Olympos (Lycia)

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This article is about the ancient city in Lycia. For other uses, see Olympus.
Ὄλυμπος (Greek)
The beach, near Mount Olympus
Olympos (Lycia) is located in Turkey
Olympos (Lycia)
Shown within Turkey
Location Çıralı, Antalya Province, Turkey
Region Lycia
Coordinates 36°23′48″N 30°28′23″E / 36.39667°N 30.47306°E / 36.39667; 30.47306Coordinates: 36°23′48″N 30°28′23″E / 36.39667°N 30.47306°E / 36.39667; 30.47306
Type Settlement
Site notes
Condition Ruined
Ownership Public
Public access Yes
Website Olympos Archaeological Site

Olympos (Greek: Ὄλυμπος) was an ancient city in Lycia. It was situated in a river valley near the coast. Its ruins are located south of the modern town Çıralı in the Kumluca district of Antalya Province, Turkey.


Sarcophagus of captain Eudemos

The former city of Olympos was founded in the Hellenistic period, presumably taking its name from nearby Mount Olympos (Turkish: Tahtalı Dağı, Timber Mountain), one of over twenty mountains with the name Olympos in the Classical world.

From these mountains of the Solymi, according to Homer, the god Poseidon looked out to sea and saw Odysseus sailing away from Calypso's island, and called up a great storm that wrecked him on the shores of the island of Nausicaa.[1]

The coins of the city of Olympos date back to the 2nd century BC. It was described by Cicero as an ancient city full of riches and works of art.[2] The city became one of the six leading cities of the Lycian League. In the 1st century BC, Olympos was invaded and settled by Cilician pirates. This ended in 78 BC, when the Roman commander Publius Servilius Isauricus, accompanied by the young Julius Caesar, took the city after a victory at sea, and added Olympos to the Roman Empire. The pirate Zenicetes set fire to his own house and perished.[3] The emperor Hadrian visited the city after which it took the name of Hadrianopolis for a period, in his honour.

The chief deity of Olympos was Hephaestus, god of fire and blacksmiths. Near Olympos, located in the neighbouring village of Çıralı and about 200 metres above sea level, the eternal flames called the Chimaera may be seen issuing from the ground. The fuel source for the flames is natural gas, largely methane, seeping through cracks in the earth.[4] The mythical Chimaera - or Chimera - was a monster with the head of a lion, the body of a goat and the tail of a serpent, who roamed these woods and sprouted fire from her mouth.

In the Middle Ages, Venetians, Genoese and Rhodians built two fortresses along the coast, but by the 15th century Olympos had been abandoned. Today the site attracts tourists, not only for the artifacts that can still be found (though fragmentary and widely scattered), but also for its scenic landscapes supporting wild grapevines, flowering oleander, bay trees, figs and pines.

Mount Olympos[edit]

Mount Olympos
Timber Mountain (Turkish: Tahtalı Dağı)
Tahtalı, from Cirali beach view
Elevation 2,366 m (7,762 ft)
Location Antalya Province, Turkey
Range Western Taurus Mountains
Coordinates 36°32′13″N 30°26′31″E / 36.53694°N 30.44194°E / 36.53694; 30.44194
Coast at Olympos with Tahtalı in the background
Tahtalı in spring with cable car (left)
Gas field in Chimaera

The Tahtalı Dagi[5] is a mountain near Kemer, a seaside resort on the Turkish Riviera near Antalya.


The Tahtalı is on the east coast of the Teke Peninsula (Lycian Peninsula) and dominates the landscape around Kemer. Can booked between Antalya and Finike to him as dominant peaks of the mountain range Bey Dağları (Turkish: Men's Mountain) see a part of the way through the south of the Turkey withdrawing Taurus Mountains. Its close proximity to the coast of the Mediterranean Sea makes it far visible to mariners. It is the highest mountain in the Natural Park of Olympos - Beydağları - Milli Park. From November to often into June, the summit is covered with ice and snow. In the spring of this snow layer is often reddish brown colored by Sahara winds, while it is often not seen in the summer because of the clouds. The vegetation-free zone starts at about 1900 meters height.

Funicular Olympos Teleferik[edit]

The cable car Olympos Teleferik, a Turkish- Swiss Cooperation, travels since the 16 June 2007 summit of Tahtalı on . Your potential through a street station situated approximately 10 km from Tekirova or Çamyuva at a height of on the eastern slope of the mountain. With a length of 4350 m, the Olympos Teleferik is indeed one of the longer aerial tramways, but, unlike on the operator's website claims no means the longest cable car in the world.[6] It was built to ride to the Doppelmayr / Garaventa Group, one of the leading companies for the design and manufacture of cable cars.

First a material ropeway was built for the construction of the cable car. This approximately 3700 cubic meters of concrete, 4,500 cubic meters of water, 420 tons of steel and 8,600 tonnes of gravel to the top station and the Streckenbauten were transported.

The two each 80 persons which cabins overcome the height difference of 1639 m in 10 minutes. Go to two supporting cables with a diameter of 51 mm and are pulled by a cord with a diameter of 38 mm. The cable route runs over four cable car tower n With a maximum speed of 10 m/s (36 km/h) reaches the aerial tramway a capacity of 470 people per hour. The engine develops 1000 kW.

The Tahtalı in antiquity[edit]

In ancient times the mountain was called Olympos, the home of the gods,a name it shares with many other high mountains. On Olympos is the Chimaera, a still-burning underground gas field, which burnt more strongly in ancient times. The ruins of the ancient city of Phaselis lie at the foot of Tahtalı.

Today's Turkish name could derive from tahta (Turkish: wooden panel, wooden board), but more likely it derives from the Turkish taht (Turkish: Throne (Olympos - Throne of the Gods )).


See also[edit]

External links[edit]