Nemrut Dag



The ruins of Nemrut Dag, Turkey, atop Mount Nemrut and 350 mi/565 km southeast of Ankara, date from the time of the Commagene civilization and were built 2,000 years ago for King Antiochus I (Antiochus Commagenes).

Aside from their location at an elevation of 7,000 ft/2,150 m, they are remarkable for the giant stone heads found there. The heads, called the Gods of Nemrut Dagi, were lopped off some huge statues long ago. At the base of the mountain is a relief of Hercules greeting a king.

The trip up and down the mountain takes a day, and the view is best at sunrise or sunset. Tours of the UNESCO World Heritage site are available from the towns of Malatya (50 mi/80 km north) or Kahta. (If possible—and if there are a few of you—take the tour from Malatya. The Kahta tour guides live up to their reputation for being unscrupulous, and there is more to see in and around Malatya.)

You cannot visit the mountain in winter. Take warm clothing even in summer if you plan to go to the top.

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