The ancient city of Anamurium has been here, at the southernmost
point of the Anatolian peninsula, since
the 4th century BCE.
Today it is perhaps the most striking
and atmospheric ancient "ghost town"
Anamurium was a flourishing Roman city from the 1st to 4th centuries
AD, and continued a fairly prosperous
existence from agriculture, fishing
and maritime trade into the Byzantine period (5th and 6th centuries).
An earthquake in
580, and destructive raids by pirates
and Arab armies in the 600s, put an
end to the city, leaving it a ghost
As you wander around the hillside
city overlooking the Mediterranean,
you'll see aqueducts, city walls, palaestrae
(sports halls), Roman baths, Byzantine
churches, houses, and a vast necropolis (cemetery)
with some elaborate graves of two stories.
Archeological finds from
the site are preserved in the Archeological
Museum in the
town of Anamur.
To find the Anamurium archeological
site, drive west from Anamur and look
for signs pointing to the left off
the highway, just as the highway begins
to climb into the mountains. There's
a small admission fee to the ruins;
cool drinks are available at the site,
and meals are served in small restaurants
along the access road to the ruins.
—by Tom Brosnahan
|Above, the ruins
of ancient Anamurium.