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ŞAR (KOMİNA)

r Komina, Hierapolis

Southwest of Pınarbaşı, close to Tufanbeyli, the pretty, largely unspoilt village of Şar stands above and around the remains of ancient Komina. It's a wonderful place to come especially in autumn when the colours of the poplars, walnut and other trees are quite superb. 

In the village itself there are several standing monuments near the river, including what looks like a brick and stone basilica, a battered theatre with a house now standing where the stage would have been and a church with its narthex entrances blocked up. Other remains are slight but evocative: columns, gravestones and capitals built into walls and reused as gateposts. 

Apart from these remains you will be directed to what locals call a gate but which is actually the entrance to a fallen temple whose walls lie as rubble around it. 

Uphill from the temple and outside the village proper is the single most striking ruin, the remains of a huge temple-mausoleum that locals call a church. Its barrel-vaulted bottom floor is lined with vaults for burial of the dead while the pedimanted upper storey was presumably once a place of prayer. It's a shame that intrusive lampposts have been added as an "improvement". 

The hillsides nearby are riddled with caves which may have been part of a necropolis.

Transport info

Buses and dolmuşes to Pınarbaşi leave from the Doğu Terminalı in Kayseri, itself accessible by tram from Cumhuiyet Meydani.

From Pınarbaşı you need to head south down the Gaziantep road as far as the village of Kemer where you turn right and follow signs to Sarıköy. Şar itself is not signed from this route although possibly it is from Tufanbeyli. Fortunately locals seem well aware of the ruins and give good directions. 

 

 

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