Milas

Milas is the second largest residential area of Mugla Province. It was established

on the foot of Sodra Mountain on the plain named after itself. According to the archaeological

researchs, the foundation of the district dates back to 1st thousand BC. Milas which

was named after Mylasos coming from Ailosand, that is the space of God of the winds, was

the capital of Caria and then Mentese Principality.

History

Milas’s ancient name is Mylasos or Mylasa. Milas has the

temple of national God Zeus Carios of all Caria and was the cross

place of Carias. Each side of the district is covered by marbles so it

is called “Temples City”. It is possible to see the 3 thousand years

of cultural traces in everywhere in Milas. Within the boundaries of

Milas, there are ruins of 27 ancient cities. Among them Iasos, Labranda, Euromos and Heraklia are available to visit. Milas has also other historical values. Milas respectively lived

Caria, Byzantine, Seljuk, Mentese Principality and Ottoman Civilizations.

Milas has an important location in terms of yacht tourism with

its’ coasts in the Gulf of Gökova and Mandalya in Aegean Sea. After

seeing Gökova, Captain Cousteau said that “who is seeking heaven

on Earth, finds it in Gökova”. The international Milas-Bodrum Airport

is the easiest way to reach Milas.

Milas Museum

Some part of the finds from the excavations in the historical places of the district

are exhibited in Milas Museum. The Museum was opened to the visitors in 1987 and is in a

two-storey building in a 1,5 acre garden. In the 11 showrooms, the gold artifacts found in

the excavation in Stratonikeia, the baked clay oil lamps found in the excavation in Iasos, the

finds, statues and statue heads found in the excavation in Milas and surrounding area are

exhibited. The garden of the Museum is used as an open-air exhibition area.

Uzunyuva and the Sarcophagus of

Hekatamnos

The Column, which is called as Uzunyuva among the people, was originally built

as a honour column in the name of Memandros in Roman period. The column has a Corintian

style hat and is one of the most eminent works of Mylasa.

The Sarcophagus of Hekatamnos

It is driven forward as belonging to King of Caria. 2400 years old tomb is identified as the

most important archeological discovery of 100 years in Anatolia. The King was buried with

all his personal belongings in a massive and high masterpiece sarcophagus, which was decorated

with high reliefs on four sides.

 Milas Houses

The main and most important part of Milas town trip consist

of Milas houses which were built in the first years of 19 and 20

century and which are still used after restoration. The entrance of

the two-storey houses is from courtyard. The wood supported parts

of the houses are out of the street. The ground floors are used as a

warehouse and pantry. The kitchen, toilet and barn are at a corner of

yard. The wood or marble staircase is used to ascend to the upstairs

from the yard.

 Arasta (Ottoman Bazaar)

In Hisarbasi District where the historical Çolluoglu Inn located

that surrounded by the shops is Milas Arasta. It is estimated that the

Arasta was started to establish after the construction of the Colluoglu

Inn in 1719. Arasta has an important role in the commercial life of Milas

and tailors, tinners, artisan restaurants and shoemakers carry on their

commercial activities there. The Arasta shops, which have the characteristics

of traditional Turkish architecture, have one or two floors. The

roof of the buildings are tiled. Milas Arasta which protects many of its

properties, is also a stopover point by local and foreign tourists. There

is a great interest to Arasta especially during the Tuesday market. In all

meat, meatball and liver restaurants it is very difficult to find place.

 Hacıaliağa Mansion

Hacialiaga Mansion which is located in Hisarbasi

neigborhood, is one of the finest example of Turkish civil

architecture from 19th century. The Mansion was built by

Hadji Ali Aga from Milas gentry in 1868. It was constructed

in rectangular plan and two storey where the bottom floor

was used as a corn warehouse and the top floor was used

as living rooms. The Mansion was restorated in 2005 by Milas

Municipality and the first floor of the Mansion has been

used as Turhan Selcuk cartoon house in memory of Turhan

Selcuk who is a great master of Turkish cartoon was born

in Milas. The second floor of the Mansion was furnished

showing the traditional home life of Milas and was opened

to the visitors.

