Xanthos is the place where the spirit of the Lycians’ freedom is the most intensely felt. The people who kept their freedom above all else had never surrendered to anyone and prefered to die rather than being captured. There are many examples of those who gave their lives for their country and freedom. However, the people of Xanthos showed the most striking examples of this passion. As Herodotus, who is” The Father of History”, explained they did not surrender to the much more crowded Persians, they killed all women and children in case of captivity, burned their cities and possessions in order not to leave anything in the hands of the enemy, and they also fought to the last individual and died. In the following years, because they refused to surrender to the Roman Empire, all their people were killed and the city was destroyed as a punishment. Xanthos, saddening with its story and being awe inspiring with its glory, has managed to be among the most magnificent and large cities of Lycia despite the many disasters and occupations it has undergone. Thanks to Homer, who said that the commander of the Lycians who participated in the Trojan war was from Xanthos, we learn about the history of this city, which was the capital of the Lycian Union, dates back 1200 BC. The fact that it was included in the UNESCO World Heritage List with Letoon is the proof that the importance of Xanthos is accepted by the whole world.
Today, especially monumental tombs in the settlement attract attention. 15 examples of existing erected monumental tombs are not seen anywhere else but in Xanthos. The Tomb of Inscription is 4 meters high and contains the longest Lycian inscription survived to the present day. Human and siren figures can be seen Harpies Monument whose reliefs were taken to England. Theater from Roman period. Vespasian Arch is used to enter the city from the south. Most of the city walls that defended the city for years belong to the 5th century BC. In the acropolis, there is another building which is thought to be the Temple of Artemis together with the Palace and the remains of a Byzantine monastery. Although Xanthos was home to much more important ruins until the early 1800s, many monuments including the Nereid Monument, the Harpys Monument, and the Lion Tomb were taken to England by ship in pieces.
Another interesting ruin in the settlement is the complex water network scattered all over the city. The canals have been built so skillfully that it is still used for irrigation although thousands of years have passed. The source of this network, which carries water to the city for miles away, is İnpınarı called as “the eye of water”. The canal, which you can follow with beautiful views, will take you to the spring of a temple-like structure that comes out of the rocks in the İnpınarı.