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Olimpos

Olimpos

At the other end of the beach from Cirali, lie the extensive ruins of the ancient city of Olympos. Dating from 2000 BC, Olympos was one of the major cities of the Lycian union. This important city served as both a centre for trade and a pirate stronghold for many centuries. The growing Roman Empire put an end to the rule of the corsairs in 76-77 BC and churches started to appear with the spread of Christianity. Following the Romans, Venetians, Genoese and Rhodian knights all played a role in the history of Olympos and it is still possible to see small Venetian castles on the surrounding hills. Ottoman rule was established in the region during 15th century and the city was later abandoned after major earthquakes.

Today the forest covering the ruins of this ancient city is being cleared and the area is being restored by archaeologists. Olympos is now protected by the Turkish Ministry of Culture and Tourism. For a small entrance fee is possible to explore the ruins and get close to the remains of this ancient civilization.