Çöllüoğlu Inn

It is located in the central point of the city and is close to the

Belen Mosque. Although it was constructed between 1719-1920 as a

foundation to the madrasah built in 1737-1738 close to Aga Mosque

by Abdulaziz Aga, today it is a private property and was widely demolished.

But the restoration works are still carried out by Milas Municipality.

Çomakdağ

The feature of the village is the Comakdag houses which

have architectural style that combine past and present. Each of

these houses is a work of art. The chimneys in stone houses attract interest

with their aesthetic appearance. On the region-specific chimney

hill made from slate stone  as half months or eagle head figures can

be seen. As much as the houses’ external appearance, interior of them

are very colorful and impressive. Ceiling decorations and doors are full

of examples of the art of wood carving.

Women living in Comakdag are trying to keep alive their nearly 500

years of history of the traditions with their colorful wearing apparel.

The withdrawn village lives with its’ traditions.

Ancient Cities

Baltali Kapı (Ax-Door)

It was built at the end of 1st century BC. Two pillars carry the door

belt decorated with a row of palmetto and groove. Due to the double-

sided ax relief on the lock at the outer side, it was named after

Ax-Door.

Gümüşkesen Grave Monument

This magnificient monument which is located in the ancient

city necropolis (cemetery) area on the eastern slope of the

Sodra Mountain that could be built by the decision of the City Senate

to the period, certainly it was built for a senior personality like a

manager or commander of Milas and his family.

The tomb that was built from grey vined marble extracted

from Sodra Mountain quarries, rises over a flat platform due to

the sloping terrain. In general, it consists of three parts; the burial

chamber, the middle floor where the religious ceremony are made

that surrounded by columns and the loft that supported by these

columns.

As a general form, although it evokes Mausoleum Halikarnassos

which is one of the world’s seven wonders, it is unique and

the parallels are in Eastern Mediterranean and North Mesopotamia

(South East Anatolia). Due to the construction techniques of tombs

and the characteristic property of marble decoration it is dated to

the middle of AD 2nd century (Antonine period).

Beçin Castle

It is possible to reach the ruins with a right path sling way from Milas-Oren road at the

entrance of Belcin district that is located 5 km South of Milas. The castle is located on the escarpment

at the northen tip of the tableland.

The oldiest ruins in Belcin called different names like Pezona (in medieval Italian sources),

Barcin, Bercin, Pecin and Becin (in Turkish-Islamic sources), date back to the Archaic period.

Under the Middle Age Castle located on the escarpment at the northen tip of the tableland there

are architectural ruins from Archaic and Classical period. Different types of tombs from Geomethic

to Roman period which were encountered near Becin district, testify to ancient period. We

realised that the first heyday of Becin was in Archaic period and at long last the second heyday

was in Menteseogullari that is one of a Turkish Principality.

In Becin there is a small number of Bizantine ruins can be seen like a chapel (small

church). As the Turkish period ruins, Inner Castle, Ahmet Gazi Madrasah and Mausoleum, Orhan

Bey Mosque, Big Turkish Bath, Bey Mansion, Bey Turkish Bath, Red Inn, Karapasa Madrasah, Yelli

Mosque, Yelli Turkish Bath, Yelli Madrasah and the cemeteries with interesting tombstones can

be seen in Becin.

Iassos

Iassos was built on the peninsula surrounded by the sea

on three sides in Kıyıkislacik Village that is 28 km away from Milas.

According to the mythology it was built by the people came from

Argos and named after Iassos, the head of the colonists. There is no

information about Iasson in ancient sources until 5th century BC.

The area where the city was built was an island but than it became

a peninsula. The important structures belong to the ancient city are

located on this peninsula. Big city wall, aqueduct, tombs and the

building called as a fish market are located outside of the city walls.

During the excavations in Iassos the oldest settlement belonging to

the end of 3th thousand BC was found.

