Ancient Times - Antalya Destination

The Antalya Region has been Renowned for Sports since Ancient Times

Antalya has been a centre for sports throughout history, and still is today. The ruins of the numerous stadia and theatres that remain to this day demonstrate the importance the arts and sports held for the people of bygone periods.


The Lycians, the inhabitants of the country of light, lived in the western part of Antalya and loved the arts, entertainment and sports. It is known that many famous athletes originated from Patara, the capital of Lycia. The people of the Land of Light often took part in festivals and competitions, winning many victories. According to tradition, these victories enabled them to obtain citizenship of Patara as well as the cities where they competed. We know that the Lycian citizen Hermogenes of Xanthos won the double-stadion race and armour race three times during the 215th, 216th and 217th Olympic Games in 89, 85, 81 BC respectively.

The athletes who were successful in the Olympics were received home as heroes in their towns and were honoured with statues. Banquets which lasted for days were given in their honour. Was a statue erected in honour of the Olympic champion, the Lycian citizen Hermogenes of Xanthos? Unfortunately we do not know.

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