Famous for the cleanliness of its sea, almond blossoms, and the beauty of its bays and bends, Datca is located at a point where the Aegean and the Mediterranean meet. The ancient city of Knidos, located at the tip of the peninsula called Tekir Cape, is one of the important ancient places that should be seen by those who pass by Datca. Knidos, praised by the geographers Strabo from Amasya and Herodotus from Bodrum, complements the beauty of the Datca peninsula, which stands out with its natural beauties.
Knidos was an important port city with its sheltered harbors, special location, and being on the passageway, dating back to 2000 BC. It was built on an island close to the mainland, in the form of two ports connected by a narrow strait.
The ancient historian Herodotus says that Knidos was founded by immigrants from Lakedaimon. In ancient literature, the foundation of Knidos is attributed to its Doric origin and to the Spartan hero Triopas. The Dorians made the ancient city of Knidos the most important port city of the time, both commercially and culturally.
The city was also quite advanced in science, architecture, and art. Eudoxus, the great astronomer and mathematician of history, Doctor Euryphon, the famous painter Polygnotos, and Sostratos, the architect of the Lighthouse of Alexandria, which is considered one of the seven wonders of the world, lived here. The sundial, which was developed by Eudoksus and is the great invention of the period, still preserves its place in the ancient city.
It is estimated that the population of the region reached 80–120 thousand people in 600 and 700 BC. Knidos was an important trade center exporting wine in its period. Knidos wine went from the Eastern Mediterranean to the Black Sea and Athens. The people of Knidos, who earned a lot of money from trade, built two theaters, numerous temples, and a large agora in this very difficult geography. Apart from the 10 thousand-seat theater that can be seen at the entrance, there is another theater with a capacity of 20 thousand people in the upper part of the city. Apart from these two theaters, a concert hall (Odeon) with a capacity of 4500 thousand people, the political center of the city, the Acropolis, burial chambers (Necropolis), and the foundations of the famous Lion Monument are in ruins today.
The statue of Aphrodite, which was very famous in ancient times and known as the first nude statue, made Knidos famous in the world. In ancient times, cities would choose a protective god or goddess for themselves, and they would build the city's largest temple in his name. Since the Knidians chose Aphrodite as a goddess, they built a temple in her name. Even the king of Bithynia comes to Knidos to see this statue of Aphrodite, which was circulating as the most beautiful statue of its time. The statue has not been found so far, but its pedestal remains in place.
The Lion of Knidos, one of the symbols of the Knidos kingdom, was dismantled and taken to England in 1858 with the permission of the Ottoman administration. The people of Knidos, who won a great naval battle under the command of Conan the Kirmerian, had this Knidos Lion built to commemorate the victory. The statue was erected on the hill 1.5 kilometers east of the city. It is designed in such a way that all ships passing through the open can see it. Today, at the entrance of the British Museum, it welcomes its visitors in all its glory.
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