PHASELIS

When you are driving on the new road parallel to the coast that offers you all the beauties of the Mediterranean, if you turn to Phaselis 35 kilometers before Antalya, this road in the woods will take you to Phaselis in the village of Tekirova.

Although the nearly Beldibi Cave was labeled a prehistoric site, the establishment of the city of Phaselis doesn’t go earlier than the seventh century B.C. Phaselis was founded in 690 B.C. as a colony of Rhodes. It had three ports and was close to rich forests. In the sixth and seventh centuries B.C., the sea was the only source of income for Phaselis. At that time the Persians took control of Anatolia, and later Alexander defeated the Persians and conquered Phaselis. The people of Phaselis opened their doors to Alexander and made him their guest. Alexander received several ambassadors of from Pamphlia cities here in this city. He also conquered all the cities on the coast one-by-one and went on the way to Gordion.

After the death of Alexander, from 309 to 197 B.C , the city was ruled by the Ptolemies of Egypt. It was later given to the Kingdom of Rhodes like other Lycian cities in the peace of Apamia. Phaselis stayed under the rule of Rhodes from 190 to 160. After 160 B.C., the city joined the Lycian Union under Roman sovereignty. Phaselis was attacked by pirates in first century B.C.. The city was ruled by a pirate named Zenekites for some time before the Romans defeated him.

In 42 B.C. Brutus and the Romans took possession of the city. During the Byzantine era, Phaselis became the center of the episcopate. Because of its good ports, the city was attacked again by the third century B.C., and after that it lost its importance. It became even poorer with Arab raids. By the 11th century B.C., Phaselis could no longer survive. It was forgotten totally when the Seljuks came to value the ports of Alanya and Antalya more.

In its early years, the city met its water needs with wells and cisterns. In Roman times, it brought water to the city via aqueducts from faraway places. They transported water from a spring to the north to a hill behind the Hadrian Agora and from here they distributed it to the city through channels.

The main ruins of the city are found on two sides of the main avenue that connects the military port with the south port. There are three steps on the sidewalks on two sides of the avenue which is 125 meters long and 20-25 meters wide. The avenue forms a square in the middle and leads to the south port. The avenue is paved with regular stones and has sewage and drainage systems underneath it.

Source: Ministery of Culture