Colyabrassos - helenestic settlement next to Alanya

Colyabrassos / Alanya

This antique town, in Turkish Kücük Ayasofya, you reach by taking road  07-30 north after 21 km along the main road from Alanya. The road goes to Güzelbağ (26 km). 

In Güzelbağ turn right towards Gündoğmuş (sign) and after 3 km follow the road right towards Bayirkozagagi (sign). After 3,5 km a dirt road goes left towards Colyabrassos (no sign). The road goes up to 1200 metres and can be driven in a normal car with care. Walking takes 30 minutes before you come to some ruined sarcophagi* and a rock tomb with steps in the right side of the road. There are magnificent views. In a 4-wheel drive you can also visit the 20 metres high waterfall Ucansu Şelâlesi (”flying water”), where the Alara River begins from fissures in the rock.

Colyabrassos - born during hellenistic time

b_450_450_16777215_00_images_turkey_turkish_riviera_alanya_gazipasa_ucansu-2.jpgLittle is known about Colyabrassos, which is in Cilicia, and archaeologists have not been here yet, but it is probably 3000 years old. We do know that the town had a temple for Zeus* and Heracles. The buildings are in Hellenistic style with few traces from Roman times* and none from later settlements.  The town was probably destroyed in an earthquake or by war and was then abandoned. It is surprising that a town existed here in this difficult terrain where there is no natural trade route  and at least 15 km in direct line to the sea. A 100 metres long path leads to the ruins. Ashlars and inscriptions lie everywhere and from the buildings the only thing left is often the foundations. A single temple still has corner pillars standing, while the side walls have collapsed.   An odeon*, an exedra* and remains of the town wall and towers can be seen. The carefully hewn stones and joints without mortar represent excellent building techniques and betray their Hellenistic origin. One rock tomb is decorated with a Medusa head and  eagles.

Rocky stairway leads to the monuments

b_450_450_16777215_00_images_turkey_turkish_riviera_alanya_gazipasa_ucansu-3.jpgA small visible sign of Roman presence is found in a field wall on a levelled area. In the wall there is a stele of white limestone with a Latin inscription with many abbreviations. In translation the text says: “By  Jupiter Optimus Maximus. Diocletian’s and  Maximianus’ I Legion Pontica has made the excercise ground after having removed the hill Ancesis under supervision by Legion Prefect  Aurelius Victor on the 8th day in the calender of June when Maximianus Augustus the second time and Januarianus were consul”. This tells us the following: The date is 25th May 288 AD when Diocletian and Maximianus shared the title of emperor between 286-305. The Pontic legion* came from the province Pontic in the southeastern corner of the Black Sea, where it was stationed in Trapezus. It seems that the legion or parts of it have been stationed temporarily in Colyabrassos, where it has needed an excercise ground. It is likely the legion was used to combat the Isauric tribes. The text also says that the legion worshipped Jupiter, the Roman counterpart of Zeus.

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The waterfall of Edessa - short trip into town
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