Nemrut Dagi Park, Adiyaman

By the time you arrive at the car park and cafe you’re well above the tree line. The Nemrut Dagi park entrance is 200m up from the Cesme pension and 2.5km before the junction with the short cut to Arsameia.

Beyond the building, hike 600m (about 20 minutes) over the broken rock of the stone pyramid to the western terrace. Antiochus I Epiphanes ordered the construction of a combined tomb and temple here. The site was to be approached by a ceremonial road and was to incorporate what Antiochus termed ’the thrones of the gods’, which would be based ’on a foundation that will never be demolished’.

Antiochus planned this construction to prove his faith in the gods, and in so doing assumed that upon his death his spirit would join that of Zeus-Ahura Mazda in heaven.

These gigantic statues with dimensions of 10 m (32 ft), are the statues of Apollon, Tyche, Zeus, of Antiochos himself and of Heracles. Statues of eagles and lions are placed on the two sides of these and, on the low walls adjacent to the two sides of the terrace, there are inscriptions which explain how the ceremonies were performed. The statues on the western terrace are arranged in the same sequence. On the side of this terrace, there are many relieves. The relief discovered in Arsameia, capital of Commagene and located in the village of Kocahisar near the Stream of Kahta describes Mithradates and Heracles shaking hands and is a very interesting piece. The epitaph in the grave chamber of Mithradates the I. which contains an inscription of 256 lines, is also interesting. The Bridge of Cendere over the Stream of Kahta was built during the Roman Period. There is a second tumulus on the mount named Karakus, at a distance of about 10 km (6.2 miles) to this bridge. It is believed that this tumulus had belonged to the ladies of the court. Mount Nemrut, which can be considered as the eighth wonder of the world, is an interesting place to visit because of its impressive appearance and the unique beauty of the sunrise there.

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