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Caunos Ancient City and Kings Tombs

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Caunos Ancient City

The ancient city of Caunos and the famed Kings Tombs of Caunos are opposite Dalyan, within the borders of the region of Köycegiz. On one side of the Dalyan channel is Köycegiz and on the other side is Ortaca.

In order to get to the ancient city of Caunos, one can either take a daily boat trip running from Köycegiz along the lake through the channels to the Dalyan River or drive to Dalyan and take a rowing boat across the river. In both cases, it is then only 10 minutes walk to get to the ancient city of Caunos.

Those coming from Köycegiz should drive to Ekincik and then follow the road around the Köycegiz lake from Sultaniye Thermal Spa. However, there is no bridge across the Dalyan River, so you need to drive back along the same road. Just opposite the river you will see the Kings Tombs in all of their grandeur. The tombs were carved into the rocks in Lycian style and the dead were placed on rock beds. The tombs are surrounded by two Ionic columns, which are carved in relief and have a triangular shape above with depictions of lions. The tombs were also used during the Roman period.

The ancient geographer Strabon wrote that Caunos had a shipyard and port that could be opened and closed when necessary. Miletos's son, Caunos, exiled for having had a relationship with his twin sister, founded the city. At that time the sea reached as far as the Caunos Acropolis. When the Persians conquered Anatolia the city of Caunos was taken under the control of Mausolos. The city was ruled by Princess Ada, after Alexander the Great defeated the Persians in 334 BC. Antigonos and Ptolemy, from the Kingdoms of Rhodes and Bergama and then the Roman Empire followed after. The city's port became blocked with silt and after that Caunos lost its importance.

Here in the ancient city of Caunos the remains of the temple, the acropolis, which is set on a hill, the city's theatre at the foot of the acropolis, a basilica style church to the west of the theatre, a Roman bath and a temple can all be seen. There is also an incomplete circular construction with fluted columns and behind this is a podium with three steps. The function of the circular structures here is unknown. During excavations, a stoa and many pedestals around the stoa were found. The fountain near the stoa has been restored. The remains of the city walls on the northern part are from the Middle Ages.  In order to see the city walls and the towers, a long tour of discovery needs to be taken.

Please read as well:

Datca - pretty, quiet harbor at the Aegean

Mugla - amazing chimneys awaiting you

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