to be one of the three remaining in the world with its warehouse function carries the memory of the visit of Emperor Hadrian and his wife Sabina in 131. Granarium in which mainly grain, olive oil and wine is stored attracts the attention with its preserved thin and long look until the ceiling level, located at the west side of the inlet close to the mouth of the port. 4. In the Eastern Roman Empire period which was started in 4th century, it has become one of the most important bishopric cities of Christianity. The City Basilica has the privilege of being the earliest and biggest architectural buildings of Christianity period Lycia. Patara is the city in which St. Nikolaos was born and grew up. The outbreak of plague in 541 has caused the population to decrease and the people started to move towards the mountain areas due to the Arabian raids in 7th and 8th centuries. 12. Patara had turned into a Middle Age port city with a thick parapet surrounding the flat area at the south of the port and the last mention of it in the written sources is the meeting of Cem Sultan in 1478 with a Rhodos committee in Patara. The city was abandoned around 1500. The sands shifting and closing the inlet had a great importance in the abandonment of the city.
Fırnaz bay which was used as a shelter and accommodation point since the ancient times up until now is mentioned as Phoinikos in some sources.
Bay area which has an inclined area towards the sea has been used as agricultural land in ancient periods by creating terraces and farm houses was built in small flat areas. There are Delikkemer aqueduct which has an important place in the area archaeology with its authentic form in the upper sections of the bay the water system of the Patara city was preserved rather well until today and a sacred area with niches on the rock surfaces which was thought to be used by the sailors accommodating inside the bay.
In the Muar (Pınar) Kürü area at the back of the bay, in the area in which a non-stop settlement period was present due to a water source, aside from the ruins of housings, there is also a Lycia type sarcophagus and the ruins of a church of which abscissa is still visible.