The ancient city of Olympus was built along the banks of a swift-flowing stream which flows Into the sea. The city was referred to by Cicero in his writings as being full of riches and works of art. The site is located some eigHt kilometers to the southwest of Antalya at the village of Cirali.


Olympus was an important city In Lycia, but its origins do not go back as far as some of the other ancient sites in the area. It was probably not founded before Hellenistic times. From the annals of Rome, we know that Julius Caeser, then in his.youth, visited the city ‘with Publius Servllius Vatla; this was in 79 B.C. Robbers and sea pirates used to hide out in Olympus and in the crags of the ancient Mount Phoenix that rises up with the city in its shadow. The Byzantines repaired much of the city when they came into power including the quay and a stone water course through which flowed the stream.


A fine temple doorway, a smail theater and numerous tombs may be seen at the site, among the jungle of vegetation that has been left untended. A bridge was used to cross the channel, and one of the abutments of this structure is still standing. The quay was built during the Hellenistic Age and is a fine example of the stone-working skill with which the ancients excelled. This was repaired through the ages by both the Romans and the Byzantines. Near the mouth of the river stands the ancient city’s steep acropolis. Little In the way of important buildings or other structures can be found at.this point, but the view from this elevated position is marvelous. The Roman theater has not survived the ravages of time very well; only a part of one of the entrances is in any but poor condition. The cella door of an Ionic temple is perhaps the most interesting structure found at the site. It is thought that the temple was erected during the time of Emperor Marcus Aurelius in the 2nd century A.D.

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