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The ancient town of Hamaxia / Alanya

The antique town Hamaxia / Alanya

The ancient town Hamaxia, in Turkish Sinek Kalesi, is situated about 6 km to the West of Alanya city centre. From the coast road, after the 2nd tunnel from Alanya (1st tunnel from Manavgat), turn north by a big board showing the direction to Elikesik Tesisleri and you will notice two cement factories (Atam Hazir and Alanya Hazir).

After 2,5 km you reach the village Elikesik. There are a few houses where you can park the car and walk the last 100 m to the Roman cistern with remarcable columns. The altitude is 400 metres and vegetation is dense, but the view over the peninsula of Analya to the east and the beaches to the west and the mountains to the north is beautiful. In good weather condition you can see all the way to Gazipaşa in the east and Manavgat in the west. Next to a new built house, an unmarked gravel road turns sharply right and upwards and after 2 km you are at the foot of the mountain and reach the ruins of the former town Hamaxia. Don´t be afraid, lot of bushes close the way, so better wear long trousers and hiking shoes.

The Greek geographer Strabo (63 BC  –19 AD) mentioned that the town is blessed with an abundance of cedar trees, suitable for ship building. This is why Antony gave the town to Cleopatra as a present. The town was inhabited from the 1st century and still grew during Byzantine time. From 100-200 AD the town belonged to Alanya; it was rather poor - maybe Cleopatra had succeeded in cutting down all the cedars?

First you reach the ancient cistern where the spring comes out of the rock. The still existing basin today is used as a cistern and for irrigation of the terraces. Steps from the pond lead through a thicket to the town. Only the first 8-10 steps are in good condition, the rest of the way requires good condition and good shoes. It may be a good idea to get a guide from the house near the pond. From the north the access is easier, you move along the terraces and do not need a guide. There are remains of a church and various religious and official buildings with Greek inscriptions indicating that there was a Hermes temple in Hamaxia too. With little climbing and research you will find an exedra with inscriptions and semicircular rows of seats  and parts of the town wall and watch towers. The necropolis is to the north west. Many of the limestone exhibited in Alanya’s Archeological Museum originally come from excavations in Hamaxia.

Please read as well:

Red Tower Alanya - City Symbol goes back to Alaadin Keykubat

Tersane Dockyard Alanya - Monument of Seldjuks

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