Cine (Alabanda) Tourist Attractions
Çine (formerly Kiroba), hemmed in by the mountain ridges of the eastern (Topçambabadag 1,792m/5,875ft) and western (Teke Dag 1,276m/4,185ft) Mentese highlands, is a regional center barely 60km/37mi northeast of Milas.
Agricultural land predominates in the lowlands of the Büyük Menderes valley with the cultivation of Mediterranean fruit and vegetables. This region was densely populated in the past and many ancient remains can be found. About 7km/4mi to the southwest near Araphisar and its ruined castle the important ancient site of Alabanda lies on the left bank of the Çine Çayi (Marsyas in antiquity). This free town which prospered in Roman times was also known as Antiocheia and became famous for its wealth. Its most famous citizen was the rhetorician Apollonios. It is also well known for "alabandicus", a black to purple-red marble used in the production of glass as it melts when heated. Some of the ruins lie near the village of Araphisar but they extend from the Çine Çayi south to the col between two hills separated by the Kemer Deresi.HistoryAccording to legend the town was founded by King Kar. He called his son Alabandos and the town Alabanda after a successful cavalry battle (Carian "ala", horse and "banda", victory). The town enjoyed its greatest prosperity in the middle of the fourth century B.C. under King Mausolos. Upon the death of Ada, Mausolos' sister who was made queen of Caria by Alexander, Alabanda became the Carian capital. It attracted fame as the source of a precious stone similar to garnet.
Near to Çine some 30m/100ft high Byzantine, painted rock carvings were recently discovered. The ten figures (each 2sq.m/7sq.ft) from the life of Christ probably date from the ninth century and include Christ with Bible and cross, John the Baptist, Mary with infant, Mary with her parents, archangel and angels.
At the eastern end of the Selemiye valley 12km/7mi northwest of Milas near the village of Kizilcakuyu (Ayakli) lies the ruined town of Euromos. Covering an area of 2sq.km/0.75 sq.mi, the remains include one of the best preserved temples in Asia Minor, the Roman Temple of Zeus Lepsynos which lies close to the town walls. Constructed on the foundations of an older Hellenistic building, the temple measures 15 by 17m/16 by 19yds. 16 of the 66 Corinthian pillars are standing and some of the beams are still in place. There are many examples of the double ax symbol of Zeus to be seen. One or two clues suggest that the temple was never finished. Large parts of the ruined town to the north of the temple are overgrown with shrubs and grass including walls, theater and agora. A huge round tower overlooks the remains of the wall. Excavations by Turkish archeologists are planned.
Güllük is an attractive coastal town in the delightful Güllük Bay 25km/16mi southwest of Milas which has in recent years become a popular resort catering mainly for local people. The ruins of Iasos can be reached by boat from here as the overland route from Euromos to the site is very poor. The region around Güllük has seen little development. The silting up of the River Degirmenderesi (Sari Çayi) has created marshy terrain and an ideal habitat for birds. Mosquitoes are in abundance too but the release of certain species of fish may well see an end to them.
Herakleia under Latmos
Herakleia can be reached by an 11km/7mi unmetalled road which forks northwards off the main Izmir to Mugla trunk road and ends at Kapikiri. The ruined town lies on the northeast shore of the beautiful Bafa Gölü which was once the innermost southern tip of the Latmian Gulf but was then cut off from the sea by sediment brought down by the Maeander (Büyük Menderes). Consequently the lake is slightly salty and has an abundance of fish.The extensive remains combine with the rugged heights of Mount Latmos in the background to create one of the most picturesque spots in western Asia Minor. It only enjoyed a brief period of prosperity in Hellenistic times. In the early Christian period the town and surrounding region were a favorite haunt of monks and hermits. The Seljuks, however, drove the Christians out of the area ca. 1080, completing the process about 1300. Excavations were begun here before the First World War.
Herakleia - Ruined Town
The city area of Herakleia is entered through the East Gate with a well-preserved arch in cut stone, one of the earliest of its kind. A peninsula with numerous tombs and a Byzantine castle which used to be the bishop's seat extends to the south and offers a fine view. On the way to the West Gate the visitor passes a magnificent rock shrine (with a four-columned porch) dedicated to the local hero Endymion, the agora now partly covered with soil and the tall Temple of Athena which is well-preserved but minus roof and porch. Beyond some rough and rocky ground and the West Gate lie the remains of the town wall and some old harbor defenses.
Herakleia - Town Walls
The town walls of Herakleia, some 6m/20ft high and with an average thickness of 2.25m/7.5ft although in places up to 3.20m/10.5ft, are preserved at some points to the height of the parapet and as such create one of the best surviving examples of ancient fortifications. Two stretches of the wall which originally had a total of 65 towers meet high up on the hill, extending in total to 4.5km/2.75mi in length. At one time the upper section of the walls enclosed a second acropolis. From the highest point, however, the walls continued further, enclosing a third acropolis (350m/1,150ft) as the city originally stretched further east making the total perimeter 6.5km/4mi.
A visit to the monasteries and caves on 1,367m/4,480ft Mount Latmos (in Turkish Bes Parmak Dagi, Five Finger Mountain) is a strenuous expedition. The principal monastery Stylos (Arabavlu) dates from the 10th century and is dedicated to St Paul. It is an eleven-hour walk from Herakleia through wild terrain. In 1079 St Christodulos left this monastery and in 1088 founded another on the Greek island of Patmos. The Latmos caves contain some notable 12th and 13th century wall paintings. According to Strabo in a cave southwest of Herakleia lies the Tomb of Endymion, the handsome youth who won the love of the moon goddess Selene and was condemned to eternal sleep.
