Cut Out Of A Mountain: The Ancient Theater In Myra, Turkey

March 22, 2011 by           Filed under Pictures and Video, Travel Journal                                 Email This Post Email This Post        12 Comments

 
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myra theater turkey

The ancient Lycian city of Myra and this theater (later converted by the Romans into a stadium for gladiator fights), is a short 20 minute walk from Santa Claus’s church. I visited both on Christmas Day (December 25th) expecting to see large crowds at either site, only to find one or two tour groups meandering around. Many will be drawn to see Santa, but ancient Myra is really what makes the trip to the Turkish town of Demre worth a visit (and 10 Turkish lira entrance).

You’ll notice this area was clearly Lycian, an ancient group of peoples with a knack for carving rock tombs (like those in Fethiye). Depending on your fondness of ancient ruins however, it can be a relatively short trip, unless you’re the sort like me who likes climbing in and through ancient ruins. Ancient Myra had more of an impact on me than St. Nicholas’ (very hyped) church in Demre though. Perhaps following in his footsteps is simply more interesting than looking at where he rested his legs.

You can see a bit more of Myra’s ruins that are cut right into the rock in my gallery here.

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  1. Anjuli says:

    You have made me remember Turkey- and wish I could go back!!

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    • Anil P. says:

      It is quite an addictive place to travel and seems to do wonders with its charm on travelers :) Hopefully you’ll get a chance to return soon!

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  2. Erica says:

    I love sitting in locations like these and trying to imagine what it felt like way back when.

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    • Anil P. says:

      Same here. It’s fun to try and visualize what it would have been like to see the place fill up or watch a gladiator fight.

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      • Bob says:

        Same here. I think that’s half of the pleasure of walking around these ruins. Pretending you’re one of those ancient spectators getting ready to watch a gladiatorial match, or figuring out what each of the passages must have been used for in the past…

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  3. Your posts make me laugh. Yes, we preferred Myra to where Santa ‘rested his legs’ too. :) The Turkish authorities could definitely do so much more to preserve sites like this but I also love how you can get this amphitheatre sat right next to greenhouses, probably filled with tomatoes.
    Julia

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  4. Very wonderful photo! I too would rather walk around this place then look at someone’s resting place. My wife as a short attention span if there’s no people so I wouldnt be there too long.

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    • Anil P. says:

      Ruins like these aren’t for everyone, although I think good to see to appreciate a glimpse of what life was like so long ago – and how much the same it still is.

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  5. Very beautiful :) I sure hope they try their best to preserve this.

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    • Anil P. says:

      Thanks :) It’s one of the better preserved sites in Turkey, although the local governments could do so much more for most of the ancient sites around the country. It’s good for the Turkish tourism industry and heritage of the country of itself.

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