Fethiye Resort & Port in Turkey
Blue Voyage in Turkey – Fethiye During the Lycian period the town was called Telmessos, meaning the land of lights, where the torrent of civilizations created in the time tunnel and gliding from inaccessible summits of wild Taurus Mountains meet the foamy blue waters of the Mediterranean. Fethiye transformed from an ancient port to a relaxing beach side heaven.
Fethiye lies on a semicircular bay protected by a ring of twelve islands. However it has kept its Turkish character with a host of bazaars, shops and restaurants, with red tiled roofs in picturesque, cobbled back streets, where you will find men playing a game of backgammon in the shade, or offering you a cup of refreshing apple tea whilst explaining the history of the famous Turkish carpets.
There are plenty of restaurants, bars, cafes and nightclubs along with the markets, banks, cash points, chemists and doctors in the resort.
With its majestic mountain scenery and superb, island-strewn bay, modern Fethiye is a lively town which thrives on a growing tourist industry, while the atmosphere in the picturesque old quarter is surprisingly laid back, reminiscent of a traditional fishing village. Nearby are Oludeniz, Turkey’s most celebrated beach, and Cold and Hot Bay – the name just about sums up the experience, for the water on the surface can be cool – almost chilly – but dive half a metre down and you can luxuriate in hot spring water, reputedly good for rheumatism and arthritis.
Telmessos Ancient City
Telmessos had an importance in antiquity which is belied both by its extant remains and by its modern successor, Fethiye, a small town whose chief export is chrome from local mines.
This importance was guaranteed by two geographical factors: the site commands the only overland route into western Lycia, and on a notoriously difficult coast it possesses one of the best natural harbours in Asia Minor.
Although politically Telmessos appears to have lain outside the Lycian League until the first century BC, early inscriptions in Lycian and the characteristic types of sarcophagi and rock-cut tombs demonstrate that the people of Telmessos were ethnically Lycians. Incorpo rated in the Persian Empire in the mid-sixth century BC, briefly tributary to Athens in the fifth, then again under Persia until Alexander’s conquest (334-333 BC), and subject to Egypt in the third century, Telmessos shared much of Lycia’s history. In AD 43 it was included in the new Roman Province of Lycia and Pamphylia, and later it was granted the official rank of Metropolis, a title also held by four other Lycian cities. In Byzantine times bishops of Telmessos attended the Church Councils, although the name was changed to Makri a name which was still used throughout the nineteenth century.
The site lies on the southern edge of the gulf. Of the theatre, said a century ago to be one of the finest surviving in Asia Minor, there is now little trace. It was built against a hillside near the shore, its form rather more than a semi- circle. The stage-building, an independent structure, was well preserved, with five high- level doorways onto the raised stage. The tombstone of a gladiator found at Telmessos suggests one kind of entertainment in Roman times. The Acropolis is crowned by a medieval castle with square and polygonal towers and an inner and outer ward. Its walls embody classical masonry, and the hillside has many typically Lycian ‘hog’s-back’ sarcophagi and rock-cut tombs, the latter often in direct imitation of wooden prototypes. More remarkable, however, is the celebrated necropolis east of the town. Here three principal tombs present Ionic temple-facades carved in the sheer rock. Highest on the cliff-face is the fourth-century Tomb of Amyotas, (The name is given by an inscription on the left-hand anta. A portico of two Ionic columns in antis supports a stepped architrave, a heavy dentil-cornice and a pediment with acroteria. Inside, a mighty stone door, carved in imitation of wood and bronze, leads into the low burial chamber, which has benches on three sides. The tombs are covered with the signatures of travellers dating back to 1780.