Turkish Mediterranean Coast Ancient Ruins

This content was last updated on 29.01.2024 17:01

The Historical Sites Located in the Mediterranean Region

1- St. Pierre Kilisesi (Aziz Petrus Kilisesi) (St. Pierre Church) Hatay

St. Pierre Kilisesi

Hatay, considered as a convergence point for civilizations hosting historical riches in the south of Turkey, has a rich history. St. Pierre Church, located in Hatay, or in Turkish, St. Pierre Kilisesi, maintains its significance as one of the region's important religious and historical structures. Pierre Cave Church, in 1963, was declared by the Papacy as the world's first cave church and a holy site. St. Pierre Church has a deep-rooted history dating back to the 1st century AD. What makes the church significant is the preaching of St. Peter, an important figure in Christian belief, in the region, and his bringing together of Christians here.

Antakya has hosted various civilizations throughout history and, as a result, is a city that encompasses many religious and cultural heritages. The architectural structure of St. Pierre Church incorporates elements from the Roman period, and the surrounding area of the church contains remnants from the ancient era. The design of the church incorporates religious symbols and motifs in memory of St. Peter, who is significant in Christianity for his teachings and gatherings of Christians in the area.

Every year on June 29th, a special ceremony is organized by the Catholic Church at Saint Pierre Church, which is also declared as a pilgrimage site. You can visit this church for free using the museum card.

Opening/Closing Hours

  • Open every day
  • Opening Time: 08:30
  • Closing Time: 17:00
  • Ticket Booth Closing Time: 16:30
  • Entrance Fee
  • 170 TL

2- Taş Köprü, Adana

Taş Köprü

The Stone Bridge located in Adana, known as the city of heat and sorrow, is the oldest bridge still in use on Earth. Positioned over the Seyhan River, which flows through the city and empties into the Mediterranean, the bridge is believed to have been built in the 4th century by the Roman Empire. However, there are debates suggesting it may be even older. For centuries, the Stone Bridge served as a crucial passage for transportation between regions. Nowadays, it connects the central districts of Seyhan and Yüreğir.

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3- Cennet Cehennem Mağaraları (Heaven and Hell Caves) Mersin

Cennet Cehennem Mağaraları

Located in the Narlıkuyu district of Mersin, Heaven and Hell is a historical site filled with both natural and historical beauties. These natural wonders consist of two large sinkholes formed over time as underground spring waters dissolved the upper limestone layer. The smaller one is named Hell, while the larger one is called Heaven. It is possible to descend to Heaven through a staircase of approximately 450 steps and visit the Virgin Mary Church located there. Additionally, at the southern end of this part, there is a Temple of Zeus. However, descending to the Hell section is not possible due to natural conditions.

4- Kız Kalesi (Maiden's Castle) Mersin

Kız Kalesi

Maiden's Castle, located in the Erdemli district of Mersin, is famous for both its legend and its beach. According to the legend, a king once consulted a prophet to learn about his daughter's future in an attempt to protect her, as he deeply loved her. Upon discovering that she would be killed by a snakebite, he built a castle in the middle of the sea to keep her away from snakes. However, due to the tendency of future predictions in legends to come true, a snake hidden in a basket of grapes sent to the princess killed her.

Of course, that's the legendary part. The castle, believed to have been built by the Cilicians in the 4th century BC, has been standing for 2400 years. Numerous illustrious empires have ruled the region throughout world history. During a visit to Mersin, you can both sunbathe on the golden sandy beaches and explore Maiden's Castle.

Entrance fee:

  • 70 TL

Opening hours:

  • 08:30-17:00

5- Aspendos Tiyatrosu ( Aspendos Theater) Antalya

Aspendos Tiyatrosu

The Ancient Theater of Aspendos, located in the ancient city of Aspendos (Belkıs), was built in the 2nd century A.D. With a capacity of approximately 20,000 people, the most intriguing feature of this ancient theater is its unique acoustic design. Over the centuries, the theater has served various purposes, including as a theater, gladiator arena, venue for water shows, open-air church, and caravanserai. Today, the ancient theater is still used for various artistic events, hosting opera and ballet festivals annually. You can easily visit this remarkable theater by taking a flight to Antalya.

Opening hours:

  • Every day from 08:00 to 17:00

Entrance fee:

  • 340 TL

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6- Kaleiçi, Antalya


Located in the heart of the city, Kaleiçi is known for its streets and houses where you can witness Antalya's architecture, as well as its vibrant nightlife. Kaleiçi, the first settlement area of the city, began to be established in the 2nd century BC. As you move outward from the region, the walls and other structures you'll encounter bear traces from the Roman, Seljuk, Ottoman, and Republic eras, respectively. While wandering through its narrow streets, you can see Antalya's picturesque houses with bay windows leaning towards each other. Some of these colorfully restored houses are still in use as cafes, bars, restaurants, and hotels.

7- Olympos Antik Kenti (Olympos Ancient City) Antalya

Olympos Antik Kenti

I've arrived at one of my favorite places on the list. Olympos, the Ancient Pirate City, is intersected by the Olympos River, which flows into the sea. In history, this river served as an excellent refuge for pirates. Olympos was initially part of the Lycian Union and later hosted Roman, Byzantine, and Ottoman civilizations.

In this ancient city, where you can enter with a Museum Pass, you can explore rock tombs, a mosaic-covered church, a theater, and a temple. The most fascinating structure, in my opinion, is the tomb of Captain Eudomus and the poem that can be read in this section. As you progress from land towards the sea, at the end of the ancient city, you are greeted by a coastline where visitors can jump into the sea to cool off.

