Discover the Traditional and Cultural face


Patara, not only famous for its historical ruins but also for its long and sandy beach, is situated close to the village of Gelemis, Antalya. Today, Patara, the capital city of the Lycian Union defined by philosophers as the first excellent republic governing known in history, is a destination that incorporates culture, religion, and nature tourism.

600-Year Capital City

In the Lycian language, the existence of the city of Patara is referred to in the 5th century BC. According to legend, Patarus, the son of the water nymph Lycia and the God Apollo built the city of Patara.

Patara Ancient City, which had three voting rights during the Lycian Union period, had a very important position as it can be understood from that period. The city was very important during the Roman period as well. It was significant for its port, its wheat warehouses, and for transport. The Christians saw the city, which maintained its development under Byzantine rule, as significant as it was known as the birthplace of Saint Nicholas.

The city gradually lost its importance with the port filling up with sand and vessels finding it difficult to berth.

Patara Archaeological Site

Impressive Ruins: One of the most impressive ruins of Patara Ancient City is the Roman Victory Gate, dated to the end of the 1st century AD.

Among the other remains that can be seen towards the hill are the baths, a Byzantine basilica, a Corinthian-style temple, and the theatre. On the top of the hill, there is the Temple of Athena.

Parliamentary Building: Patara was a member of the Lycian Union, one of the six cities that held the right to three votes and was possibly the most important of all. It is known that most of the meetings of the Lycian Union were held at Patara. Recently the remains of the world’s first parliamentary building were found in Patara. It is estimated to have belonged to the Lycians, dating back to 3200 BC.

Lighthouse: There was also unearthed a 2000-year-old lighthouse at the ancient Roman port of Patara, discovering probably the oldest such structure that managed to remain intact. According to the archaeologists in the excavation area, the 12 m high lighthouse was built under the reign of Emperor Nero who ruled from 54 to 68.

UNESCO Tentative List

The Ancient City of Patara, which was included on the UNESCO Tentative List in 2009, is one of the outstanding universal values of Turkey.

  • Official Name: Ancient Cities of Lycian Civilization
  • Architectural Type: Ancient City
  • Date of Submission: 2009
  • Category: Cultural
  • Reference: 5408
  • Location: Antalya, Turkey

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