Roman Theatre and rock houses
Myra is an ancient city in Lycia. The village is now called Demre and is located in the province of Antalya in Turkey. Myra is known as a place of pilgrimage (especially for the Orthodox Church) because of the Myra Santa Claus.
In the ancient city of Myra on the Lycian coast: part of the ancient Roman theatre
Myra was already in the classical era of some importance and from the time of Hellenism one of the six largest cities of the Lycian League. After the separation of Lycia from Pamphylia under Emperor Theodosius II. (408-450 A. D.) Myra became the administrative and ecclesiastical capital of the province.
Today it is above all the rock tombs, which were built around 400 BC, that attract numerous visitors. If you want to explore the rock tombs of Myra, you don't have to descend into the depths.
For unlike what we are used to, the Lycians did not bury the deceased under the earth, but wanted to go high with the gravesites. This is due to a kind of "belief in the Rapture", according to the archaeologists. The Lycians believed that the soul of a deceased man would reach heaven with the help of bird demons.
In order not to unnecessarily complicate the natural course of events, the graves had to be built as high as possible. The Lycians succeeded in doing so by carving the graves into the rocks in the shape of a house.
These graves worked in the rocks had another advantage, as they could be extended and extended almost at will.
These rock tombs are built in the style of the Lycian houses. And so the so-called house graves - some of them decorated with sculptures or fantastic reliefs - literally rise up into the sky in their cassette construction. Some of the rock tombs of Myka can be visited and visited directly, but this is connected with a bit of climbing.
The most famous tomb is the so-called "Painted Tomb". Their discoverer Charles Fellows called them this because he reported about coloured relief representations. The colours could never be proven, but the relief representations could. In several scenes, these show the dead man and his relatives in life-size, how they enter the grave and the dead man lies down after a drink to rest. A small path leads to the tomb so that it can be visited.