When you turn and enter the road that leads to Gelemis, on your way from
to Kalkan, you reach the ruins of Patara at the 15th km.
We know that this city, called "Patara" in Lycian language, had existed during
the 5th and 6th centuries B.C. and had been saved from destruction by opening the city
gates to let Alexander enter. Patara continued to develop during the Roman
Period, within the Lycian union, and carried on its function as a naval base where the
Judicial procedures of the Roman governorships were carried out and the relations of Rome
with the eastern provinces were maintained. Patara continued to be important during the Byzantine
period and it is the locality where St. Nicholas was born.
The harbour of Patara is filled with sand today.
You see the Arch of Triumph on your way to Patara; it was the gate of entrance to
This arch was built in the years of 100 A.D. during the time of Mettius
Governor of Rome in Lycia. You see the tombs of Lycian type at the edge of the road. The
temple of Apollon should have been probably situated on the hill above the arch. There are
ruins of baths at the south of the hill.
There are ruins of a basilica at the edge of the road, ruins of a bath on the west
hand-side of this and further beyond, a temple of Corinthian order with its cella gate
still standing. The theater which was built at the skirt of the slope of a hill in 147
A.D., is covered with sand. The temple of Athena is located on the hill where the theater
is set. There is a cistern with a depth of 8 m adjacent to this temple. There was a cereal
barn in ancient times in the harbour which is filled with sand today. There is a
monumental tomb adjacent to the barn building and the structures of the agora of Patara
are situated at the back of the barn.