Sunken City Ruins of Simena in Kekova

Unnamed Road, 07570 Kaleüçağız/Demre/Antalya, Türkiye

Go!

Kekova, also named Caravola (Lycian: Dolichiste), is a small Turkish island near Demre (Demre is the Lycian town of Myra) district of Antalya province which faces the villages of Kaleköy (ancient Simena) and Üçağız (ancient Teimioussa). Kekova has an area of 4.5 km2 (2 sq mi) and is uninhabited.

The ancient Lycian sunken city of Simena is often referred to as Kekova-Simena. The city is a charming mix of ancient, medieval and modern history making it interesting as well as beautiful. In ancient times Simena was a small fishing village and was later an outpost of the Knights of Rhodes (formerly of St. John).

The ancient city of Simena was once of two parts – an island and a coastal part of the mainland. On the mainland the charming fishing village of Kaleköy (“castle village”) stands today, its buildings mingling with ancient and medieval structures. The top of the village is dominated by a well-preserved castle built by the Knights of Rhodes partially upon ancient Lycian foundations. Inside the castle is the smallest amphitheatre of Lycia. At the eastern end of the village is a Lycian necropolis with a cluster of some very nice sarcophagi overlooking the sea and surrounded by ancient olive trees. Near the harbour of Kaleköy is another sarcophagus, popping up from the water. Across the bay, along the island are the half-submerged ruins of the residential part of Simena, caused by the downward shift of land by the terrible earthquakes of the 2nd century AD. Half of the houses are submerged and staircases descend into the water. Foundations of buildings and the ancient harbor are also seen below the sea.

After the Italian occupation of Kastelorizo, Kekova — which at that time was temporarily inhabited during summer because of wood harvest — was disputed between Italy and Turkey. The 1932 Convention between Italy and Turkey assigned it to Turkey.

On its northern side there are the partly sunken ruins of Dolchiste/Dolikisthe, an ancient town which was destroyed by an earthquake during the 2nd century. Rebuilt and still flourishing during the Byzantine Empire period, it was finally abandoned because of Arab incursions. Tersane (meaning “dockyard”, as its bay was the site of an ancient city Xera and dockyard, with the ruins of a Byzantine church) is at the northwest of the island.

The Kekova region was declared a specially protected area on 18 January 1990 by Turkish Ministry of Environment and Forest. All kinds of diving and swimming were prohibited and subject to special permits from governmental offices. In later years the prohibition has been lifted except for the part where the sunken city is.

The Kekova region is 260 km2 (100 sq mi) and encompasses the island of Kekova, the villages of Kaleköy and Üçağız and the four ancient towns of Simena, Aperlae, Dolchiste and Teimioussa.

Kaleköy (locally just “Kale”) (ancient Simena) is a Lycian site on the Turkish coast. It is a small village with the partly sunken ruins of Aperlae and a castle. Access to the village is possible only by sea.

Üçağız (ancient name, Teimioussa) is a village one km from Kaleköy, north of a small bay by the same name, with the ruins of Teimioussa to the east. The name “Üçağız” means “three mouths”, referring to the three exits to open sea.

The Sunken Ruins of Kekova

Visit the Mediterranean resorts of Kas and Kalkan and it will instantly be obvious that every local travel agent is selling boat trips to the sunken ruins of Kekova. Facing the historical village of Simena (Kalekoy), the sunken ruins receive little attention in mainstream travel guides, yet during the height of summer, I estimate that hundreds of people will daily sail past. As well as the daily boat trips, the area is a primespot for yachts to dock in, as they sail from Fethiye to Olympos on overnight gulet cruises.

About Kekova

It sites on a stretch of coastline that is famous for the Lycian way trek, a 560 kilometre route that encompasses famous ruins from the Lycian era. Historians say that throughout history, Kekova has been called by many names including Caravola, Dolichiste and Kakava.

Historical records are hard to verify but it seems that Kekova was most prominent in the Lycian and Byzantine eras. Then an earthquake destroyed it and most of the city was submerged under water. Any residents that stayed after this were subjected to the Arab invasions but final desertion did not happen until the 19th century.

Sunken Ruins of Kekova

In 1990, the Turkish government realised Kekova was a popular swimming and scuba diving spot. Concerns arose about artefacts from the ancient city being sold on the black market and a ban was placed on swimming in all areas that housed the ancient underwater city. Then in 2000, they submitted it to the tentative list for the UNESCO World Heritage site collection. It is still waiting for acceptance.

