Almost nothing is known about the ancient city of PINARA except that it may have been founded as an annexe of Xanthos. Later, however, Pınara – meaning “something round” in Lycian, presumably because of the shape of the original, upper acropolis – became one of the region’s larger cities, minting its own coins and earning three votes in the Federation.

Approaching the site, the cliff on which the city was first founded all but blocks out the horizon – indeed it’s worth the trip up just to see this towering mass, its east face covered in rectangular openings, either tombs or food-storage cubicles. These can now only be reached by experienced rock-climbers and it’s hard to imagine how they were originally cut.

Most of the ruins of Pınara are on the lower acropolis hill, east of the cliff, where the city was relocated after defence became less critical. The access track reaches a point almost level with the lower acropolis itself, but it’s densely overgrown with pines, and most of the buildings are unidentifiable.

 

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