Sillyon Ancient City

Sillyon Ancient City

Sillyon is a quaint town situated in the historic Pamphylia region, located approximately 16 kilometers from Serik and 30 kilometers from Antalya. According to legend, the town was founded by Mopsos and Calchas, heroes who returned from the Trojan War.

Sillyon boasts some of the most well-preserved Hellenistic city remains within the Antalya region, making it a significant city for Hellenistic defense. Historical records indicate that Sillyon has been documented since the early 5th century BC, with scholars noting its inclusion as a tax-paying member of the Delian League.

Sillyon Ancient City

Sillyon's historical records abruptly vanished in 425 BC, but it reemerged in 333 BC. During this period, the city's formidable defenses and mercenary army prevented Alexander the Great from conquering it.

Under the Seleucid Dynasty's rule during the Hellenistic era, Sillyon thrived and expanded, with many grand buildings erected. Despite the Kingdom of Pergamon's dominance during this time, Sillyon remained an autonomous city, thanks to the Roman Senate's support. The city continued to mint coins until 270 AD.

In the Byzantine era, Sillyon held some significance and was the birthplace of two ecumenical Patriarchs: Constantine II and Anthony I. Notably, in 678 AD, an Arab fleet failed to conquer Constantinople, and a rainstorm destroyed their ships near a site close to Sillyon.

Sillyon, a fortified city and the seat of the imperial representative, was the starting point for a major road that connected the Mediterranean coast to Amorium, Nicaea (now İznik), and Constantinople. By the 8th and 9th centuries, Sillyon had become the region's primary city, surpassing nearby Perge, which lost its bishopric status to Sillyon. Despite its robust fortifications, Sillyon fell to the Seljuks in 1207, along with the rest of Pamphylia.

Approaching Sillyon from the path, visitors will first encounter the remnants of the stadium before arriving at the Lower Gate, a structure similar in design to Perge's. At the foot of the gate lies the remains of a gymnasium. A 5-meter wide ramp once allowed carts to transport goods and trade into Sillyon, making it a bustling hub of commerce in ancient times.

Sillyon's southern end features the remains of a theater, but only the upper rows of seats have survived after a landslide. Unfortunately, no trace of the nearby odeon remains. Visitors can enjoy stunning views of the southern horizon, with a vast plain stretching all the way to the Mediterranean coast. Additionally, in this district, the walls of an ancient temple adorned with four pillars on its eastern side are still standing.

At the heart of Sillyon lies a large Byzantine-era building that could have served as a palaestra, surrounded by some of the city's oldest structures on its eastern side. Hellenistic buildings are also present in the area.

Keep in mind that a visit to Sillyon involves a challenging uphill trek. However, once visitors reach the town's summit, the breathtaking views will make the journey well worth the effort.