Knidos

At the very end of Datça Peninsula, about a 45 minute drive from the town of Datça, are the ruins of Knidos. It was an ancient Greek city in the Caria region. The city was partly on the mainland and partly on an island connected by a causeway. Admission as of June 2016 is 10TL if you want to explore the ruins thoroughly, but they can be seen from outside the gates.

Knidos on Datça Peninsula, Turkey

Knidos

I had to use my imagination because the ruins weren’t as impressive as I was hoping, but they are well-marked. We started at a small theatre just near the entrance.

Small theatre at Knidos on Datça Peninsula, Turkey

Small theatre

Small theatre at Knidos on Datça Peninsula, Turkey

Small theatre

Small theatre at Knidos on Datça Peninsula, Turkey

Small theatre

Next, we walked by the long stoa, which had a coupe of reconstructed columns.

Stoa at Knidos on Datça Peninsula, Turkey

Stoa

Stoa at Knidos on Datça Peninsula, Turkey

Stoa

Stoa at Knidos on Datça Peninsula, Turkey

Stoa

Stoa at Knidos on Datça Peninsula, Turkey

Stoa

In front of the stoa was what used to be a Temple of Dionysus. A basilica was built on top of it. This became a common theme. Many Byzantine-era churches were built on the ruins.

Temple of Dionysis and basilica at Knidos on Datça Peninsula, Turkey

Temple of Dionysis and basilica

From there, I climbed up to the top of the ruins using an ancient road. On the way up, I saw a small ruined church until I got to a Temple of Apollo and a small altar.

Road at Knidos on Datça Peninsula, Turkey

Road

Church at Knidos on Datça Peninsula, Turkey

Church

Temple of Apollo and altar at Knidos on Datça Peninsula, Turkey

Temple of Apollo and altar

Temple of Apollo and altar at Knidos on Datça Peninsula, Turkey

Temple of Apollo and altar

The higher I went, the more I could see. At one point, I could see four Greek islands and a hidden cove. It was possible to make out the small strip of land that separates the ruins and a small mountain with a lighthouse on the end. On one side of the strip is the Aegean Sea, and on the other side is the Mediterranean.

Hidden cove at Knidos on Datça Peninsula, Turkey

Hidden cove

View of the lighthouse at Knidos on Datça Peninsula, Turkey

View of the lighthouse

At the highest point there is a tholos, which was a circular temple. Most people walked back down at that point, but we continued to the lesser-explored sections of Knidos.

Tholos at Knidos on Datça Peninsula, Turkey

Tholos

Tholos at Knidos on Datça Peninsula, Turkey

Tholos

Some of the gems we found were a sundial and the bouleuterion, where council members met in ancient times.

Knidos on Datça Peninsula, Turkey

Knidos

Sundial at Knidos on Datça Peninsula, Turkey

Sundial

Sundial at Knidos on Datça Peninsula, Turkey

Sundial

Bouleuterion at Knidos on Datça Peninsula, Turkey

Bouleuterion

We also found the ruins of a church with a mosaic floor and an very interesting carving in Arabic script.

Church at Knidos on Datça Peninsula, Turkey

Church

Church at Knidos on Datça Peninsula, Turkey

Church

Church at Knidos on Datça Peninsula, Turkey

Church

In the harbor, which is outside of the archaeological park, is a pier that juts out into crystal clear water. In the summer, there are all kinds of boats and yachts moored there, but in the low season, it was completely empty. If it was just a bit warmer, I would’ve jumped right into the water and had a nice swim.

Harbor at Knidos on Datça Peninsula, Turkey

Harbor

Harbor at Knidos on Datça Peninsula, Turkey

Harbor

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