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B + 3 : Alexander's Winter Quarter

This morning, we decided to leave out Myra - the only really impressive thing there is the old Lycian theatre - not much more of the Lycian town has survived. We are going to miss the Saint Nicholas church though - so be it.

Phaselis' Main Street lined with shops

The trip to Phaselis would take us almost five hours and we wanted to have enough time to explore this ancient town. Phaselis was Alexander's winter quarter in 334/333 BC from where he moved into Anatolia proper, traversed the Cicilian Gates and decisively beat the Persian Army at Issus near today's Oamaniye. His total victory opened the way into the heart of the Persian Empire.

Phaselis on Google Map today - the northern harbour is mostly silted now

Whilst founded around 700 BC by Rhodes, the Ruins we visit today are of Roman origin. In the civil war following Caesar's assassination, Phaselis was destroyed but rebuilt in the first century AD. With Arab horsemen conquering Egypt in 641 AD, the big grain trade from Alexandria to Constantinople came to an end. No commercial ships was looking for a port anymore. Phaselis lost its reason to exist. More and more people left the town and it eventually decayed. Neither the Seljuk nor the Ottoman Turks made an effort to rebuild it.

Entrance to the Roman Baths

The Roman Aqueduct is still pretty intact

The Lycian theatre looks a bit ruffled after the many earthquakes it experienced

The remains of the northern harbour are now a beach

Venetian Merchants would never have set a foot here. During their time, Phaselis was buried in the forest and nobody was living here.

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