Elaiussa Sebaste
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Walk through the Roman market and Amphitheater of an ancient Roman town overlooking the sea
One of the more visited stops by locals on their way to and from the beaches of Kızkalesi (ancient Korykos) is Elaiussa Sebaste. Elaiussa became the residence of the last Cappadocian king, Archelaus, who built Sebaste in honor of the then emperor, Augustus (Sebaste in Greek). During his reign Elaiussa Sebaste became the center of the Rome’s stamping out the Pirates of Cilicia that had been terrorizing the Mediterranean Sea for the previous almost two centuries. The ancient city is split by the D400 road. On the north side of the road there is an agora (Greek for marketplace), and in the midst of it was a church building. A few crosses remain, and some mosaics on the floor (though they mostly are covered by sand). There is a small amphitheater above the agora, as well. Remains of many columns are spread around the site. On the south side of the road there are more ruins of buildings leading over to the edge of the sea. Visiting: Finding Elaiussa Sebaste is simple and can be easily accessed by anyone. If you are driving from Mersin, these ruins are about a 50 km drive. They are in the modern day Turkish town of Ayaş. You can also find many a dolmuş (minibüs) coming from Mersin to Selifke that will drop you off here. When you are ready to continue on to Kızkalesi, simply hail another one from the side of the D400.
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