All About Turkey

Chimaera

The Chimaera take its name from the myth of Bellerophon. The Lycian King, Lobates, sent Bellerophon to kill the fire-breathing monster, part lion, goat and serpent, which was created by two underworld creatures: Typhon and Ekhidna. With the aid of the winged horse Pegasus, he succeeded, and returned, after completing other tasks set by Lobates, to Xanthos where he married the king's daughter and became heir of the Lycian throne. Carried away by his success, Bellerophon tried to ride Pegasus up to Mount Olympus; for his presumption, he earned a great thunderbolt from Zeus.

The site is located near Olympos and is known as Yanartas (burning stone in Turkish), because of the blue flames sparkling out from the rocks at the bottom of Tahtali mountain of Taurus mountain range at around 250 meters above the sea level. Chemical analysis show that it's the methane gas coming out off the earth. Some historic writers mentioned about these flames since from the 4th century BC, and that sailors in the past used the flames as a lighthouse while they sailed along this coast at night time.

To get to the site, first of all you have to get to Yanar Bogazi grounds (about 3,5 km from Cirali village) where you have to pay for the entrance, and then start to trek on the 1400 meters-long path (10% of inclination) to get up to these flaming rocks, the view is very interesting especially at night time. The ruins near the flames are mostly from the Byzantine period including churches and houses, but there are also some remainings from earlier periods such as of a pagan temple dedicated to Hephaestus. So far, no archeological excavations have been carried out yet.

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