The 36x26m/39x28yd bouleuterion (meeting place) stands on the plain at the northern edge of the town of Çine. Two flights of steps lead to the rear seats. To the south of the bouleuterion stands the 80x120m/87x130yd agora (market-place) which at one time was bordered by double-aisled colonnades. On the hill to the east, the remains of the acropolis walls and towers can be found, while on the slope of the acropolis lies the 85m/92yd wide theater auditorium. Part of the supporting walls and the two entrances are preserved. The famous frieze found on the Temple of Apollo Isotimus showing an Amazonian battle is now on display in an Istanbul museum. Southeast of the agora among some Byzantine ruins can be seen the foundations of an Ionic pseudo-dipteros mentioned by Vitruv1. West of the Temple of Apollo lie the remains of a large baths complex and another temple.
Temple of Artemis
Excavations on the western hillside in 1904/05 exposed the remains of a Doric Temple of Artemis (?) with 11 by six columns. Still recognizable is the town wall which measures between 2.5 and 3m/8 and 11ft wide. Remains of projections and towers can be seen along its length. Some simple stone sarcophagi can be found on the outskirts of the town. Many of the tombs bear inscriptions stating the profession of the deceased. In the Kemer Deresi valley the remains of an aqueduct are visible.
Some 20km/12mi west of Milas near the village of Kiyikislacik (Kuren) and close to a fine beach lies the ancient site of Iasos. A boat trip from Güllük is recommended. In recent years Italian researchers have carried out a number of excavations here. The prosperous Carian town of Iasos traded with the Minoans and Mycenaeans and attracted settlers from Miletus. Remains on the small peninsula include Roman tombs, the old town hall (bouleuterion) near the agora, a Hellenistic theater, a church and dwellings. A huge late fifth century wall more than 2km/1.25mi in length extends westwards over a mountain ridge.
The ancient settlement of Alinda is situated a good 30km/20mi to the west of Çine. Ada the sister of King Mausolos withdrew here after a dispute over the succession with Mausolos, brother Pixadoras and sister Artemisia. She extended this typical Carian hill settlement with a variety of defensive fortifications. Alexander the Great made preparations to capture Halikarnassos from Alinda where he lived in close friendship with Ada after she had handed over the towns of Alabanda and Alinda in 334 B.C. without a struggle. He later installed her as queen of Caria after she provided Carian troops for his battle against Halikarnassos.Her palace was probably situated on the acropolis above the town center where the dwellings were supplied with running water from cisterns. As well as a 30m/100ft wide agora which was once surrounded by a colonnade, the well-preserved remains include a business quarter, a Hellenistic theater (35 rows, two entrances and a 5m/5.5yd wide stage) and a three-storied market building (100m/110yds long and 15m/50ft high) comprising shops with store- rooms in the basement and pillared halls as warehouses on the first floor. The town is surrounded by the remains of a strong fourth century B.C. wall made from stone blocks. A two-story tower which overlooks the theater forms a part of the wall with access via a tunnel.
About 40km/25mi east of Mugla lies Yatagan (Bozüyük, Ahirkale), the old town of Astragon. Heading towards Çine 15km/9mi to the north before the 416m/1,365ft Gökbel pass near Koca Kavak stands the imposing "Ince Kemer Tas" - a vast limestone landscape set back about 1km/0.5mi to the east of the road. This 20m/65ft high, wall of rock with a smooth surface turns out on closer inspection to be an ancient carving of a warrior. At the foot of the rock images of saints can be seen. Nearby an bridge with many arches carries an ancient pathway over the Çine Çayi.
The ancient site of Labranda lies some 15km/9mi northwest of Milas near the village of Türbe on the Koca Yayla, one of the foothills to the south of the Latmos Mountains. The principal shrine of the Carians is situated on four man-made terraces and was named after "labrys", the double ax. These excavations have been carried out by the Swedish university of Lund. A cobbled Sacred Way connected it with Mylasa. According to legend, the famous Temple of the Carian Zeus (fifth century B.C.) contained a pond with fish which bore golden necklaces and rings. Other buildings in the town included a Roman bath complex with an adjoining Ionic house, an early Christian church, a Roman well- house, several shops, three remarkable androns (meeting-places and shrines for men) and so-called wash houses (Shrine of the Fish Oracle) with seven monolithic granite columns (southeast). The remains of a porch (stoa) are of special interest. Above the temple stands the entrance to a burial ground which contains five magnificent sarcophagi. On the slopes above lie the remains of a stadium.
37km/23mi along the route from Milas to Mugla via Yatagan, the road passes near the village of Eskihisar (opencast brown coal mine) and the site of ancient Stratonikeia which was badly damaged by an earthquake in 1958. Among the ruins can be found the remains of the town hall, a well-preserved theater for 10,000 spectators and the Temple of Serapis (second/third century B.C.). This Hellenistic town was founded by Seleukos I in 282 B.C. and was named after his wife Stratonike. A museum is situated near the school close to the entrance to the village. The site is directly adjacent to the opencast mine.