Archaeological sites in Ovaköy

Patara

12,136 people have been here
8.5/10

Patara (Lycian: Pttara), later renamed Arsinoe (Greek: Ἀρσινόη), was a flourishing maritime and commercial city on the south-west coast of Lycia on the Mediterranean coast of Turkey near the modern small town of Gelemiş, in Antalya Province. It is the birth place of St. Nicholas, who lived most of his life in the nearby town of Myra (Demre).

History

Possessing a natural harbour, Patara was said to have been founded by Patarus, a son of Apollo. It was situated at a distance of 60 stadia to the southeast of the mouth of the river Xanthos. Patara was noted in antiquity for its temple and oracle of Apollo, second only to that of Delphi.[] The god is often mentioned with the surname Patareus. Herodotus says that the oracle of Apollo was delivered by a priestess only during a certain period of the year; and from Servius we learn that this period was the six winter months. It seems certain that Patara received Dorian settlers from Crete; and the worship of Apollo was certainly Dorian. Ancient writers mentioned Patara as one of the principal cities of Lycia. It was Lycia's primary seaport, and a leading city of the Lycian League, having 3 votes, the maximum.

The city, with the rest of Lycia, surrendered to Alexander the Great in 333 BC. During the Wars of the Diadochi, it was occupied in turn by Antigonus and Demetrius, before finally falling to the Ptolemies. Strabo informs us that Ptolemy Philadelphus of Egypt, who enlarged the city, gave it the name of Arsinoe (Arsinoë) after Arsinoe II of Egypt, his wife and sister, but it continued to be called by its ancient name, Patara. Antiochus III captured Patara in 196 BC. The Rhodians occupied the city, and as a Roman ally, the city with the rest of Lycia was granted its freedom in 167 BC. In 88 BC, the city suffered siege by Mithridates IV, king of Pontus and was captured by Brutus and Cassius, during their campaign against Mark Antony and Augustus. It was spared the massacres that were inflicted on nearby Xanthos. Patara was formally annexed by the Roman Empire in 43 AD and attached to Pamphylia.

Patara is mentioned in the New Testament as the place where Paul of Tarsus and Luke changed ships. The city was Christianized early, and several early bishops are known; according to Le Quien, they include:

  • Methodius, more probably bishop of Olympus
  • Eudemus, present at the Council of Nicaea (325)
  • Eutychianus, at the Council of Seleucia (359)
  • Eudemus, at the Council of Constantinople (381)
  • Cyrinus, at the Council of Chalcedon (451)
  • Licinius, at the Synod of Constantinople (536)
  • Theodulus, at the Photian Council (879).

Nicholas of Myra was born at Patara in ca. 300. Patara is mentioned among the Lycian bishoprics in the Acts of Councils (Hierocl. p. 684). The Notitiae Episcopatuum mention it among the suffragans of Myra as late as the thirteenth century.

The city remained of some importance during the Byzantine Empire as a way-point for trade and pilgrims. During the wars between the Turks and the Byzantines, the city was abandoned. The city remains a titular see of the Roman Catholic Church, Patarensis; the seat has been vacant since the death of the last titular bishop on February 3, 2006.

Ruins

The name Patera is still attached to the numerous ruins of the city. These, according to the survey of Capt. Beaufort, are situated on the sea-shore, a little to the eastward of the river Xanthus, and consist of a theatre excavated in the northern side of a small hill, a ruined temple on the side of the same hill, and a deep circular pit, of singular appearance, which may have been the seat of the oracle. The town walls surrounded an area of considerable extent; they may easily be traced, as well as the situation of a castle which commanded the harbour, and of several towers which flanked the walls. On the outside of the walls there is a multitude of stone sarcophagi, most of them bearing inscriptions, but all open and empty; and within the walls, temples, altars, pedestals, and fragments of sculpture appear in profusion, but ruined and mutilated. The situation of the harbour is still apparent, but it is a swamp, choked up with sand and bushes. (Beaufort, Karmania, pp. 2, 6.) The theatre was built in the reign of Antoninus Pius; its diameter is 265 feet, and has about 30 rows of seats. There are also ruins of thermae, which, according to an inscription upon them, were built by Vespasian.

