Intersection point at 2150 m height of Eastern and Western Civilizations, Nemrut (Nimrod) is part of UNESCO World Cultural Heritage with ten meters of charming sculptures and lengthy inscriptions.
This is a grave that massive statues of gods, kings and creatures stare down people. Statues are silent guardians of tomb. So, how much do we know about Mount Nemrut that houses massive statues of gods, kings and creatures in southeastern of Turkey?
Synthesis of Different Cultures and Religions Kingdom Commagene
We need to go to Kingdom of Commagene to unlocking secret of massive statues that have been watching sunrise and sunset at windy hill that see Fırat River (Euphrates) for 2000 years.
In Greek, Commagene meaning “Genes Community”, was a strong kingdom that integrated faith and culture of Greeks and Persian Civilization. King Antiochos I was connected with Greek by his mother and Persian King by his father.
He combined ethnic diversities from his ancestor. That’s why face of the statues are stays both east and west side of mountain. These statues are like a synthesis of different cultures and religions. Persian and Zoroastrian religious figures, such as Zoroastrianism’s creator god and supreme deity Ahura Mazda, are combined with a Greek counterpart, such as Zeus. Besides, names of the god statues was written in Greek and Persian.
In the name of reconciliation and peace between Greek and Persian Civilization, King Antiochos I placed Greek Gods and Persian Gods side by side , and he apotheosized by putting own sculpture.
Who are these Gods?
Research revealed that statues placed in certain line as per lunar calendar. Statues start a lion with an eagle and end with the same harmony. Lion represents the power of the earth, eagle that is messenger of gods represents sky.
Sequence of statues in Nemrut; firstly is King Antiochos I, Fortuna (Theichye) in second, Zeus-Oromasdes in third, Apollon (Mithras-Hermes) in forth, Herakles in fifth.
Where is tomb of the King Antiochos I?
Don’t Leave Without Watching Sunrise and Sunset
Also you should see these places in Mount Nemrut National Park.
The old roman bridge- pedestrian now- take time to stop and have a look at it. It was built in 2nd century BC and still beautiful with its canyon view.
About 10km south-west of Mount Nemrut. Several columns on the top of the hill. One with an eagle on the top, another with a lion that protects mother and sister of the king. Rest of the stones from tomb were used at the building of Cendere Bridge.
Arsemia and Yeni Kale:
Nestled on either side of the Kahtacay River the remains of Arsemia and Yeni Kale, offer travelers a glimpse of the ancient Commagene kingdom and see the handshakes from Hercules and Mithridates.
How Can We Get There?
You can access Nemrut from the nearby cities of Adiyaman, Malatya, Diyarbakir and Sanliurfa.
Adiyaman Airport is closest, 66 km by direct.
◊ Adiyaman – Mount Nemrut (Antic path from Arsemia) – 77 km
◊ Adiyaman – Cendere Bridge – 54 km
◊ Adiyaman – Yenikale – 59 km
◊ Adiyaman – Arsameia (Cendere Bridge Route) – 61 km