Historical Sites

The Institute is located between Mersin and Silifke. The road closely follows the coast, passing by pine forests and orange groves. On one side lie the ruins of cities, basilicas and tombs, on the other a series of small secluded coves with sandy beaches. 13 km west of Mersin, a row of Corinthian columns that once lined the main street, remain at Viransehir (ancient Pompeiopolis), founded in 700 B.C. by Rhodians. At Kanlidivane are the ruins of ancient Kanytelis, with tombs resembling small temples, churches and sarcophagi dating from Roman and Byzantine times. The city itself and the ruins are all on the sides of a deep chasm. 

Kizkalesi, a holiday resort and the ancient site of Korykos, has fine sandy beaches, motels and camp sites. Nearby is the Pasha Türbesi (the tomb of Pasha), an Ottoman monument dating from about 1500.

The Castle of Korykos on shore faces another fort, Kizkalesi (Maiden's Castle), that stands on a tiny island 200 meters offshore. Formerly a sea wall joined the two fortresses.

Just beyond Kizkalesi, on a bay lined with fish restaurants at the little fishing village of Narlikuyu ,is a Roman mosaic depicting the "Three Graces". Farther on are the deep chasms known as Cennet-Cehennem (Heaven and Hell).

In the Vale of Heaven are the ruins of a fifth-century chapel. Nearby in the deep Narlikuyu Cave, full of stalagmites and stalactites, the humid air is believed to aid sufferers of respiratory diseases. The Mausoleum of the Fearless King (Mezgit Kalesi) is 12 km north of Susanoglu Beach and 2.5 km east of Pasli Village. The mausoleum facade is 8 metres high, with Corinthian columns and a 1 metre-high relief of Priapos on the base. It is the largest mausoleum and dates from Roman times.

Located slightly inland, Silifke (90 km from Mersin) spreads out at the foot of a hill. Crowned with a citadel this piece of high ground was formerly the acropolis of ancient Cilician Seleucia.

In the town a Roman bridge crosses the ancient Calycadnos River, today called the Goksu. Ataturk once stayed in a local turn-of-the century house that has now been converted into the Ethnographical Museum. The Silifke Archaeological Museum, on the way to Tasucu, is filled with relics from all over the area. In Demircili ( the ancient Imbriogon), north of Silifke on the way to Uzuncaburc, there are well-preserved monumental tombs of the early Roman period.

The drive up the mountain road to the magnificent ancient site of Diocaesarea, Uzuncaburc, at 1200 meters, is lined with large tombs. The remains of the impressive Temple of Zeus Olbius, the Temple of Tyche, a monumental arch, theater, Byzantine church, and tower are outstanding. Four kilometers to the east, the ruins of Olba (Ura) - the Roman aqueducts, theater, and fountain - make a quick tour well worthwhile.