Kilistra (Lystra) Ancient City

Kilistra (Lystra) Ancient City

Kilistra, also known as Lystra, is an ancient city that was established during the Hellenistic and Roman periods, dating back to around the 2nd century BC and extending until the 3rd century AD. It is situated about 49 km away from Konya.

During excavations, a Roman epitaph inscribed with the name "Kilistra" was discovered in the eastern grave, which was being used as a threshold stone. Additionally, it appears that Kilistra had a rock-carved settlement similar to those found in Cappadocia during the Byzantine era.

Kilistra (Lystra) Ancient City

Located halfway between Ikonion and Pisda Antiocheia, Lystra is a city in Turkey that St. Paul of Tarsus may have visited on his journey from Jerusalem to Antioch. Timothy, one of the pastors whom St. Paul wrote letters to, was also a resident of Lystra.

Kilistra is one of the most frequently explored hidden cities, although it is believed to be under threat from pagans and looters. The people of Lystra strategically positioned themselves in a mountainous area to protect themselves from attackers.

If you're looking to visit the ancient city of Kilistra, you can take the King's route located to the east of Hatunsaray. The first part of the road features well-preserved stone flooring and offers stunning views, leading to a lookout tower on one side and a police station on the other. Follow this antique road to reach the heart of the historic ruins, where you can explore meeting halls, tombs, caves, and other public buildings.

One of the most impressive sights in Kilistra is the Sandıkkay Chapel, carved from a single piece of rock both inside and out, with beautiful decorative features.

To enter the site from the west, take the other entrance of the King's route which also features an observation tower and police station. You'll find a cistern in this area, along with "Kapçı cave" which was used for pottery-making in later periods. Another significant site is the Sümbül Church, known locally as the "Paulönü Location," located to the southwest of the village mansion. From here, you can take in a breathtaking landscape with lush greenery in the valley below, including double wine houses in the söğütlü stream bed and irrigation trenches.

The grand cistern at Ardıçlı Hill is one of the most attractive features of the site, with three naves and a magnificent rock structure. Turkish grape-houses along the stream bed and water channels on the western side of the cistern add to the overall beauty of the area and are worth seeing.