Mount Nemrut

Nemrut is a 2,134 m (7,001 feet) high mountain located in Kahta, near the city of Adıyaman. A huge necropolis, it is home to the beheaded gods of the past and one of the most ambitious constructions of the Hellenistic period.

In 62 BC, King Antiochus I Theos of Commagene, proud of his royalty and power, desired to be remembered in the future. So he decided to sit and watch the sun rise and set with his gods and goddesses forever placed on the mountain top in a tomb flanked by huge statues of himself, two lions, two eagles, and various Greek, Armenian, and Iranian Gods (such as Apollo, Zeus, Tyche, Vahagn, Aramazd, Ahura, Mazda), which testifies to the cultural mix of the area. Their names were inscribed.

This area was a crossroads of different peoples, but a single enemy existed—the Romans. Antiochus wanted to keep his kingdom of Commagene independent even though many Anatolian territories were being annexed. He succeeded: the enemy eventually became a treasured ally.

After the death of Antiochus, the following years saw a collective effort to demolish the statues to bring down the gods. All of the statues have been decapitated, alas, their heads roughly removed from their bodies. Despite this unfortunate act, the heads and the ruins of the tomb-sanctuary of Antiochus are still magnificent, which is why the site is often considered as the 8th Wonder of the Ancient World.

The best time to visit Mt. Nemrut is early morning, when you have the opportunity to watch the breathtaking sunrise reflected on the ruins.

In 1987, Mt. Nemrut was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site. In 1989, the mountain and its environs were declared a national park.