Discover Myra Southern Turkey

Tea Chest Tidbits – short posts with lots of delightful photos of our time in Turkey.

Please be a traveler, not a tourist. Try new things, meet new people, and look beyond what’s right in front of you. Those are the keys to understanding this amazing wold we live in.

Andrew Zimmern

Following on from our trip to St Nicholas Church on a beautiful spring day, we ventured on to discover Myra situated in Demre, part of the Province of Antalya in Southern Turkey. This ancient township has some incredible history and was quite something for us to experience. The thing that we instantly noticed was the shear size of the ruins, that and the peacefulness of the area. Although there were quite a few people around us the atmosphere was breathtakingly serene. We wandered around feeling so blessed to be able to experience this wonderful site. We shared the experience with some extraordinarily quick lizards that love to bask in the sun on the rocks. I think the most commonly used word for us overall that day was ‘Wow’.

The incredible Lycian rock tombs at Myra

Myra is famous for its amphitheatre, apparently the largest in Lycia, and its rock tombs carved into the western cliff above the amphitheatre. The township of Myra was originally Ancient Greek, then Roman Greek, Byzantine Greek then Ottoman Greek situated in what was once called Lycia then Kale. It was renamed Demre in 2005. Myra was founded on the ancient river Myros within a fertile and prosperous area along the coast of the Mediterranean Sea. Emperor Hadrian visited Myra in 131 AD and built a large granary at Andriace which can still be viewed along the main road between Kas and Finike. Theodosius II an Eastern Roman emperor hailed Myra as the capital of Byzantine Lycia and this was the case until the city fell to Harun al-Rashid, the fifth Abbasid Caliphin in 808 AD. Sadly, the township of Myra was almost completely abandoned during the 11th century. This was due to a combination of floods, earthquakes, Muslim raids and the plague in 542 AD that greatly reduced the population. Today the remains are quite spectacular and we can highly recommend a visit.

Beautiful archway at Myra
The beautiful amphitheatre of Myra with the Lycian rock tombs in the background
Looking up at the amphitheatre of Myra – the largest in Lycia
Enjoying the sun and atmosphere in the amphitheatre
Carving in the stone within the amphitheatre at Myra

Catch us next time when we share with you another incredible historic site we visited on our journey.
Happy Tea Drinking and Fair Winds ♥

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