Once upon a time a musician who visited the city gave a

recital at the theatre. During the recital when a bell sound notifying

that the fish market is open was heard, everyone except an old man

who put his hand to his ear leaved the theatre. The Musician came

near to the old man and said “I thank you so much for your respect

for me and my art; because all the listeners have gone after they

heard the bell sound”. “What?” cried the old man. “Did they ring the

bell? “Yes, why?”, “Well, allow me sir” and then he disappeared. Strabon tells the story for the purpose of explaining the interest of

people from Iassos who can not get yield from unfruitful soil. After Alexander laid a siege to Miletus in 334, Iassos donated a ship to the

Persian Navy who tried to help the city. After ten years there was a man from Iassos named Gargos in the Alexander’s armory command

post in Ektaban. Another person from Iassos who attrected the interest of Alexander, was a boy who had loved by a dolphin.

In Iassos it was a tradition of the boys to wash in the sea after working in gymnasium. Meanwhile a dolphin moved clower to the ashore,

shouldered one of the children, took him to the open sea and left him to the ashore again. According to a narrative, after Alexander

heard the story he brought the boy to Babylon and made him a priest of the God of the Sea Poseidon. The people from Iassos were

influenced from this story and they used a boy figure on the coins in 3rd century BC who throw his arm to dolphin’s shoulder while

swimming.

Heraklia

Once Heraklia was a port city, where Bafa Lake is lying with its blue water in front of it and Five Finger Mountains (ancient

name is Latmos Mountain) are rising behind of it. Old city called Latmos that was located in a little further northeast moved into the

place at the beginning of Hellenistic Period and it was named after Herakleia in accordance with demigod hero Herakles. 6,5 km of city

walls supported by 26 towers are indicative of importance given to the defense of a city as well as to an ancient waste.

In accordance with the “Latmos Prehistorical Rock Paintings” at the Latmos (Five Finger) Mountains in Bafa Lake area it was

determined that the beginning of the history of the region extends to the 6 thousand century BC.

Euromos

The ruins of Euromos are located on the rigth side of 12th km

of Milas-Soke highway. Especially the columns of the temple can be seen

easily from the road.

Due to the temple columns, the city was named “Footed”

by the local people and first time the name of the city was encountered in

5th Century BC in the list of taxpayers cities which paid their taxes to the

Attica-Delos Sea Union that was established against Persians.

The history of the Euromos shows parallelism to the historical

geography of Caria. Euromos made a citizenship agreement with Mylasa

(sympoliteia) and applied for the help from Mylasa because of the attack

of Herakleia.

The most important ruin is Zeus temple dated to the period of

Emperor Hadrian (AD 117-138). During the excavation works in the temple

the ruins belong to the AD 6th century were found. City walls, theatre,

agora, tombs are the other ruins that can be seen.

Labranda

Labranda which is one of the oldiest city of Caria, was named

after “Labrys” that means double-sided axe. Between the city of temples,

Milas and Labranda there was a marble “spiritual road” connection and

this road started from Ax-Door in Milas.

It is described on an inscription found during the research in the area

that there was a war in the spiritual area in 497 and the allies of the

armies of Caria with Miletus lost the war against Persian

army. Herodotus speaks of a temple of Zeus Startios in Labranda. The

4th century BC was the most important period of the temple that was

built in Mausoleum and Idrius period.

Bargylia

The old name of the Bosphorus Village was Bargylia. Bargylia

that is one of the Caria city was once at the seaside. The marsh in front

of it was used as a salina in Ottoman period. Colloquially the name of the city is Varvil. The ancient authors report that the hero named Bellorophontes

built the city in memory of his friend Bargylos who was died

by a kicking of his winged horse Pegasos. The name of the city in Carian

language is Andanos. The Artemis Kyndias temple is the spiritual area

of the city that is located on the mountains against in Kemikler Village.

As the ruins of a building of the city turned to a defense fortress by

arrangements in Byzantine period, the building materials appears on

these walls. The ruins are scattered over the hills along. The north facing

Hellenistic theater and temple areas require an exploratory trip.

Güllük Port

Gulluk Port which locates at the Manastır area that is 2 km far away from Gulluk Town, is operating by Gulluk Port Management Construction

Tourism Industry and Trading Co. and it is 10 km away from Bodrum-Milas International Airport.

The Gulluk port area is divided into two parts; inner port and outer port. The length of pier is 346 m and there are 4 berths.

