Carved into the side of a Turkish mountain are what look to be the entrances to countless temples, but are in fact the ornate facade of ancient Lycian tombs.
The Lycians believed that their dead were carried to the afterlife by magic winged creatures and thus they placed their honored dead in geographically high places such as the cliffside. Dating back to the 4th century, many of the numerous entryways are adorned with tall Romanesque columns and intricate reliefs, a bit duller from centuries of weathering. The older tombs are often no more than unremarked holes dug into the rock.
Despite the external grandeur, the interior of the tombs are spare chambers cut into the rock with a simple monolith inside to display the body and the rooms, are otherwise empty from hundreds of years worth of looting.
Visit Turkey with Atlas Obscura Trips
Istanbul: Exploring the Tastes of Two Continents
On this week-long culinary experience in collaboration with Culinary Backstreets, we’ll be studying the city of Istanbul through its kitchens—investigating the disparate influences that form the great mosaic that is modern-day Istanbul cuisine.