Olympos was an ancient city located 90 kilometers southwest of modern day Antalya near the village of Çıralı. The city of Olympos was founded in the Hellenistic era, probably taking its name from nearby Mount Olympos (Turkish: Tahtalı Dağı or Timber Mountain) which is one of over twenty mountains known by the name of Olympos in the Classical world. From these mountains of the Solymi, according to Homer, the god Poseidon looked out to sea and saw Odysseus sailing away from Calypso's island, and called up a great storm that wrecked him on the shores of the island of Nausicaa. Coins recovered from the remains of the city of Olympos date back to the 2nd century BC. Olympos was described by Cicero as an ancient city full of riches and works of art that became one of the six leading cities of the Lycian League. In the 1st century BC, Olympos was invaded and settled by Cilician pirates whose occupation ended in 78 BC, when the Roman commander Publius Servilius Isauricus, accompanied by the young Julius Caesar, took the city after a victory at sea adding Olympos to the Roman Empire. One of the Cilician pirates, Zenicetes set fire to his own house and perished instead of surrenduring.
Near Adratchan, a short distance from the ruins of Olympus, a number of rounded serpentine hills rise among the limestone, and some of them bear up masses of that same type of rock. At the junction of one of these masses of scaglia with the serpentine, is the Yanar, famous as the Chimaera of the ancients. It is nothing more than a stream of flammable gas issuing from a cavern, much the same as is seen in several places in the Apennines. The serpentine immediately around the flame is burnt and ashy, but this is only for a foot or two, the immediate neighborhood of the Yanar presenting the same aspect as it had in the days of Seneca, who wrote "Laeta itaque regio est et herbida, nil flammis adurentibus" The Chimaera, according to Greek mythology, was a monstrous fire-breathing female creature of Lycia composed of the parts of multiple animals. The body of a lioness with a tail that ended in a snake's head and the head of a goat arose on her back at the center of her spine. The Chimera was one of the offspring of Typhon and Echidna and a sibling of such monsters as Cerberus and the Lernaean Hydra. The term chimaera has also come to describe any mythical animal with parts taken from various animals and, more often in describing a rediculous or foolish fantasy.
This geological anomoly near the Olympos Valley and National Park in the Antalya Province in southwestern Turkey is situated about eighty kilometers from Antalya and within walking distance of the town of Çıralı. It is distinguished by permanent flames caused by methane and other gas emissions erupting from the rocks and draws large numbers of tourists to this area on the Lycian Way. The gas emmissions have been active for at least 2500 years and are situated in groups over an area of 5,000 square meters with the emissions seeming to change seasonally, as the vents and flames are more vigorous during the winter months. Yanartaş (English: flaming rock) consists of a group of vents on the hillside above the Temple of Hephaistos about 3 kilometers north of the village of Çıralı, near the ruins of the ancient city of Olympos.
Province: Antalya Province
Airport: Antalya Airport
English language website: olympos-information.com
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