Burdur Ili Travel Guide: 19 reviews and 112 photos


The ancient ruins of Sagalassos are situated 7 km from the town of Aðlasun in the province of Burdur. The city lies on Mount Akdað, a spur of the Western Toros range, at an altitude of between 1450 and 1700 metres. Human settlement in the area goes back to 12,000 BC, and Sagalassos itself reveal traces of settlement going back to 3000 BC. Around 1600 it became part of Pisidia, but otherwise its history remains wreathed in mist until the arrival of Alexander the Great in 334 BC. Sagalassos was renowned for its courageous and warlike inhabitants, who put up a vigorous defence against Alexander’s army. The city was finally conquered after the loss of five hundred lives in a battle which took place on a hilltop facing the city.Sagalassos enjoyed a period of prosperity after Alexander, and throughout the Hellenistic period (333-25 BC) was the second most important city of Pisidia. In 25 BC Sagalossos became part of the Roman Empire and in the 1st century AD became the foremost city of the region. From then until the early 3rd century the city enjoyed a golden age and many magnificent buildings were constructed here. In 518 AD a violent earthquake struck. Although the city was subsequently rebuilt, another earthquake in the 7th century destroyed not only the city but its water sources. Lack of water and disease were compounded by the Arab incursions, and finally the city was abandoned altogether. Landslides from Mount Akdað gradually buried much of the city and, thus protected, Sagalassos lay concealed in hibernation for long centuries.In 1706 the French traveller Paul Lucas arrived in Sagalassos, which he describes as a city of enchantment. Not until 1824 did the British cleric Francis Arundell discover the city’s true identity. In 1985 a team of British researchers led by Stephen Mitchell visited the site, and the following year they were joined by Belgian archaeologist Prof Dr Marc Waelkens, the man who was to awaken Sagalassos from its centuries of oblivion.

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  • In a nutshell:breathtaking landscape and remains
  • Last visit to Burdur Ili: Jun 2000
  • Intro Written May 13, 2005
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