Kelbessos in Pamphylia





Sarcophagi on the north side of the city hill  

Kelbessos was an ancient city in the mountains west of Antalya. It lies on the ridge of the 1000 meter high Örentepe, as the mountain is called today.
The Hellenistic foundation is documented today by inscriptions and further proofs. Kelbessos was apparently initially a border fortification of the Termesos, only 12 km away. The city was protected by a ring wall.


City wall on the north side of the city hill  

Some of the walls and building remains date from Hellenistic times. Some of the city walls have been preserved. The walls are constructed in an elaborate cyclopean style. In the Hellenistic construction phase, the parts of the wall whose stones were hewn and have straightened edges at the edges of the joints are to be classified.

The northern gate of the city wall (seen from the inside)  

The visible remains of the city include defences, towers, foundations of houses, a temple of Artemis Kelbessis and a considerable number of sarcophagi in the necropolis on the northern side of the hill. According to the inscriptions, these are from rich citizens and soldiers.


Massive public building (probably the Bouleuterion)  

The gate of a massive (probably public) building  

The city is archaeologically explored, but not excavated. In the dump of an illegal excavation in the large cistern in 2009, pottery from Hellenistic times to Roman and Byzantine times could still be found.





On the south side the remains of the temple of Artemis Kelbessis




Ruin of a house on the south side


Sarcophagus on the north side of today's road to Saklikent  

You reach the city by taking the D400 - coming from the airport, just two kilometres after the large roundabout with the Atatürk monument, do not follow the D400, but continue straight on the 07-75, the Hürriyet Cad.

After approx. 9 km turn right in the centre of the village Bahtılı opposite a small mosque, in the direction of the Saklikent ski area. The following 20 km on a road that is easy to drive on but always uphill and partly winding lead directly to the pass height of the 970 meter high Bakacak.

Since Kelbessos is not signposted, we recommend to drive to the sign of the pass height, to turn there and to drive back approx. 500 meters. On the right, the forest clears, on the left, before a left turn, fallen sarcophagi can be seen. Since there is no way to Kelbessos, park your car here and walk into the forest. The terrain quickly becomes steeper, but they will soon come across the sarcophagi of the northern necropolis of Kelbessos.

Photos: @chim    
Translation aid:    
Source: Wikipedia and others