The remains of hilltop Xanthos, with their breathtaking views of the Xanthos River – now the Eşen Çayı – and its valley, are among the most fascinating in Lycia. The city was first made familiar in 1842, when Charles Fellows carried off the majority of its art works, just four decades after the Elgin marbles had been similarly pillaged. It took two months to strip the site and load the loot onto the HMS Beacon for shipment to London. The most important artefact, the fourth-century Nereid Monument, a beautifully decorated Ionic temple on a high podium, is one of several items now in the British Museum. However, enough was left behind here to still require a two-hour visit. Afternoons are scorchingly hot even by Lycian standards – go earlier or later in the day.
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