Patara - Pseudoperipteral Temple-tomb

Patara - Pseudoperipteral Temple-tomb

This impressive tomb stands right next to Hadrian's Granary on the western shore of the ancient harbor (now a silted-in marsh).  It is the most impressive of its kind in Lycia, with its large dimensions, detailed workmanship, rich architectural design and good-quality blocks. It must have belonged to a very important person.  Although the tomb is heavily-damaged today (probably by earthquakes), records from 200 years ago tell of a beautiful building.

The tomb's form is of a pseudoperipteral temple - a building is one in which there are free standing columns in the front (and sometimes in the rear as well) of the building, but side columns are engaged into the walls of the building.  This tomb had six free-standing Corinthian columns in front and the sides and back were decorated with Ionic half columns (these can still be seen today).  The burial chamber sits on a podium of 19 x 14 metres, raised by 10 steps with decorated sides.  A piece of a garlanded sarcophagus of extremely good quality was found amongst the rubble.

The temple Maison Carrée in Nimes and the Jupiter temple in Terracian-Anxur, though larger, are very much like this temple-tomb in form.

This tomb can be reached by following the track road and trail that leads around the southern part of the marsh, from the Roman ante temple and "Middle Ages City".  However, it is pretty rough going on the western shore, through very thick thorny vegetation and the way to this temple is almost impassable.   



Note: Information on this page is from the book Patara: The History and Ruins of The Capital City of Lycian League by Dr. Fahri Işıki (head excavator of Patara), Orkun and Ozan Medya Hizmetleri A.Ş. 2000.  I believe this is a limited edition book and unfortunately I don't know where it can be purchased.