Friday, October 19, 2012
OK, so my view of Patara looked very much like this a lot of the time. Seriously, except for the old naked Germans, this beach was the best thing ever. But that's not all there is to the place. There are some pretty exceptional ruins.
This is the bouleterion. It's been rebuilt to the point that they lock it up at night. You know, I'm of two minds when it comes to rebuilding. On the one hand, ruins in situ make you use your imagination to picture how things really were. They show the ravages of time and so forth. On the other hand, reconstructed ruins give us a pretty good idea how things looked. The only thing is that they're often not accurate. This was rebuilt by a bunch of Turkish guys with shovels and cranes. OK, so not authentic ancient Greek construction techniques, but authentic design? Your guess is as good as mine.
Here's a picture of the theater. I believe that I have a photo from long ago when it was filled with sand. It was a pretty odd sight. But Patara's city fathers thought it would be better for tourism if they cleaned things up. My hotel owner told me that they carted away some 240 truckloads of sand. So yeah, it's a big theater.
This is a colonnade that ends in a swamp.
These are some Roman baths. The Romans liked to bathe. I believe that Patara had three large bath complexes once upon a time.
And here's Hadrian's triumphal arch. He built a lot of these all around the empire. Since Patara was the provincial capital, it got an arch. The fact that Turkey has suffered through all kinds of earthquakes in the past and that this is still standing is a testament to the Romans' solid engineering chops.
There were also sheep.
And a goat.
Posted by Igor Keller