Water flows again from the city’s monumental fountain, which unearthed during excavations in the ancient city of Kibyra in southern Turkey.
The monumental fountain was built 2000 years ago.
The restoration of the fountain with two pools, including over 150 original architectural fragments found among the ruins on the third terrace of the city and 24 imitation blocks produced from the original type of stone, was completed with contributions from the Burdur Governorship with an expert team of 17 people, including archaeologists, restorers, and architects.
Visitors to Kibyra, known as the “city of Gladiators” on the UNESCO World Heritage Tentative List, can reach the fountain by walking along a stone step path whose restoration has already been completed.
Sukru Ozudogru, an archaeologist at Mehmet Akif Ersoy University and head of the ancient city’s dig team, told Anadolu Agency that Türkiye boasts two large ancient monumental fountains that have been restored, and both of them are in Burdur.
The colossal fountain which was built in 23 BC, with a diameter of 15 meters (50 feet) and towers 8 meters high (over 26.2 feet), was used in Kibyra for some 600-700 years, he said.
Water of ancient times
Explaining that fresh drinkable water will again flow from the fountain through the work they have done, Ozudogru said Kibyra will be the second ancient city in Türkiye after Sagalassos to have a fountain with water flowing through it.
“We want to bring water from the ancient spring this May and restore the fountain to its original function,” he emphasized.
“Just like in ancient times, water will flow into the pool from the mouths of the lion and panther statues in the lion’s hide where the mythological hero Hurcules laid down, and the panther’s hide where the god of wine Dionysus lay down,” he added.
Kibyra Ancient City
Kibyra, also known as Kibyra Major, was an ancient city located in the southern part of present-day Turkey. It was situated in the region of Pisidia, which was part of the Roman province of Asia Minor. The city was established in the Hellenistic period, around the 4th century BCE.
Kibyra was strategically located on the northern slopes of the Taurus Mountains, near the border between Pisidia and Phrygia. The city flourished during the Roman era and became an important center of trade, agriculture, and administration in the region.
One of the notable features of Kibyra was its impressive theater, which is considered one of the largest and best-preserved theaters in Anatolia. The theater could accommodate around 8,000 spectators and was used for various performances and events.
The city also had other significant structures, including a bouleuterion (council chamber), a gymnasium, a bath complex, and numerous temples dedicated to various gods and goddesses. The ruins of Kibyra reveal a mixture of Hellenistic, Roman, and Byzantine architectural styles, indicating the city’s long history and cultural influence.
In addition to its architectural marvels, Kibyra was known for its agricultural productivity. The surrounding region was fertile and suitable for growing crops, particularly grains and olives. The city served as a major agricultural center, contributing to the economy of the region.
Over time, Kibyra faced several challenges, including earthquakes and invasions. It gradually declined in importance during the Byzantine period and was eventually abandoned. Today, the archaeological site of Kibyra is open to visitors, offering a glimpse into the ancient city’s rich history and architectural legacy.