The ancient city of Lyrbe (aka Seleucia)

Seleucia (also spelt Seleukeia), according to the Freytag and Berndt map that I have, is one of the top 10 attractions in (the province of) Antalya.  I’ve been wanting to visit for years and, well, had kind of high expectations.  On our drive back from Kapadokya to Antalya with my family, we spent the night in Seydişehir which gave us plenty of time to look around Seleucia the following day.

There’s actually so little known about Seleucia that only recently did archaeologists conclude that the site the maps call Seleucia isn’t actually Seleucia at all.  According to the sign on site “the site was wrongly identified as Seleukeia in old publications.”  It goes on to say that Seleukeia had a harbor and is probably west of Side, putting it a fair bit SW (15km?) of what’s now known as Lyrbe.  Lyrbe is in a pine forest in the hills north of Manavgat.  There definitely could not have been a harbor here.  The main reason to visit Lyrbe is to see “the best preserved example of Agora in Pamphylia”.

IMG_20190604_130249 by bryandkeith on flickr

IMG_20190604_130418 by bryandkeith on flickr

IMG_20190604_130720 by bryandkeith on flickr

IMG_20190604_130445_52 by bryandkeith on flickr

That’s it.  Those four photos give you an idea of what remains of the best preserved agora in Pamphylia.

I read later on the internet that it’s worth looking around enough to find the baths.  We started following the signs for the baths, a bit below the main part of the site, but I guess we didn’t walk far enough down the path…  There’s always more to see.

Scattered around in the forest you’ll find some other old walls and buildings:

IMG_20190604_133058 by bryandkeith on flickr

IMG_20190604_130839 by bryandkeith on flickr

Oh wait!  I did find a few more agora photos:

IMG_20190604_131613 by bryandkeith on flickr

IMG_20190604_132147 by bryandkeith on flickr

IMG_20190604_131028 by bryandkeith on flickr

It is actually quite an impressive agora, fun to look at and imagine the shops bustling with activity on market day 2000 years ago.

On the drive back to Manavgat we came across parts of the old aqueduct suppling water to Side.  According to the sign the waterways are 35km long with “open canals, underground tunnels, vault covered tunnels, and aqueducts.”  Apparently the Kırkgöz Aqueduct with 44 arches is still standing near Oymapınar, something else to add to my list.  There’s always more to see.

IMG_20190604_140502_4 by bryandkeith on flickr

With three blogs in a row about yet more ruins in Turkey, I decided to put together a list of ancient cities in Turkey that I’ve blogged about (last update: Apr. 2024):


This entry was posted in Traveling, Turkey and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to The ancient city of Lyrbe (aka Seleucia)

  1. Mike Painter says:

    Interesting, as always!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.