Knidos, one of the rich and famous cities of the Classic Age, is now situated on Tekir foreland where the Aegean and the Mediterranean meet at the tip of the 70 km long Datça peninsula.
The ancient city Knidos is one of most important cities of the West Anatolian shore. It’s within the borders of the city of Muğla, town of Datça and Yazı willage. It’s connected to Datça by a 35 km drive which becomes gravel at the final 8 km. Sea road transportatian is conducted by boats and yachts throughout the tourism season.
Knidos is situated on the terraces on the north slope of Kap Krio (Deve Boynu) which was originally an island that was located both on the south tip of peninsula and right across it before it eventually became a peninsula itself.
The city is surrounded by a robust city Wall with round and cornered towers. The most protected parts of the city walls that are thought to be from the 4th century B.C. can be seen at Acropolis. Besides the city walls, there is also a Necropolis (the cemetery) dispersed to an area of approximately 7km to the east.
Over the same axis on the mainland, there is an venue and there are the ruins of structures like public buildings, theatres, Demeter Sacred Area, a small Odeon, Aphrodite Temple, Korinth Temple, Roman Tomb, Agora, Monumental Building, Hellenistic Stoa, Dionysos Temple and Byzantium Church, Roman Bouleuterio, Propylol and staired Street up and down the road. Strabon indicates that Knidos was established over the shore and on the island infront of it. Later the sea in-between the island and the mainland was filled thus creating two seperated harbors. The Smaller one to the North is called the “Northern Harbor”. It was used for military purposes. The southern harbor was reserved for trading wessels. Today, the pier ruins here that close the roadstead and the tower of the northern harbor can be visited.
The town of Knidos has been established according to Hippodamos’s orthogonal plan. That is why there are four parallel broad avenues towards east-west and another one towards North-south that intersects vertically with them. In line with the natüre of the land, the streets and roads intersect with each other either vertically or with stairs.
According to the findings, there should be settlement here since 3 thousand. The piecesof ceramic uncovered through excavations belonging to the Miken era at the 14th and 13 th century B.C. indicate that this settlement had continued. The name “Knidos” is also mentioned in the sources of the time.
In 7 B.C. Knidos is an important power of the archaic World with its economy. 4 B.C. is when the city virtually becomes a World city and turns into a metropolis.
Knidos has had its brightest time during the Hellenistic era (300-30 B.C.) The large number of Knidos stamped amphora handles recovered in Athens, Delos, Alexandria (Egypt) and northern Black Sea is sufficient in showing the city’s reputation in winw and olive oil trade and export. Knidos has preserved its richness during the problematic times of late Roman and early Christianity. This is clearly shown by the five great churches recovered. Just like the other Anatolian shore cities this was also invaded by Arabs in 7 A.D. This is documented by an Arabic inscription engraved on the ground of a church.
A few large earthquakes that took place afetrwards left Knidos severely damaged and the city was probably completely abandoned after them.
The D Church taht is located to the north-west of the Big Harbor has 3 apsises and a synthronos (where the priest sits) and the base of the large apsis in the middle has an opus-sectile ground flooring.
The E Church right to the North-west of the Small Harbor has three parts and each part consists of a column.
The Dor Temple is in the down terrace to the north-west of the Small Harbor. It has been converted into a church during the early Christianity period. Propylo is situated to the south of the Middle Terrace and the Apollo Temple, at the intersection of two main streets. It has been built to serve as a transit to the sacred area with the Apollo Temple and the altar.
The Apollo Temple and the altar are located just to the South of the Round Temple. With the recovery of inscripted marble blocks that have been proven to belong to the altar, it is now clear that the altar was dedicated to Apollo Karneios and was established in 2 B.C. On the west of the city sits the Round Temple and its altar. Its stairedentrance and altar are to the east. It’s surrounded by round sella columns and its upper build are supported by Korinth captions.
On the middle terrace, the area dominating the east of the area dominating the east of the Propylon, is the Korinth Temple. The Temple, situated on a high podium and built in korinth style, was established in the Late Antonins period (Second half of the 2nd century A.D.) according to its architectural embellishings.
In the archaic erat he solar clocks were used to calculate time and were placed in certain parts of the city. A stick extended from the center leaves a shadown on numbers and symbols. The Knidos solar clock dates back to the Hellenistic period. The Dor Stoa built in the Hellenistic period. The Dor Stoa built in the Hellenistic era is situated south of the Korinth Temple.
To the south of the Dor Stoa is the B Church. The church with three apsises and a synthoronos has a figured mosaic decorated on its floor. Two theaters, one located on the upper north part of the city and the other to the North of the big harbor is a clear indicator of the large size of the city. The lower theatre has been fully uncovered and it hosts approximately 5000 people. Being built on a slope is the typical characteristic of an Hellenistic era theatre.
Because the Dionysos Temple is situated to the West of the theatre it is believed to belong to the God of vine and theatre, Dionysos. To the North of the Temple, Stoa, the two storey structure built of diverse materials is known to date backto 2 B.C.
To the northeast of the big harbor, overlooking the sea, sits the Odeon from the Hellenistic era. These kinds of buildings were used as closed theatres for small musicals.
The Necropolis is dispersed to an area of 7km to the east of the city. There are various kinds of graves like the chamber tpmbs, large family burial grounds, tombs with domes and naturally dug small ones.
Aside from being an important trade center in the Antic Age, Knidos was also a city of culture and art. The Knidos Aphrodite sculpted by the famous sculptor Praxiteles within the Knidos Aphrodite Temple in 4 B.C. is defined as an archeologically important art piece.