Nemrut Dagi (Mount Nemrut), a UNESCO World Heritage Site is one of Turkey’s most awesome sights. Rediscovered by a geologist in 1881, and impressively located in a region that lies between the Taurus Mountains and the River Euphrates, Nemrut Dagi was built by narcissistic Antiochus II (69 to 34 B.C.), the king of a minor buffer state called Commagene between the Roman and Persian empires. Nemrut Dagi comprises a colossal funerary sanctuary dedicated to the megalomaniac king and two hierothesiums (open-air shrines) dedicated to numerous gods in statue-form including Apollo, Fortuna, Zeus, Hermes and Hercules. The heads of the gods (which have since toppled from most of the statues thanks to earthquakes) are outstanding works of art, and in their setting seem as mysterious as the figures on Easter Island. The facial features on the heads look Greek but the hairstyles and clothing is Persian in appearance.The peak of Nemrut Dagi itself is capped by the great shrine and what is rumoured to be the undiscovered tomb of Antiochus I and three female relatives. Attempts to penetrate the secret of this great tumulus pyramid where it is believed his burial vault lies have been in vain.
The relief in the west court of a lion decorated with 19 star, originally believed to be a horoscope relating to Antiochos’ birthday but later as being the date that Anchiochos’ installed on the throne. There is also the thought that the arrangements of the planets show 7 July 62BC, possibly the time that construction on the site began. The eastern court is the the sacred centre with reliefs depicting Anchiochos’ Persian ancestors on one side and his Macedonian ones on another. A path at the foot of Mt Nemrut is believed to lead to a pathway linking the eastern and western terraces.
Tailormade Holidays to Nemrut Dagi
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