Tuzla

The Tuzla wetland covers 380 hectars area. In winter it is

a sheltering and feeding place of migratory birds and it is surrounded

by tamarisk, olive and pine trees. The most common bird species

are Pelicans. Gray duck, mallard, white-fronted goose,

red-crested pochard, coot, heron, geese, flamengo, water fowl,

pratincole are the other species that live in Tuzla.  In the wetland the planktons and aquatic

plants provide fish abundance.

Bafa Lake

The Soke plain was sea until 2000 years ago and there

was a large gulf. The allivium brought by Big Menderes River filled

the gulf and made a plain. Todays’s Bafa Lake stayed between as a

part of the sea. There are two islands on the lake. In Bafa Lake garay

mullet, see bass and ell are catched. On the islands located on the

lake monasteries and churches were built. From these “Seven Monastery”

is the oldiest one. The perimeter of the Lake is surrounded by

olive groves. All meals in the restaurant located on shore are cooked

with olive oil.

Ören – Keramos

On the way to Bodrum-Milas formerly Gereme with a new name Oren is on the coast of the Gokova Gulf that is reached with an

asphalt road leaving with Becin road. The city center is a bit off shore. Along the beach two-storey house in gardens, small hotels and hostels

are ranked. Between Oren and Akyaka the ruins of ancient city of Keramos can be visited.

Sleep Valley

The Sleep Valley and natural protected area The Gokceler Cavern can be visited with daily tours. There are two entrences to the

Valley. The mouth of the Gokceler Cavern is quite large. In the Cavern, which is opened to a large lounge, there is a large gallery at the left side.

When you take a slight right hilly with a narrow passage, it is also possible to reach another gallery where stalactites, stalagmites and smaller ponds located.

Local Cuisine

In the Aegean region the wealth of flora is reflected of the local cuisine, as can be seen in Milas’ cuisine. The foods cooked with olive oil are predominate.

(The Turkish traditional name of the foods are stated in the paranthesises)

Vegetable Dishes: Flower frying (cicek kızartma), cowpea (börülce

çullama), cowpea salad (börülce sallama), hibiscus roasting

(ebegümeci kavurmasi), blessed thistle (kenker-sevketi bostan), Cauliflower

(karnabahar tatari), Aubergine with olive oil (patlıcan ekşemesi),

Aubergine with yoghurt and garlic (yogurtlama), mustard salad

(hardal salatasi), asparagus roasting (tilkisen kavurmasi), palandiz

salad (palandiz saltasi), fava bean leaf salad (bakla yapragi salatasi),

dried pepper salad (kuru biber salatasi), onion meal (soğan depmesi),

gherkin salad (acur salatasi), purslane salad (semizotu salatasi).

Pastry: mixed herbed pasty (caykama boregi), pastry (tepsi boregi),

rolled pastry with minced meat (vekilharc), cracked wheat pastry

(bulgur boregi), rice pastry (pirincleme dökmesi), the layered pastry

(katmerli borek).

Meat, chicken and fish dishes: Bloody chicken roasting (kanli kavurma),

stuffed rice and meat in a large gut (bumbar dolmasi), fried meat

(et kavurmasi), meaty leek (etli pırasa), stuffed squash blossoms (kabak

cicegi dolması), sour meatball (eksili köfte) and pounded chicken/

meat and wheat (keskek).

Desserts: gelatinous dessert colored and flavored with saffron (Zerde)

Carpeting

Milas is one of the oldest settlements of Turkmen tribes. The region protects its feature as uses and customs and clothing. In Milas

the carpets are woven with unique characteristics. It is considered that the carpet tradition began in the 16th century with the production of

prayer rugs. Dated to the 18th century and 19th century carpets with patterns and color feature are divided into classical and Baroque style.

Milas carpets have completely been made of wool since the 18th and 19th century. The carpets have been colored with natural dye and madder. These

carpets are called Milas carpets which are still weaved in Karacahisar, Oren Dorttepe, Gereme, Bozalan, Ikızkoy, Pinarkoy, Mezgit, Gurcegiz,

Akcakaya and in many villages.

 


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