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Places to visit in Mount Nemrut

Places to visit in Mount Nemrut

Mount Nemrut Tumulus

This is 50m high, 150m in diameter, is made of small rocks and dates back to the 1st century. Built by Commagene King Antiochus I as a tomb for himself, the chamber and sacred area offer superb panoramic views for hundreds of kilometres and the three terraces that surround the tum Ulus once hosted ceremonies in memory of the late King and have statues of seated gods.

Commagene Works of Art

Arsameia Ruins

(Nymphaios Arsameia) From inscriptions made by Antiochus,
this was the summer capital and administration centre of the Kingdom and was established in the 2nd century BC by Arsemez who was a descendant of Kommandenes. There is an embossed pillar of Mitras, an undamaged relief of Mithridates I and Heracles shaking hands, and in front of here is the largest known Greek inscription in all Anatolia. A tunnel descends 158m through the rock and on a platform over the hill is a monument and palace of Mithridates where excavations found many statue remains that include the queen and a head of Antiochus.

New Castle

(Yeni Kale) The castle is near the village of Kocahisar (Eski Kahta) and was built by the Commagenes. It was restored by the Romans then the Mamluks with more recent renovation works in the 1970’s. The site includes a bazaar, mosque, dungeon, aqueducts and dovecote ruins along with various inscriptions. The aqueduct drops down from the castle and connects to Arsameia via a tunnel.

Karakuş Tumulus

(Women Monument) Located north of Kahta this was built by Mithridate II as a memorial to his mother Isas and is 35m high. It was specifically built for the royal women of Commagene and has four columns surrounding the site each 10m high, and has large statues of an eagle and lion.

Cendere Bridge

This is northeast of the Karakuş Tumulus, spanning the Kahta river, and is a one single arch Roman bridge built in early 200 AD by the 16th Roman Legion. It contains, at its narrowest point, 92 rough-cut stones that each weigh around 10 tons, has three columns, at the entrance and exit, which are 10m high. The inscription here states it was built by Emperor Septumus Severus for his wife Julia Domna.

The Terraces

Eastern Terrace

Antiochus placed his own statue among the row of gods to affirm himself as an equal and the other statues here are of Apollo, Fortuna, Zeus, and Hercules; there are also statues of lions, to symbolise power, and eagles, which were the messengers of the gods and symbolise celestial power; unfortunately they have been badly damaged by earthquakes.

North Terrace

This is a 10m long ceremonial path that connects the west and east terraces and has an 80m long stele pedestals that are incomplete.

Western Terrace

The row of gods here is similar to the Eastern Terrace and the main difference is the five sandstone reliefs. These are well preserved and depict Antiochus shaking hands with Apollo, Zeus and Hercules and their names have been written in both Greek and Persian with their faces positioned to the west and east so as to unite the ethnic differences of Antiochus ancestors and enhance cultural richness.

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