The ancient city of Simena, or Kale, as it is known today, is located directly opposite Kekova Island, 9 km west of Andriake port. It is less than 1 km from Teimiusa to the east. However, unlike Teimiusa, due its difficult location the sea route was the only way to reach the city even until the 20th century. Simena was a member of the sympolitea led by Aperlai during the Lycian League (along with Apollonia and Isinda). A few rock-cut tombs in classical Lycian style testify to the dynastic period history of the city. The medieval castle on the hill rising behind the harbor was built on top of the dynastic period walls. Traces of dynastic and Hellenistic structures are also visible under the modern period buildings. The small theater with 7 rows of seats inside the castle, which was carved into the bedrock during the Hellenistic period, is probably one of the oldest in Lycia. The remains of a building on the slope in front of the castle walls belong to a church that was built on an early temple structure. The ancient harbor is today submerged underwater. Researchers suspect that this was due to some strong earthquakes that took place in the region, especially in the first millennium, as well as the effect of the rise in sea level over time. Underwater surveys in the sunken harbor identified many structures including a few ship shelters. As in many Lycian cities, the best preserved monuments in Simena are the tombs. A few of the classical Lycian type rock-cut tombs around the acropolis hill have Lycian inscriptions. It is possible to see many sarcophagi with ogival shaped lids in the necropolis area to the east of the hill.


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Image sources:
C. Texier, 1862
O. Benndorf & G. Niemann, 1884
W. W. Wurster, 1996
Bora Bilgin, 2022
Tayfun Bilgin, 2022