All images © by Roberto Piperno, owner of the domain. Write to firstname.lastname@example.org. Text edited by Rosamie Moore.
Page added in May 2008.
(theatrical masks at Myra)
The ruins of the ancient Lycian town of Simena have become very popular among the many holidaymakers who rent a yacht for a short cruise along the coast between Fethiye and Andriake.
Simena was located on a hill and on a nearby islet: this part of the town, owing to the seismic lowering of the land, is now under a few feet of water.
The acropolis of ancient Simena was turned into a fortress by the Byzantines when the coasts of Lycia were subject to Arab raids. Later on the site became (most likely) an outpost of the Knights of Rhodes, whose possessions included the nearby island of Castelrosso. The ancient acropolis had a very small theatre cut into the rock.
Very little is left of the medieval fortress and most of the walls and in particular their battlements are the result of a modern restoration aimed at making the site more evocative.
The ridge of a hill to the east of the fortress is the site of a vast necropolis with many free-standing "Gothic" Lycian sarcophagi.
A sarcophagus in the lower part of Simena has become the symbol of the town because it partly emerges from the water; bathers and canoeists enjoy being photographed next to it. Archaeologists have studied the boreholes made by marine molluscs on its surface in order to determine the bradyseism of the area (gradual uplift or descent of the Earth's surface due to seismic activity).
Simena was protected from Neptune's wrath by a long and thin island (Caravola), which is today known as Kekova, a name given also to the mainland opposite the island.
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