"'The sound of a thousand cats crying...........'" Kayakoy by leics

Kayakoy Travel Guide: 16 reviews and 59 photos

After the Turkish War of Independence an agreement was drawn up which involved the forced repatriation of both Greeks and Turks. The village of Levissi, next to the hamlet of Kayakoy and about 10 minutes by dolmus from Hisaronu, was vacated on 30th June 1930, leaving behind about 1000 houses, churches, chapels and schools. The quote which heads this page is from an old Turkish woman who remembered the morning after, when the only sound was that of the cats crying for their breakfasts.

It is suggested that Levissi overlies part of the ancient Lycian city of Karmylessos, although there is insufficient archaeological evidence to confirm this. There are, however, sarcophagi from the 4th century BC at the entrance to the valley in which the settlement lies, as well as inscribed rock tombs.

The 'ghost village' you can see today mostly consists of houses, one or two storeys high according to the lie of the land. Each house has one or two rooms, with a water cistern for collecting rainwater, the more comfortable buildings being higher up the slopes.

There are two churches in Levissi. The Upper Church is one the highest hill in the middle of the settlement, surrounded by high walls and with a black and white mosaic floor. The Lower Church (which we didn't visit) is better preserved, having been used as a mosque until the 1960's.

Chapels are scattered throughout the settlement, easily identifiable by their rectangular floor plan and 'pack-saddle' roofs. The faint outlines of wall-paintings could be seen n the inside of the chapel in the picture.

It was far too hot to explore as much as I wanted to. The settlement deserves a whole day to itself, exploring the myriad of buildings and tiny streets, then climbing into the hills above and on to Gemiler Cove. Highly recommended.

Pros and Cons
  • Pros:Walking a deserted village is a unique experience
  • Cons:None that I came across
  • In a nutshell:Hugely evocative and atmospheric place
  • Last visit to Kayakoy: Jul 2005
  • Intro Updated Mar 12, 2011
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Comments (1)

  • Oct 28, 2006 at 4:56 PM

    What an interesting old greek town. Worth a visit when I finaly get over to Fethiye, Kas and Finike area.


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