Xanthos? I thought we were going to Xanadu…

11 Aug

I have been incredibly remiss in blogging about all of our trips. There are a million excuses I could give, but mainly I am just overwhelmed with the millions of pictures, the multiple media options- facebook, email, flickr, blogging, the fact that I am kinda sorta lazy, and really, I don’t want to make y’all too jealous.  Anyway, I hope some of you have seen the facebook pictures of some of the amazing ancient cities we have already visited.  The point I am slowly getting to is that we have been to A LOT of ruins.  In fact, when we get in the car to go on a trip, Dylan whines, “Are we going to see more ancient ruins?” Poor kid, right?

Any way, for every ruin we visit, we have foregone visiting two others.  Turkey is littered with ancient cities.  Ruins poke out of fields and cityscapes alike, and it seems they are largely ignored.  While it seems unthinkable to leave these treasures exposed and unprotected, imagine the funding it would take to excavate, secure, and maintain these sites.  A Turkish friend of mine said that the government chooses to keep some sites covered underground so at least looters are discouraged.  I try to keep these things in mind when we show up at a particularly underwhelming site, enter Xanthos…

Xanthos is the Greek name give to the city in the 6th Century BC.  The location is a UNESCO World Heritage Site which tends to indicate it will be well preserved or particularly cool (and a reason you would choose to visit it over another lesser site). Well, as the kids would say, it was pretty much another ancient city. 

Roman Amphitheater    

What made Xanthos different? It had cool tall, square pillars which we hadn’t seen.  It was located on a river (you would be shocked how many ruins are in the middle of nowhere with no obvious reason for their location).  The kids, exhausted from our morning hike and uninterested in more ruins, completely refused to explore Xanthos.  So, instead they watched ants and made leaf designs, while listening to music from my iPhone.


What was the feel of the site?  Some sites are harder to reimagine than others, this site was like that.  It was a prosperous Greek city, but the Greeks committed mass suicide in 540 BC to avoid Persian capture.  The Romans took it from the Persians.  The city just died some time after that.  And that is the way it felt… hot and forgotten.  No one was there.  Maybe, like El and Dyl, they were just too tired to bother.


2 Responses to “Xanthos? I thought we were going to Xanadu…”

  1. Ashley August 11, 2012 at 6:35 pm #

    And to think, people pay money to see a lot less (ancient, complete) in Rome…amazing!


  1. Gorge-ous « inankara - August 22, 2012

    […] The gorge was formed as the melting snow in the Taurus Mountains made its way through the Xanthos Valley to the Mediterranean Sea at Patara […]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: