Kelenderis is a commercial port city. It is understood that this ancient city is an important stop between Anatolia and Cyprus due to the pots found in the tombs of Kelenderis Ancient City similar to the one that are found in Cyprus, and the mythological information that Sandakos, who is mentioned as the founder of Kelenderis, went to Cyprus. Until Mersin Port was established, Kelenderis was the most important connection of Anatolia with Cyprus.
The ancient city of Kelenderis has preserved its feature of being an important port due to its Anatolian connection, natural harbor property and close location to Cyprus. It is accepted that Kelenderis was a colonial city founded by the Samians in the Archaic period. The fact that it was a member of the Attica Dellos naval union (479 BC), which was established after the Persian invasion of Anatolia, and its name was mentioned among the 300 cities that paid taxes here reveals that it was one of the important big cities in the classical period. After the death of Alexander the Great, it passed into the hands of the Seleucids. It entered into good relations with the Hellenic Kingdom of Ptolamaios, which was founded in Egypt, and preserved its independence until 100 AD.
Especially in the 1st century BC, Kelenderis, like all of Cilicia, dealt with pirate attacks, and then the city was revived when the pirates were defeated by the Roman General Pompeis Magnus.
Afterwards, the city came under the rule of Byzantium, Anatolian Seljuk State, Karamanoğulları Principality and Ottoman. The famous sailor Piri Reis refers to this place as "Kilindra Kal'asi" in his book.
In the city, the density of ruins belonging to the Roman Empire period stands out, for example, the tomb monuments in the necropolis are similar to the ones located in the Ancient City of Anamorium.
The mosaics found in the basilica in the ancient city of Kelenderis and the city mosaic, which has become the symbol of the city, are especially worth seeing. The Kelenderis Mosaic, which has very large dimensions with its dimensions of 12x3.2 meters, is a map of the 5-6th century AD Aydıncık Harbor and the structures surrounding it. The mosaic is under protection in the ancient city.
The basilica, mosaics, tomb structures, harbor bath, walls, odeon, water pool and wells are some of the ruins that can be seen in the ancient city of Kelenderis.
Where is Kelenderis Ancient City? Directions Information. How to Get to the Ancient City?
Kelenderis Ancient City is in a very central location in Aydıncık District of Mersin. Its distance to Mersin is 161 km.
To go from Mersin to Kelenderis Antique City by private car, you should reach Aydıncık Town Center by driving west on the Mersin-Antalya Highway. Here you will see the sign showing the Ancient City. You can walk to the ancient city, which is right near the port.
In order to go to Kelenderis Ancient City from Mersin by public transportation, you can reach Aydıncık district by Mersin-Antalya intercity buses, as well as Aydıncık buses departing from Mersin bus station.
Places to visit around Kelenderis Ancient City
Aynalıgöl (Gilindere cave): 7.2 km
Dört Ayak Mausoleum: 1.8km