The history of Olympos is still mysterious. The city was set up in the Hellenistic period. It is certain that the city took its name from Mt. Olympos (Mt. Tahtali).
The coins of the city are dating back to the 2nd century BC. The city became one of the six leading cities that had the right to vote, a member of the Lycian Confederacy.
In the 1st century BC, Olympos became a settlement area for the pirates since they were so fond of the place. In 78 B.C. the Roman commander Servilius Isaurieus added the city to Roman territory and this was the final of the pirates.
Hadrian visited the city after which it took the name of Hadrianopolis for a period, in honour of the emperor.
Close up of Mt. Olympos (Tahtali)
2nd Century BC was when Olympos had the most prosperous era of its history. After this golden age, pirates kept troubling the city. As a result of the pirate attacks, wealthy cities became poorer and lost their significance. Out of this time on, the city survived only as a small, insignificant city.
The city enjoyed something of a revival when the knights of Venice, Genoa, and Rhodes came to spread themselves around the Mediterranean, but the city lost all its charm after the Ottoman Empire established superiority over the seas.
Olympos was completely abandoned in the 15th century. Olympos is spread across the two sides of the creek that passes through it. The hill that rises behind the tombs can be seen from the beach, and this was the acropolis of Olympos.
The remains on the hill belong to a fortress built in the middle Ages. When you look down from this hill, you can see this lovely river which makes the city resemble Venice.
The river was directed into a channel with polygonal walls built on its two sides. The 2 sides were joined by a bridge whose remains are still visible today.
On the other side of the river, there are remains of a building with windows. This was the Turkish-style bath of the city. You can walk across the river by stepping on the large pieces of stones in the river.
There also exist a theater but it’s difficult to get closer due of tall greenery. The theater’s paradoes with vaults, pieces of decorated doors and niches scattered around indicate the presence of a Roman theater here.Between the theater and the sea, there is a Byzantine basilica and city walls.
On the other side of the river are remains of a Turkish-style bath. The city’s agora and gymnasium should have been in the open area in the middle.
Olympos is located between Phaselis and Adrasan, on the southern side of Mt. Tahtali (Mt. Olympos), which you can approach by land as well as by sea.