Aventura Yachting

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Phaselis (ancient Rhodian city)

Phaselis (Greek: Φασηλίς) was an ancient Greek and Roman city on the coast of Lycia. Its ruins are located north of the modern town Tekirova in the Kemer district of Antalya Province in Turkey. It lies between the Bey Mountains and the forests of Olympos National Park.

The town was set up by the Rhodians in 700 BC. Because of its location on an isthmus separating two harbours, it became the most important harbour city of the eastern Lycia and an important centre of commerce between Greece, Asia, Egypt, and Phoenicia, although it did not belong to the Lycian League. The city was captured by Persians after they conquered Asia Minor, and was later captured by Alexander the Great.

After the death of Alexander, the city remained in Egyptian hands from 209 BC to 197 BC, under the dynasty of Ptolemaios, and with the conclusion of the Apamea treaty, was handed over to the Kingdom of Rhodes, together with the other cities of Lycia. From 190 BC to 160 BC it remained under Rhodeian hegemony, but after 160 BC it was absorbed into the Lycian confederacy under Roman rule. Phaselis, like Olympos, was under constant threat from pirates in the 1st century BC, and the city was even taken over by the pirate Zekenites for a period until his defeat by the Romans. In 42 BC Brutus had the city linked to Rome. During the Byzantine period, the city became a bishopric, although in the 3rd century AD, its convenient harbour had fallen under the threat of pirates once again. So it began to lose importance, suffering further losses at the hands of Arab ships, until totally impoverished in the 11th century AD.

There was a temple of Athena at Phaselis, where the lance of Achilles was exhibited. It was the birthplace of the poet and orator Theodectes. It was also renowned for its roses, from which the essence was extracted.  When the Seljuks began to concentrate on Alanya and Antalya as ports, Phaselis ceased to be a port of any note.

Alexander the great

Phaselis has three harbours: the ‘northern Harbour', the ' Battle Harbour' and the 'Protected (Sun) Harbour', of which the last is the most important today. A 24-metre-wide ancient street runs through the middle of the city. The 'Hadrian Waterway Gate' is on the southern part of the street. There are ruins of shops and stores on the sides of the street and near these are ruins of public places such as Roman baths, agoras and a theatre. These structures are dated to the 2nd century BC. There are water canals between the town centre and the 70 m plateau and also numerous sarcophagi.

The southern harbour is the harbour to anchor in as the northern harbour is fouled by many stones and rocks from the ruins.  The central harbour is very shallow and can not be used.  In the Southern harbour there is an old submerged quay side mole  running from the middle of the western shore of the peninsular in a south westerly direction at around 6 metres deep.  If you intend to spend the night at anchor in this harbour you should anchor just to the north of the mole and then set a kedge anchor from astern ensuring you are in an south east to north west line.  This will ensure your bow is facing any possible swell from the south east, but the night winds will generally come from the north and therefore this would put you side onto the swell if you do not set a kedge anchor.

There is a small cafe restaurant located near the car park for visitors to the ruins.  However it is not normally open at night and you should plan to eat on your yacht.  The evening sunsets and early sunrises are fantastic as the sun’s rays wash over Mount Tahatlı.  Make sure you give yourself a couple of hours to visit the ruins as there is much to see.

To the top

To the top

Roman aquaduct - Phaselis

High Street south - Phaselis

High Street north - Phaselis

Southern harbour - Phaselis

Amphitheatre view - Phaselis

Sunrise on Mount Tahtlı

Central harbour - Phaselis

Pirates entering southern harbour