Avatar
https://tinyurl.com

Wengi

Avatar
http://tinyurl.com

Metz

Avatar
Lucienne

Munchen

Avatar
Hollis

Schallaburg

Avatar
Darlene

Groningen

Avatar
http://tinyurl.com/y3nxyb2y

Moulamein

Avatar
Grupo Coral

Geldrop

Avatar
Klefer

Zwenberg

Avatar
http://tinyurl.com/y5bss7n3

Pollare

Avatar
tinyurl.com

Amersfoort

Avatar
Renato Franchi

Clint Green

Avatar
hamilton dias de souza

Raleigh

Avatar
http://tinyurl.com/y5txo8ng

Ingelum

Avatar
tinyurl.com

Arcille Di Campagnatico

Avatar
Daniel Dantas

Huttwil

Avatar
http://tinyurl.com/yxnov8cf

Munro Plains

Avatar
tinyurl.com

Grieskirchen

Avatar
Miquel

Guerilla Bay

Avatar
Grupo Coral

Warspite

Avatar
Marianne

Haresfield

Avatar
tinyurl.com

Hamburg Hamm-Nord

Avatar
tinyurl.com

Victoria

Avatar
Renan Batista

Helsingor

Avatar
Agueda

Strickland

Avatar
Cortez

Salvador

Avatar
Lélio Vieira Carneiro Júnior

Sao Paulo

Avatar
https://tinyurl.com/

Santa Ana

Avatar
Leandro Martins de Almeida

Zawiercie

Avatar
Andrew Charles Jenner

Vlissingen

Avatar
http://tinyurl.com/

Holzkirchen

Avatar
Johnette

Ostercappeln

Avatar
tinyurl.com

Blonduos

Avatar
http://tinyurl.com/

Allerheiligen Bei Wildon

Avatar
tinyurl.com

Brittoli

Avatar
Antonio

Blentarp

Avatar
Leonora

Saint-Priest

Avatar
https://cuturls.eu

Mulara

Avatar
Micaela

Kingston

Avatar
Luiz Gastão Bittencourt

Longview

Avatar
http://tinyurl.com/y52qkjcl

Mount Glasgow

Avatar
Lélio Vieira Carneiro Júnior

Rijswijk

Avatar
2url.de

Hoffman

Avatar
Rufus

Ryeford

Avatar
http://tinyurl.com

Redgate

Avatar
Deloris

Maresfield

Avatar
https://dclconsultores.net/

Morimondo

Avatar
http://tinyurl.com/yxpfr4cm

Roccadaspide

Avatar
Colin

Mahrersdorf

Avatar
http://tr1m.me

Schoneiche

Avatar
Klefer

Brunnern

Avatar
http://tinyurl.com/yypywq3h

Ashton-In-Makerfield

Avatar
Grupo Coral

Rollhausl

Avatar
frama.link

Golsen

Avatar
onlineuniversalwork.com

Fossholl

Avatar
tinyurl.com

Neuchatel

Avatar
Renato Franchi Filho

Latham

Avatar
Karolyn

San Prospero

Avatar
Rodrigo Branco

Inkster

Avatar
s.qurdo.com

Keflavikurflugvollur

Avatar
Danny

Dax

Avatar
Hubert

Hinterweintal

Avatar
huit.re

Harstad

Avatar
http://fwme.eu/hlyo

Rotterdam

Avatar
https://ginily.com/

Unterpremstatten

Avatar
Kléber Leite

Rungoo

Avatar
tinyurl.com

Tricesimo

Avatar
https://onlineuniversalwork.com/hnng

Nancy

Avatar
Kai

?Orlakshofn

Avatar
tinyurl.com

Jarrahdale

Avatar
tinyurl.com

Caraglio

Avatar
Sammy

Boston

Avatar
slimex365.com

Insjon

Avatar
tinyurl.com

Bydgoszcz

Avatar
Violette

Livonia

Avatar
tinyurl.com

Rydsgard

Avatar
tinyurl.com

Lunel

Avatar
Lashay

Den Haag

Avatar
https://cuturls.eu

Headley

Avatar
Deb

Wollogorang Station

Avatar
Nannie

Pitnacree

Avatar
Cathern

New London

Avatar
cuturls.eu

Marsberg

Avatar
tinyurl.com

Foce Varano

Avatar
http://jtayl.me/4jas5

Taceno

Avatar
Janell

Gontenschwil

Avatar
http://piep.net/gm8R

Simbach

Avatar
Monserrate

Victoria

Avatar
Cheri

Villeneuve

Avatar
http://tinyurl.com/

Montreal

Avatar
https://darknesstr.com

Vredepeel

Avatar
tinyurl.com

Munchen

Avatar
Reyna

Gilze

Avatar
Kennith

Steinkjer

Avatar
tinyurl.com

Glenkindie

Avatar
Wade

Bordeaux

Avatar
freeurlredirect.com

Galten

Avatar
tinyurl.com

Salt Lake City

Avatar
Lélio Vieira Carneiro Júnior

Ryhill

Avatar
http://tinyurl.com/yxhuv84f

Bergerac

Avatar
Sandy

Leinefelde

Avatar
Tamela

London Lakes

Avatar
tinyurl.com

Varginha

Avatar
http://tinyurl.com

Nowa Nowa

Avatar
https://tinyurl.com/

Mammiano

Avatar
tinyurl.com

Freycinet

Avatar
tinyurl.com

Schachen

Avatar
Kourtney

Illkirch-Graffenstaden

Avatar
http://tinyurl.com/y383h6qa

Palleroso

Avatar
Caleb

Selfoss

Avatar
Annabelle

Doetinchem

Avatar
Cruz

Kobenhavn V

Avatar
Carmon

Lethbridge

Avatar
Ahmed

Beachwood

Avatar
Merissa

Syndal

Avatar
Janette

Hassans Walls

Avatar
Harriett

Signora

Avatar
Elena

Prebuch

Avatar
http://tinyurl.com/y6kc2ytr

Petroio

Avatar
Major

Hellsau

Avatar
tinyurl.com

Reze

Avatar
Paulina

Gerbitz

Avatar
tinyurl.com

West Columbia

Avatar
http://tinyurl.com/yyelxpkx

Campinas

Avatar
Patricia

Deptford

june, 2019

Sort Options

No Events

Help us improve the translation for your language

You can change any text by clicking on (press Enter after changing)