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Stopping the Hands of Time in Termessos

Set at an altitude of 1000 metres and forming part of the Taurus Mountains sits Termessos, an ancient Turkish city just a short drive from Antalya. A natural fortress filled with rare flora and fauna, even Alexander the Great failed when he tried to invade this tranquil, untainted land. Termessos remains essentially as it was when founded by the Anatolians centuries ago.

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Amid the ancient rubble, you'll see walls from the Hellenistic period. There’s also the main square and the theatre, not unlike a Roman one, whose cavea (the semicircular seating area) can accommodate up to 4,000 people. Where statues of the city’s most beloved athletes once stood, only the engraved bases remain, littering the streets of Termessos. You’ll also see the ruins of six temples, with one of these possibly dedicated to the “chief god,” Zeus Solymeus, while two others were built in tribute to Artemis.

Another intriguing building to see on your Antalya holiday is the Roman house, probably the home of some Roman nobleman. Inside you will find an impulvium, typically the sunken part of an atrium in a Roman house designed to remove or store rainwater, around which the rooms of the house were built

Termessos has rock tombs that are set apart from the main city. You’ll find tombs carved out of rock, coffins etched with lions, and a grand resting place for the city’s most unforgettable figure, Alcetas, who fought one of Alexander the Great's successors, Antigonus.

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