The best preserved historical remains in Mersin, which hosts important antique cities of the Mediterranean, are found in Uzuncaburç district, 30 km north of Silifke. Today Uzuncaburç, the place of worship of the Olba Kingdom in the Hellenistic period, was transformed into a new site in AD 72 under the domination of the Roman Empire.
These unfamiliar aspects of our towns, our towns, both amaze me and make me sad. What a pity it is that even the citizens of this country do not even know that this is a magnificent ancient city. However, this wealth is worth the tourism as much as the people of the whole region can take care of.
Memorial tomb structures in the city, Temple of Zeus, bastion and pyramid roofs Known as the columns, the theater, the ceremonial gate, the ancient fountain, the Temple of Chance and the Gate of Victory are columns dating from the Roman period, while the Hellenistic Age remains.
The number of churches in the city increased with the spread of Christianity in the region from the 5th century. Following the Byzantium, the Turks who had dominated the region reached the name of Uzuncaburç with a name beginning with the name of the city’s high court.
Uzuncaburç Ancient City, Silifke
There are many buildings that can be seen in the ancient city of Uzuncaburç which has managed to influence the visitors with its rich history and cultural heritage.
Ceremonial Gate (Tören Kapısı)
The Ceremonial Gate dates back to the 1st millennium BC, crowned by columns with corinthian heads, each 1 m in diameter and 7 m in height. The 5th column of the half-destroyed door is still standing. The consoles on the column bodies had sculptures in the past.
Temple of Zeus
Zeus Temple, which succeeded in printing the name of the art history, is known as one of the oldest temples in the Corinthian style, Peripteros, which is surrounded by 36 columns in four directions in Anatolia. After the ceremony gate, it is estimated that the temple was built by Selevkos Nikator, which can be seen in the avudel to the left of the Columned Street after the ancient fountain. The temple used by the Romans was converted into a church in the 5th century during the Christian era and the doors were added together by the columns. The temple, which defies time, is among the most important structures of Uzuncaburç.
Antique Fountain (Antik Çeşme)
The Colonnaded Street crossing the theater intersects with another columned street next to the Temple of Zeus. The street that extends up to the Temple of Chance is in the ancient city since the 1st century AD. On the street where the columns are not seen today, most of the architectural pieces disappeared from the center over time.
Chance Temple (Tychaeum)
The Temple of Chance is one of the structures built in the second half of the 1st century. Nowadays, it is known that the temple where the granite column carries 5’li standing and each 6’şar m is built by Oppius and his wife Kyria from the caste of the city and presented to the city.
In the center of the Victory Gate to the north of the Temple of Zeus there is a large, two small arched entrance. The inscription on the book mentions that the Roman Emperors Arcadius (395 – 408) and Honorius (395 – 423) were repaired during their administration together. The glamorous appearance of Victory is referred to as Victory Gate. It is understood that there were sculptures and busts in the past in the monumental gates of this door.
The theater built by using the land structure is dated to the period of administration of Roman Emperors Marcus Aurelius (161 – 180) and Lucius Verus (161 – 169). In the theater where the pit is in the ground, the steps of the seating are arranged by taking advantage of this inclination. The theater, which welcomes those who want to travel in the ancient city on their step, is ideal for breathing.
The Hellenistic Mausoleum, estimated to belong to one of the rulers of Seleucos or Olba, has a history of 2,300 years. The tomb structure with pyramid roof, height of 15 m and dimensions of 5,5 m and 5,5 m is a square plan.
Mersin Uzuncaburç Ancient City The Hellenistic High Tower, built as a safe area protected by people and city treasures at the time of danger, also has the living spaces of the administrators. It is an interesting feature that there is no mortar used in the construction of the hoist at the height of 23 m. The tower, which was built by Tarkyares in the 2nd half of the 3rd century BC, has been under renovation in the period. This tower, which is inspired by the emblem on the money, is also the main source of Uzuncaburç’s name.
Olba Ancient City, the spread of Christianity in the region of Uzuncabur, the number of churches has also increased. After the Temple of Zeus was converted into a church in the 5th century, three more churches were built. These are known as the Stefanos Church near the tower, the Cemetery Church in the necropolis and the small church next to the theater, but they have not reached a trace.
The necropolis is a necropolis built on two different slopes of the valley north of Uzuncaburç Kentin, used as a cemetery during Hellenistic, Roman and Byzantine periods. In the form of rock carvings there are still many traces in the area where the tomb is located.