The Eternal Fires

The Burning Stones of Yanartas.

Chimaera Yanartas Feuer Türkei Cirali

The natural phenomenon, known in Turkish as -Yanartas - the burning stone, takes place near the village of Çirali. Flames have been burning here since ancient times, flickering directly out of the mountain. Even in ancient times, the flames are said to have been much higher and sailors travelling in the dark of night are said to have used the blazing fires at the foot of Tahtali Dagi Mountain as a natural lighthouse.

Chimaera Yanartas – der brennende Stein Chimaera

It is now known that the burning stones of Yanartas are a geological phenomenon. A special mixture of natural gas escapes from cracks, crevices and small openings in a rocky slope, which ignites when it comes into contact with oxygen. In the 1960s, a Turkish commission analysed the gas mixture in search of crude oil and found, among other things, small amounts of methane. The exact composition has changed over the centuries, as have the location and strength of the flames. This also explains why the flames were higher in the past than they are today.

Chimaera Yanartas – der brennende Stein

Ancient reports show that the nearby city of Olympos was famous for its cult of Hephaestus. His sanctuary, the Hephaistion, must have been located here - but no archaeological evidence has been found. The inscriptions on the marble slabs still scattered among the flames today give no indication of this. However, the remains of a small medieval church speak in favour of the tradition of a place of worship.

Tense Way Dry to moist


  1. Nowadays, almost everything can be explained with science. But in ancient times, the curiosity for a fire that never went out must have been immense.
    I wish there was a time machine, so we could go back in time and see how people lived in these “magical” places.