Mount Chimaera




The eternal fires of the Chimaera  
At the parking lot before the ascent  

Chimaira, or Latin Chimaera (Chímaira according to the mythological fire-breathing chimera, original meaning "the goat" (Turkish Yanartaş, "burning stone"), has been a place in Lycia since ancient times where a rare, millennia-old natural phenomenon can still be observed today: flames - the "eternal fires of the chimera" - strike from the rocky bottom of a mountain slope in several places.


The Ascent  

The Chimaera is a cult place of the nearby ancient Olympos and is located about 70 km southwest of Antalya near the village Çıralı. There are two firefields about 1 km apart. Usually only the lower fire field is visited. Coming from Çıralı entrance fee is raised, from Ulupınar not, but this rise (to the upper fire field) is more difficult. Both fire fields are located on the Lycian long-distance hiking trail.


Ruin of a small medieval church  

Ancient reports prove that the city of Olympos was famous for its cult of Hephaistos. His sanctuary must have been here, but archaeological evidence was not found. Unfortunately, the inscriptions on the marble panels scattered between the flames do not give any indication of this. However, the remains of a small medieval church speak for the tradition of a ritual place.




The fire is caused by gases that escape from cracks, crevices and small openings in a rocky slope and ignite in the air. The composition cannot be clearly determined - apparently it changes just as much as the quantity and exit points in the past centuries. According to tradition, the flames were said to have shone far across the sea in ancient times and helped seafarers to find their way around. Today, 250 metres above the coast, about 2 km from the sea, only a few small flames can still be seen in a small clearing in dense woodland. From time to time they reach a height of 30 cm, sometimes they are barely perceptible during the day. The height of the flames also changes with the respective air pressure.


The height of the flames also changes with the respective air pressure.  





View of the foothills of Çıralı


Coming from Antalya take the coastal road D400 direction Kumluca / Mugla. The flame fields of Chimaera can be reached via the village Cıralı They are located about 100 km from Antalya on a ridge. From the D400 it is 7 km to Cirali and 11 km to the parking lot at the entrance to the flame fields. The exit on the D400 is clearly signposted.

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Source: Wikipedia and others