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SİDYMA (DODURGA)

                                                 Population: 100

sidymaHigh in the mountains above Tlos and Fethiye, the modern village of Dodurga squats right over the ruins of the old Lycian settlement of Sidyma. It's a magical place, its silence a treasure of such rarity in the modern world as to be priceless.

Here one villager thinks nothing of using a piece of column inscribed in Ancient Greek to prop up her sink unit while her neighbours cover over a piece of mosaic with machine-made carpet and cardboard.

The Lycian Way wonders through along paths lined on both sides with drystone wall topped with twigs.

Look closely at the stones around the village and you'll find pieces of old column and Roman masonry casually reused. It's the same story with the local mosque where two Greek inscriptions are embedded in the wall at angles that make it plain the builders didn't even know which way up they should be read.

Up on the mountainside stand the remains of a Byzantine castle with, far below, the slight unexcavated remains of a bouleterion (council chamber) - parts of the tiered seating are visible through the undergrowth. 

Near the mosque stand the slight remains of the agora (marketplace) along with a couple of old stone wells - even today the village has no proper water supply and must rely on liquid tankered in.id1

At the back of the mosque courtyard are the remains of a bathhouse. Then the path wanders off into the fields, passing a fine tomb with a decorative ceiling into which are carved stylized roses and the heads of men and women. Nearby two tombs stand side by side. Further along seven more are grouped together. 

The history of Sidyma remains to be discovered in detail but it's to be hoped that the villagers will not one day be asked to move out in favour of the archaeologists. 

Sleeping

sidyma3Run by a Canadian goat farmer, Sidyma Homes provides something very close to a home stay in a restored village house with wooden balcony.

Toilet facilities cannot be luxurious here but the bedrooms are delightfully and stylishly simple. Breakfasts and dinners substantial enough to keep walkers going are cooked in the next door house by Fatma, a local woman.

Tel: 0536-474 0773

Transport info

There is no bus service to Sidyma so if you're not arriving on foot you will have to make private arrangements to get here.

Read about my stay in Sidyma: http://www.turkeyfromtheinside.com/blogbloggingaboutturkey/entry/79-the-glorious-silence-of-sidyma.html

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