The ancient city of Patara on Turkey’s Mediterranean coast fascinates visitors with traces of history and the stories of people who once lived there.
Located in the Kaş district of southwestern Antalya province, Patara is known as the capital of the ancient Lycian civilization, which took place in the middle of the first century B.C. and was made up of 23 cities.
Chief excavator Havva Işkan Işık of Akdeniz University told Anadolu Agency (AA) that famous names from history frequently set foot in Patara. Işık said the first important person to come to the city was Tudhaliya IV, the king of the Hittite Empire.
Alexander the Great, she added, wanted to seize Patara harbor after conquering Lycia, and during excavations bronze projectiles with the words "belonging to Alexander" were found.
"There were traces of fire around the sling bullets, so we understand that the garrison resisted Alexander the Great, who conquered the majority of Lycia without fighting," Işık said.
The pharaoh of Ptolemaic Egypt, Ptolemy II Philadelphus, was also among those who loved Patara, she said.
"The famous Carthaginian general Hannibal fled Rome and took refuge in Patara. Pontic King Mithradates VI, a famous enemy of the Roman Republic from Anatolia, also set foot in Patara," Işık said, adding that Julius Caesar's assassin Marcus Junius Brutus also lived in Patara.
She said St. Nicholas, also known as Santa Claus, was born and lived in this ancient natural harbor. "While all the names I have mentioned came to Patara afterward, it was Nicholas' birthplace," she said.
Cem Sultan, the son of Sultan Mehmed II who lost a long-running rivalry for the throne against his brother Bayezid II, was one of the last important names that came to Patara, the archaeologist said.
Patara harbor was the center and focus of many wars, which is why the city is historically significant," Işık noted.
Please click to read our informative text prepared pursuant to the Law on the Protection of Personal Data No. 6698 and to get information about the cookies used on our website in accordance with the relevant legislation.
6698 sayılı Kişisel Verilerin Korunması Kanunu uyarınca hazırlanmış aydınlatma metnimizi okumak ve sitemizde ilgili mevzuata uygun olarak kullanılan çerezlerle ilgili bilgi almak için lütfen tıklayınız.