Nemrut Mountain

Nemrut Mountain

Date of inclusion on the World Heritage List: December 6, 1987

List reference: 448 Criteria: Cultural


The mountainside of Nemrut with the tumulus containing the tomb of King Antiochus of the Kingdom of Commagene and several huge statues was added to the UNESCO World Heritage List in 1987.

Mount Nemrut is also known as the tallest open-air museum in the world. With its enchanting ten-meter-high statues and meter-long inscriptions, as well as the ancient shrine of Commagene, it is located in Kahta County in Adiyaman Province.

Mount Nemrut was one of the most majestic places of worship in ancient Anatolia. According to the inscriptions, Antiochus built a monumental tomb, a tumulus of cut stones over the tomb and terraces along the three edges of the tumulus.

These terraces are known as the East, West and North Terraces. There are huge statues, inscriptions and reliefs on the east and west terraces. Five statues show the gods and among the deities the figure of Antiochus.

The east and west terraces have five statues of gods arranged in the same order on both terraces. The statues made of stone blocks, each weighing 7 to 8 tons, stand on thrones about seven meters above the terrace floor. The heads of the statues have fallen over and are scattered on the terraces.

The row of statues begins with a lion and an eagle statue. The lion, the king of the beasts, represents earthly power, and the eagle, herald of the gods, represents heavenly power.

On the east terrace are the gallery of the gods, the gallery of the ancestors and the altar. The west terrace was built in a similar way, but is much better preserved. The north terrace served as a passage between the east and west terrace and was surrounded by a sandstone wall. Behind the stone blocks that form the thrones of the statues of the east and west terraces, there is a 237-line cult inscription written in Greek letters. The inscription was the will of Antiochus and contains information about the sanctuary as well as rituals that should be used to practice the cult.

Mount Nemrut with the most majestic panoramas of sunrise and sunset in the world, as well as its huge statues and monumental tomb, is waiting for its visitors.

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