Entrance fee:

  • 220 TL
  • Parking fee: 50 TL

Opening hours:

  • Every day from 08:00 to 19:00

8- Patara Antik Kenti (Patara Ancient City) Antalya

Patara Antik Kenti

Selected as the country's ambassador for 2020, Patara Ancient City is one of the most beautiful outcomes of hard work and patience in archaeology. In Patara, the capital of the Lycian Union, you can see the first democratic assembly building in history and the first telegraph station of the Ottoman Empire. Additionally, the Neron Lighthouse, reconstructed with its original stones, stands as one of the impressive structures of the ancient city. Just like in Olympos, at the end of your visit to the ancient city in Patara, you can also take a dip in the sea. Patara Beach, besides being one of Turkey's longest beaches, features high sand dunes and loggerhead sea turtle nests.

Opening hours:

  • Every day from 08:30 to 20:00

Entrance fee:

  • 340 TL

9- Sagalassos Antik Kenti (Sagalassos Ancient City) Burdur

Sagalassos Antik Kenti

Sagalassos, located in the Ağlasun district of Burdur, is one of the most significant cities of the Roman Empire. Situated in the region known as Psidia in ancient times, the city is listed on the UNESCO World Heritage List. Settlement in the area is thought to date back to around 1000 BC. The city remained popular for a long time due to factors such as its rich mineral deposits, secure location, and abundance of natural water sources. The Antonine Fountain in Sagalassos continues to flow after thousands of years.

Opening hours:

  • 09:00–17:30

Entrance fee:

  • 170 TL

10- Perge Antik Kenti (Perge Ancient City) Antalya

Perge Antik Kenti

Perge Ancient City, believed to have existed during the Hittite Period, is a historical site located in the district of Aksu, 17 kilometers east of Antalya. The unique sculptures unearthed during excavations in the historical city, showcasing the finest craftsmanship of Perge sculptors, are now displayed in the Antalya Museum. Both the 15,000-seat theater and the well-preserved stadium made of the city's building stones contribute to making the exploration of Perge Ancient City enjoyable. Additionally, the ancient city holds significance in Christianity and has been visited by Saint Paul, an important figure in Christian history.

Opening hours:

  • 08:00–17:00

Entrance fee:

  • 250 TL

11- İnsuyu Mağarası (İnsuyu Cave) Burdur

İnsuyu Mağarası

Opened to tourism in 1965, İnsuyu Cave holds the distinction of being one of the first caves opened to tourism in our country. It is located on the Antalya-Burdur Road. The cave, situated at an altitude of 900 meters above sea level, has a length of approximately 600 meters. The stalactites and stalagmites formed as a result of the dissolution of the karstic structure over time captivate those who visit. İnsuyu, containing carbonate mineral water inside, is designated as a natural protected area in Turkey.

Entrance fee:

  • Entrance: 30 TL

12- Hadrian Kapısı  (Hadrian's Gate) Antalya

Hadrian Kapısı

Also known as the Three Gates and the Marble Gate, Hadrian's Gate is one of the historical structures located within the boundaries of Antalya. The three-arched Hadrian's Gate, built in honor of the visit of the Roman Emperor Hadrianus to Antalya, is notable for the Latin inscription on it. Only the inscription has survived from the gate to the present day. Recognized as the most beautiful gate in the Pamphylia region, Hadrian's Gate carries traces from all civilizations present in the region during that era.

13- Xanthos Antik Kenti (Xanthos Ancient City) Antalya

Xanthos Antik Kenti

Xanthos Ancient City, the capital and administrative center of the Lycians, was built on two dominant hills overlooking the Esen River, known as Xanthos River in that era. After the Lycians, Xanthos also became a settlement for the Romans, and the hills of Xanthos were named according to these two civilizations. While the hills surrounded by walls were called the Lycian Acropolis, the higher and wider one is known as the Roman Acropolis. Following the Romans, Xanthos came under the rule of the Byzantine Empire and became the episcopal center of Byzantium during that period.

Opening hours:

  • 08:30–20:00

Entrance fee:

  • 70 TL

14- Letoon Antik Kenti (Letoon Ancient City) Muğla

Letoon Antik Kenti

Letoon Ancient City, the religious center of the Lycian Civilization, holds a prominent place among the historical sites in Turkey. Along with Xanthos Ancient City, Letoon is listed on the UNESCO World Heritage List, and it features three temples in its center. One of these temples is dedicated to the main goddess Leto, from whom the ancient city takes its name. The other two are dedicated to the goddess of fertility, Artemis, and the sun god, Apollo. Letoon Ancient City is also situated along the Lycian Way route.

Entrance fee:

  • 70 TL

Opening hours:

  • 08:30–17:30

15- Myra Antik Kenti (Myra Ancient City) Antalya

Myra Antik Kenti

Myra Ancient City, located in the district of Demre in Antalya, is one of the six largest cities during the Lycian Civilization. In this ancient city, you can see some of the most interesting examples of rock tombs, bearing the wooden house architecture commonly found in the places where the Lycians lived. Myra, meaning "Place of the Great Mother Goddess," is also associated with Saint Nicholas, known as Santa Claus by foreign tourists, who lived in this ancient city. The Church of St. Nicholas, built under the rule of the Byzantine Empire, holds great significance for Christianity, attracting many Christian pilgrims.

Entrance fee:

  • 300 TL

Opening hours:

  • 08:00–19:00

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