Uzuncaburc Ancient City

Uzuncaburç, Mersin, Turkey


Son Güncelleme: 27 April 2022

Uzuncaburç Ancient City is one of the best preserved ancient cities of Mersin. It is 30 km from Silifke and 91 km from Mersin.

It is known that it was the worship and administrative center of the Olba Kingdom in the Hellenistic period. During the time of the Roman emperor Tiberius, the city was called Diocaisarea and in time left Olba.

The structures that have survived to the present day in Uzuncaburç Ancient City; It can be listed as the Temple of Zeus, the colonnaded street, the theatre, the ceremonial gate, the fountain, the Tyche Temple and the Victory Gate.

The Temple of Zeus in the city is dated to the Hellenistic Age. The colonnaded street, the theatre, the ceremonial gate, the ancient fountain, the Temple of Chance and the Victory Gate are dated to the Roman period.

The city, whose ancient name was Diokaesareia, started to be called with the name of the high tower inside, and has survived to the present day as Uzuncaburç. Today, Mersin University, Assoc. Dr. Excavations and renovation works continue under the chairmanship of Ümit AYDINOĞLU.

Uzuncaburç is under the control of the Ministry of Culture and Tourism. The entrance fee of the museum, which is open to visitors every day of the week, is 12.5 TL. Museum card is valid.

Let’s take a brief look at the structures in Uzuncaburç Ancient City.


Colonnaded Street

Studies in the ancient city of Uzuncaburç revealed the existence of a colonnaded street here. The columned street that passes right in front of the theater structure joins with another columned street coming from the main gate and ends at the Tyche Temple. Unfortunately, all of the columns have been demolished today.


Tyche Temple

The temple, dated to the 1st century, is located at the end of the colonnaded street. Five of the six-meter-high columns are still standing today. The inscription on the architrave states that the temple was built by Oppius and his wife, Kyria. Tyche is the goddess of fate and luck, born as a result of the philosophical movements of the Hellenistic period. Hellenistic thinkers such as epicurists, cynics and stoics emphasized that the gods were not that important, but hedone, that is, pleasure was at the forefront. They argued that it is necessary to live in accordance with nature. The loss of the importance of the Olympian gods led people to new quests and beliefs, and as a result, Tyche emerged.


Ceremonial Gate

The Ceremonial Gate columns are 1 meter in diameter and 7 meters high. Corinthian capitals were used on the columns, five of which are still standing today. It is thought that the consoles on the columns were used to put statues.


Victory Gate

The Victory Gate is located on the second columned road, to the north of the Temple of Zeus. It is understood from the inscription on the arched structure that it was damaged and renewed during the earthquake.


Temple of Zeus Olbios

It is thought that the temple of Zeus (Olbios) with a peripetros plan was built by Seleukos I Nikator. Corinthian capitals were used in 36 columns in a single row used in the temple. The stairs of the temple, measuring 20*40, have undergone changes while being converted into a church. In addition, the columns in the east were removed and an apse was added during this period. The northern temenos wall, which is about 6 meters high, is still standing today.


Hellenistic Tower

The Hellenistic tower is located on the northeastern edge of the city walls. The five-storey tower is 17 meters high. BC from the inscription on the door. It is understood that it was built by Tarkyares in the 3rd century. It is thought to be used for surveillance and shelter purposes. The name Uzuncaburç comes from this tower.

Apart from these, a mausoleum, theater and necropolis area are architectural sections in Uzuncaburç.

Photo: @OlbaTravel (twitter)


Updated on April 27, 2022 at 9:23 am
  • Category: Historical Places
  • Entrance fee: 12,5 TL


Get directions
  • Address: Uzuncaburç, Silifke/Mersin, Türkiye

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