The Ancient City of Termessos, Antalya (What to Expect?)

Last Updated on November 20, 2021

The ancient Pisidian site of Termessos is situated on a hillside at an altitude of 1,050 meters, on the Gulluk Mountain National Park, and it is one of the most popular historical sights in Antalya. The its geographical location of the ancient city make it one the best-preserved ancient cities in Turkey. The city used to have a strategic location that the Alexander the Great couldn’t be able to conquer the city. The city also used to survive independently during the Roman era and had its own laws and affairs.


What to Expect?

Even though Termessos is one of the best-preserved ancient Pisidian cities, it has always been a part of the habitat and production area of the Antalya region. The city was established 30 kilometers northwest of Antalya city center, on the Korkuteli road, on the skirts of Güllük Mountain at an altitude of just 1050 m above sea level, and is famous for holding out against the forces of Alexander the Great who surrounded the city in 333 B.C., however, couldn’t conquer it.

If you opt for visiting this fabulous ancient city of Termessosa, you can’t get enough of this hidden gem – its mesmerizing serenity while you sniff the pine scents coming from the pine trees that surrounded the whole location with its thermal springs in Termessos.

Thanks to the inaccessibility of its location, the ruins of Termessos remained largely intact spread along the slopes of the Gulluk Mountains, a.k.a. Solymos Mountains.

This crucial city’s extraordinary wealth was mainly based on the revenue generated by its ancient linking road. Traces of this road still exist, according to the recent archeological excavations, a 2,300-year-old road was unearthed.


The classical historian Arrianos tells of the city’s unusually steep location and its relationship with the road as follows: The site is situated on a very high altitude and is surrounded by cliffs on all sides. The road leading from the narrow strait is also arduous and descends the mountain from the city.

There is another steep mountain opposite. Both of them form a strait, which is so narrow that even a handful of soldiers could block it in case of defense.

Termessos is also known for an event that rarely comes up in discussions of ancient history: After Alexander’s death, an unrelenting battle began between Alexander’s generals to get their share of the empire. The stepbrother of Alexander, Antigonos wanted to occupy Anatolia and started a war with the commander Alketas who was defeated and subsequently fled to Termessos.

Termessos has plenty of stunning must-see spots, such as an open-air museum with its Hellenistic age city walls, agora, Odeon, cisterns, the temple built during the Hadrian Period, the gymnasium consisting of many rooms and halls, the ancient theater, the parliament building, and many more.

Today, it is one of the most popular sightseeing destinations not only in Antalya but also in Anatolia that is visited by tourists all over the world.

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