In 1993 a Roman milestone was unearthed, the Stadiasmos Provinciae Lyciae in the form of a monumental pillar on which was inscribed in Greek a dedication to Claudius and an official announcement of roads being built by the governor, Quintus Veranius, in the province of Lycia, giving place names and distances, essentially a monumental public itinerarium.

The site is currently being excavated during two summer months each year by a team of Turkish archaeologists. At the end of 2007, all the sand had been cleared from the amphitheatre and some other buildings, and the columns on the main street had been partially re-erected (with facsimile capitals). The excavations have revealed masonry in remarkable condition.

Economy

Tourism

Tourists visit the ruins and Patara, as part of the Turkish Riviera. There is a 18 kilometres (11 mi)-long beach.

See also

  • Turkish Riviera

References

  • This article incorporates text from the public domain Dictionary of Greek and Roman Geography by William Smith (1856).
  • Blue Guide, Turkey, (ISBN 0-393-32137-1), p. 373-74.
  • This article incorporates text from the public-domain Catholic Encyclopedia of 1913.
Post a comment
Tips & Hints
Arrange By:
Antalya
23 July 2013
Eski Türk filmlerinde çöl sahnelerinin nerede çekildiğini biliyor musunuz? Patara plajında!
meralce ......????????
7 August 2013
denizi kumu gercktn gitmege dgr
Load more comments
foursquare.com
Location
Map
Address

0.5km from Gelemiş Mahallesi, Adnan Menderes Cd., 07976 Kaş/Antalya, Turkey

Get directions
References

Patara Beach (Patara Plajı) on Foursquare

Patara on Facebook

Hotels nearby

See all hotels See all
Golden Pension

starting $35

Golden Lighthouse Hotel

starting $45

St. Nicholas Pension

starting $20

Pataros Hotel

starting $46

Hotel Sema

starting $31

Apollon Hotel

starting $35

Recommended sights nearby

See all See all
Add to wishlist
I've been here
Visited
Letoon
Turkey

The sanctuary of Leto called the Letoon, sometimes Latinized as

Add to wishlist
I've been here
Visited
Xanthos
Turkey

Xanthos (Lycian: Arñna, Greek: Ξάνθος) was the name of a city in anc

Add to wishlist
I've been here
Visited
Harpy Tomb
Turkey

The Harpy Tomb is a marble chamber from a pillar tomb that stands in

Add to wishlist
I've been here
Visited
Ölüdeniz
Turkey

Ölüdeniz (literally Dead Sea, due to its calm waters even during s

Add to wishlist
I've been here
Visited
Apollonia (Lycia)
Turkey

Apollonia was an ancient city in Lycia. Its ruins are located near

Add to wishlist
I've been here
Visited
Fethiye
Turkey

Fethiye is a city and district of Muğla Province in the Aegean region

Add to wishlist
I've been here
Visited
Kemer Bridge
Turkey

The Kemer Bridge was a Roman segmental arch bridge near the ancient

Add to wishlist
I've been here
Visited
Dalaman Airport
Turkey

Dalaman Airport (IATA: DLM, ICAO: LTBS) is an international airport

Similar tourist attractions

See all See all
Add to wishlist
I've been here
Visited
Alexandria Troas
Turkey

Alexandria Troas ('Alexandria of the Troad', mod. Eski Stambul) is an

Add to wishlist
I've been here
Visited
Apollonia (Illyria)
Albania

Apollonia (Greek: Ἀπολλωνία κατ' Ἐπίδαμνον or Ἀπολλωνία πρὸς Ἐπιδάμν

Add to wishlist
I've been here
Visited
Sacsayhuamán
Peru

Sacsayhuamán (also known as Saksaq Waman, Sacsahuaman) is a walled

Add to wishlist
I've been here
Visited
Ollantaytambo
Peru

Ollantaytambo is a town and an Inca archaeological site in southern

Add to wishlist
I've been here
Visited
Machu Picchu
Peru

Machu Picchu (Quechua: Machu Pikchu, 'Old Peak', pronounced ]) is a

See all similar places