Fethiye History & Information
Fethiye is built over the ruins of what used to be the ancient city of Telmessos, whose ancient theatre is still located right in the city centre. Nowadays, the city is surrounded by some of the world’s most stunning beaches, has a harbour with many boats, a vibrant city life,
In a legend “Telmessos” is described as the name of the son of God Apollo. He fells in love with the daughter of the King Agenor, the king of Phoenicia. He turns his self into a small dog and gains the love of the withdrawn, shy daughter. Then appears as a handsome man and have the son named “Telmessos” which means “Land of the Lights”
The city became part of the Persian Empire 547 BC. “Telmessos” joined the “Attic Delos Union” established in 5th century BC. Later city left the union and became an independent city, continued its relations with the union until the 4th century BC.
Fethiye grew fast in the 19th century and had a large population of Greek citizens. During the exchange between Greece and Turkey, the Greeks were sent to Greece and the town was settled with Turks came from Greece. The modern name “Fethiye” was given to the town in honour of Fethi Bey who was one of the first pilots of the Ottoman Air Force died in a mission.
Nowadays Fethiye is a tourist town with its international atmosphere. There are 3 marinas in the town serves to international and local visitors and cruise ships. Town has everything that a tourist looks for. Delicious restaurants, great nightlife, history and nature, amazing bays, traditional markets and shops, daily excursions and activities and it is probably the only city in the world where you will find sarcophagus and lots of temples and ruins in the streets.
Lycian Rock Tombs
The Lycians believed that their dead were carried to the afterlife by magic winged creatures and thus they placed their honoured dead in geographically high places such as the cliffside. Dating back to the 4th century, many of the numerous entryways are adorned with tall Romanesque columns and intricate reliefs, a bit duller from centuries of weathering. The older tombs are often no more than unremarked holes dug into the rock.
Despite the external grandeur, the interior of the tombs are spare chambers cut into the rock with a simple monolith inside to display the body and the rooms, are otherwise empty from hundreds of years worth of looting.
The Tomb of Amintas
The most impressive of these tombs were built by the Lycians in 350 BC. It was named after the Greek inscription on the side of it which reads “Amyntou tou Ermagiou”. Translated to English this means “Amyntas, son of Hermagios”.
Today the tomb overlooks a very different Fethiye to the one of 350BC. It is still just as breathtakingly beautiful, however, the ancient Lycians would see a few changes.
Visitors to the area will either admire the tomb from afar or pay the nominal entrance fee and climb the 200 steps to take a closer look. It is worth the climb to be able to sit on the almighty steps of this iconic tomb, enjoy the view and appreciate the majesty and importance of Hermagios’ son.