Just another scenic drive in Norway!
Where are Kevin and Ruth now? Geiranger, Norway!

Where are Kevin and Ruth going next? Exploring southwestern Norway until July 26th.

Tuesday, March 8, 2022

The fantastic mosaics at the ancient city of Anamurium, Turkiye

The ancient city of Anamurium dates to between the 1st and the 7th centuries. I always have to think about that a little bit. Of course in Canada, anything old is maybe 300 or 400 years, at most. So when you come across structures that are still standing after 1,500 or 2,000 years, it's difficult to comprehend.

We had no plans to visit Anamurium until Ruth did a little bit of research to find out what there was to see along our route. And it turns out there is a lot to see! In fact, it was one of the better ruins sites.

We left our nice beachfront parking spot at about 9:30am. 

Eurasian Hoopoe.

First stop was to fill one of our propane tanks. It's so funny, because while one station refuses to fill them, another station doesn't question a thing. This time, we were filled up right away. We also noticed that the price of diesel fuel has gone up again... now topping 20 lira per liter. Of course we realize that this is happening all over the world, and it's still relatively cheap here compared to Europe.

Not many vehicles on the fairly new road.

The fairly new road has some engineering problems!

Gorgeous views.

You can see the levels where bananas are grown.

The road through this section was down to two lanes and very curvy. Slow going, especially when you get stuck behind a big truck, but otherwise it was fantastic scenery, and we like those kind of drives.

Lots of greenhouses that tend to take away from the scenery.



Banana terraces.

The finished product.

We've read that these bananas are smaller and sweeter than the bananas produced elsewhere. Unfortunately, Ruth doesn't like bananas, and while I can eat them, they're not my favorite either!

Another engineering problem!

Back to new highway agin.

Coming down to the modern city of Anamur.

The modern city of Anamur evolved from the ancient city of Anamurium. Unfortunately Anamur is not a very attractive city, consisting of thousands of greenhouses on the outskirts. But we weren't there for the modern city, we were there for the ancient one.

We paid the 12.50 lira (about a dollar each) entrance fee and drove in. It was really weird, because the entrance road drives right through the ancient city. 

Max, parked right inside the ancient city.

The first thing we noticed is that many of the structures are still standing. Normally, you only find the foundations. The second thing we noticed... is that we were the only ones there! Apparently because this site is located at the furthest southernmost point in Turkey (only 70 kms, 43 miles from Cyrpus) and about a two hour drive from Alanya, it is not on most tourists radar.

But it should be.

The first thing we saw was the remains of The Central Bath.
The roof dome has a detailed mosaic that can still be seen.

Wow. You can still make out the peacock.

Look at all the walls still standing.

What remains of the central church.

New and old.

Anamurium is located right on the sea.

There are four different baths buildings. Two large ones, one small one, and one large public bath. During excavation, they discovered a pristine mosaic on the floor of the small bath and they have rebuilt the structure and roof in a modern way to protect the floor while making it viewable to the public. Unfortunately it wasn't open yet, and the best I could do was to take some zoomed pictures through the gated doors...


They believe this was built in the 5th century.

We would guess that more than 90% of this site remains unexcavated. It's a really large site, but also one of the most intact that we have visited.

Doing some exploring.

The structure with the arches is the aqueduct.



Some recent excavation.
Notice how much they have to dig down to get to the structures.

Columns just lying around.

One other noticeable thing about this site is the number of mosaic floors. They have tried to cover some of them to protect them, but others are just out in the open. There are just too many, and some of them are huge.

Ruth is lifting a corner of one of the covers just to show you.

\Yep, there is a mosaic floor under there.

This one is just out in the open.

This one used to be covered.

This is the huge floor of the gymnasium. It is all done with mosaic, but is all covered.

The back wall of the gymnasium.

Indoor swimming pool at the Great Bath.

Another floor.

This was the Hot Bath area of the Great Bath.

Ruth, standing on the aqueduct.

The remains of the huge fortified wall.

How has this not fallen down?

At first, we thought this was where people lived.
But they are domed tombs!

There are over 350 of these domes tombs.

Spring wildflowers!

The back of the basilica still stands.

Me, walking on the 1,500 year old mosaic floor to get into the basilica.

Me at the basilica.

Next stop was the huge public baths building. It is in mostly original condition. 

The public baths.

Ruth, heading up the entrance stairs.


Another section of floor.

At one of the wash stations.


Then we headed up the acropolis to get a good overall view of the site...

Us!

The view from where we were standing.

I zoomed in on what used to be the theater.
Strangely, very little of the theater remains. The seating has all been removed at some point.

What a great spot and for the most part we had it all to ourselves. After lunch, we saw two couples and a family with kids show up. That's it. Amazing. We spent three hours wandering around, and could have gone back for more.

But there is more to see elsewhere. We heard back from friends Katja and Yves. They are well ahead of us now, and have told us about some more amazing things that lie ahead. So we can't hang around!

We ended up at a little oceanfront forest service campground, and again we are the only ones here. The guy at the entrance gate has a boring job! Cost was 50 lira ($4.50 CAD, $3.50 USD) including electric.

Max, parked up at GPS 36.08832, 32.923208




It's a nice little spot, but we are moving on... like I said, there is too much to see and we want to see some of the eastern part of the country near the Syria border.

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And in Canada...

10 comments:

  1. That is an amazing place! Those mosaic floors are fantastic. Great scenery too.

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    1. It really was an interesting place. The huge necropolis was supposed to be really different too but we just didn't have time before the rain started, to check it out as well. There were supposed to be more mosaics and frescoes in amongst the tombs. It would have been nice to have seen some of those mosaics uncovered, I bet they were gorgeous.

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  2. Great photos. Truly fascinating and a bit mind boggling. Trying to imagine life that long ago.

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    1. Thank you! That ruins site was amazing and yes, very mind boggling as to how they were built so long ago. Nope, we can't even begin to imagine what life was life way back then.

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  3. Thanks for showing so many pics. That was a fabulous day. Glad I've now seen bananas growing outdoors, but it would be difficult managing bananas on terraces. On a clear day you would be able to see north Cyprus. Loved the peacock mosaic, never seen one in a dome like that.

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    1. So glad that you enjoyed all the pictures, even then Kevin held back a lot of them.

      We couldn't see North Cyprus that day but we were able to just make it out today.

      The mosaics were really interesting to see, usually they are all in museums or totally covered up. Thankfully some of these were just out there for us to see. I really wish we could have seen the huge one that was at the gymnasium but it looked like it had been covered up for quite some time and the one in the small bath that was locked up looked beautiful but we couldn't get a good view of it. I really liked the one of the peacock in the dome, it was definitely different.

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  4. Forgot to mention the hoopee, that's like a little bonus. There's something comical about them and they are much easier to photograph than birds in trees.

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    1. It sounds like we were really lucky to have seen the hoopoe and we actually saw three of them hopping about the grass and poking their beaks into the dirt searching for food. Kevin definitely didn't have a issue getting a picture of one. :-)

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  5. Thank you for sharing your pictures! Just wondering if there are any cemeteries around any of the ruins? Thank you!

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    1. You are welcome, we are glad that you enjoyed the pictures.

      In the ancient cities the cemetery was called the necropolis and yes this site had a huge necropolis. The picture of Max parked in amongst the ruins, which I think was the first picture Kevin posted of the ruins, everything that is behind Max and to the right going up the hill are all tombs. There are also two pictures posted in this post that shows some of the many domed tombs.

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