CONTRIBUTED BY EMILY SMITH
Uzancaburc, which translated literally means, “tall tower,” which refers to the large stone tower near the center of the town. It is also the location of the ancient city of Diocaesarea, which means “of God and Caesar.” The size and detail based alone on the existing ruins could very well prove that this city indeed held religious importance.
I really thought I was going to have to visit Italy or Greece to see a well-preserved ancient temple. My first visit to Uzancaburc left me very impressed and surprised to find such an intact and concentrated amount of Roman ruins in Turkey. I took a few architecture classes in college, so I immediately recognized the beautiful Corinthian columns lining what remained of the Temple of Zeus. There is also a large Roman amphitheater that you can climb all over, and a beautiful intact city gate.
There is an entrance fee to the site of 5TL. No credit cards, only TL. The site is open sunrise to sunset, 7 days a week. Bring a little extra TL with you, as the local residents have homemade crafts for you to buy. They also sell a variety of local spices, books, maps, and always çay. On the day we visited, there happened to be a traveling baker pull up in his station wagon with hot baklava and pastries for sale.
The historic city of Uzuncaburç is located about 2.5-3 hours from Incirlik. There is a restroom located in the town near the PTT office. There are signs pointing to the restroom, but if you cannot locate it, please ask the man you buy your entrance tickets from and he will be able to direct you.
This is a great site to bring children to. My three-year-old enjoyed running around and climbing on the rocks around the Temple of Zeus. It is a wide open space, with very little traffic, so it’s a great place to bring a picnic and let the kids run and play around the ancient history.
As mentioned in a previous post, close by is the Olba Aqueduct and the Cambazli church.
For more reading on Uzancaburc, please check out this pdf provided by 39fss.com
If you do not want to make the drive yourself, Outdoor Recreation does monthly trips for a small fee.
GPS Coordinates: 36.584488, 33.925239