Snow @ Sagalassos

We were now on our way back from the south coast of Turkey in direction to Çanakkale crossing the country to get an impression not only of the coast but also of the interior. Our first stop was at a caravanserai, but the highlight was the ancient town of Sagalassos high in the mountains!

Sagalassos in winter

Caravanserais have been used since the 10th century. Trade across Turkey in medieval Seljuk times was dependent on camel trains (kervan, anglicized as caravan), which stopped by night in inns known as kervansaray or caravanserai, literally ‘caravan palaces’. These buildings provided accommodation and other amenities for the merchants and stabling for their animals. Caravanserais were built along important trade routes at a distance of 30-40km, a one-day camel trek. The one we visited was called Suzuz Han on the route from Antalya to Burdur.

Entrance to the caravanserai Suzuz Han
Inside the caravanserai 
Relief at the entrance
Our next destination was the ancient town Sagalassos, which lies in the mountains not far from Burdur at 1,500 metres. We had arrived in the evening and spent the night at the parking in front of the site. The surprise came the next morning when we looked outside and everything was covered in snow!
Morning surprise!
In places really deep snow
A spring still supplies water …
… which was a little bit frozen but dripping
Heroon on the top
Beautiful reliefs at the heroon
Gate to the agora
Drainage opening at the agora
We were told that a snow plough will be coming, and we decided to wait, as the road was steep and winding, and we were in no hurry. The warden of the sight invited us to come in and have çay with him. He told us that last year 79,000 people had visited Sagalassos. Today we were the only visitors.
On the way down

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