Ruins of Uzuncaburç - Turkey

The remote village of Uzuncaburç (Tall-ish Tower, High Tower) is located high in the Taurus Mountains at about 32 km from Silifke.

Historical Background

Uzuncaburç is the site of the ancient temple city Olba and was a centre of worship to Zeus Olbius. This site, originally the Zeus Cult Centre, was separated by the Romans from the Hellenistic city of Olba and was given a city-state status with a new name Diocaesarea in 72 CE.

Sights & Photos of Uzuncaburç

The Zeus temple, high tower, and mausoleum date from the Hellenistic Olba Kingdom while the city gate, collonaded street, fountain, and the temple of Tyche are from the Roman period. The temple of Zeus Olbios dates from about 300 BC and is an example of Corinthian architecture. The temple was closed during the persecutions of pagans in the late Roman Empire.  Later, the Byzantines converted the temple to a church.

Another sanctuary at Uzuncaburç is the temple of Tyche, the goddess of chance, which dates from the second half of the first century CE. Only five marble columns joined by an architrave remain of it. The three-arched city gate dates from the 5th century CE. There are no remarkable remains of the Byzantine churches.

The 22 meter Hellenistic High Tower from which Uzuncaburç derived its name was once part of the city wall. It is believed that it also played a role in an ancient signalling network using reflecting sunlight on polished shields to relay messages. The necropolis, just outside the modern village was used in Greek, Roman and Byzantine periods.

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