Ruins of Ancient City of Tlos in Turkey
Tlos in Turkey is one of the oldest cities of the Lycian state. Its foundation dates back to about 2000 BC
In ancient times this great city was the pearl of Xanthos valley. At first it was part of the Hittite empire according to Hittite Chronicle XIV century BC. Then Tlos was one of the six major cities of ancient Lycia. Then it proudly held the title of "the most glamorous metropolis of Lycian Union" and was a sports center of the Federation. Then Tlos was part of the Roman Empire. Later during the heyday of the Byzantine Empire was the episcopal center. The local population was living in Tlos until the XIX century AD. So Tlos has very rich and glorious past!
Tlos ruins are located in 35 km to the southeast of Fethiye on a hill with a picturesque view of the river Esen. Each era has left unique trace in Tlos: at the foot of the hill you can see echoes of the Roman Empire - the Agora and the amphitheater, slope is decorated with Lycian arts - Lycian tombs and finally the Ottoman fortress of Bloody Ali crowns the top of the mountain .
The most famous Lycian tomb is the tomb of Bellerophon nestled at the bottom of the hill base. It is believed that this is the family tomb of Tlos royal dynasties and its genus comes from the mythical hero - Bellerophon. According to the legend Bellerophon to redeem himself was sent by the Lycian king Iobates to kill the fire-breathing monster Chimera that kept the whole district in fear. The gods gave the winged horse Pegasus to Bellerophon to help in fulfilling his mission. Taking off on his horse a brave Bellerophon slew the Chimera and then married the daughter of the king. The genus of Lycia’s rulers came from them.
You may see a lot of ancient buildings in Tlos ruins and one of the most amazing is the majestic Roman amphitheater for 20,000 spectators that is situated on a hillside and rows of seats are perfectly preserved. The amphitheater offers perfect view to ruins of the Acropolis. There are former Roman baths that have been rebuilt later to the Byzantine basilica with seven gates. Despite the past centuries the basilica is quite well preserved. Especially Tlos ruins are amazing in the rays of the setting sun.