Mount Nemrud the most Mysterious Monument in Southeastern Anatolia of Turkey

Mount Nemrud and the God's are one of the most fascinating and mysterious monument, which is still keeping secrets on the artificial made mound (2.134 meters). Near to "Lake Van" and being within the province of city Adıyaman, the Nemrud Mountain is a popular destination of local people as well as visitors from all over the World. The mountain is one of the highest peaks of the Eastern Taurus mountain range. The monument is on the UNESCO Heritage list and is visited frequently due to the giant heads and the perfect view of "Sunrise".

Brief History

Nemrut Dag, as called by Turkish people is the temple and house of the gods built by the late Hellenistic King Antiochos I of Commagene (69-34 B.C) as a monument to himself.

The mausoleum of King Antiochus I, who reigned over Commagene, a kingdom founded north of Syria and the River Euphrates after the fall of Alexander's empire.

The monument is one of the most aspiring structures of the Hellenistic period. The facts of the construction shows us (for example the lineage of its kings) the traces of two origins which can be traced back to, Greek and Persian.

King Antiochus I Theos Dikaios Epiphanes Philorhomaios Philhellenos of Commagene (which is an usual long name to that period of time) has a very strong ancestry to both sides of his family. His father came from the origins of Armenian and Persian kings, possibly the great King Darius, whereas his mothers lineage was Greek, Princess Laodice VII Thea of the Seleucid Empire. He called himself Theos, "God", possibly claiming divine nature of his rule and his ability of being on good terms with Gods of various pantheons.

Antiochos became the king title in 59 BC. He was ally and friend of Rome, and throughout his reign, assisted by General of Pompeii in his military endeavors around the European and Asian lands.

The king used all this power and important alliances to be a buffer state between different powers in the area, and used his diplomatic skills to form alliances on both sides and negotiate a prosperous future for his own country.


The site is constructed on the western and eastern terraces at the base of the mound. The monument consists of impressive and gigantic statues of various Armenian, Persian, and Greek Gods and heroes made of stone. King Antiochos was not modest person nor shy, he had the power in his hands and showed it as to commemorate himself as a divine being. The complex on the Mount Nemrut, features his own statue in the company of Zeus-Oromasdes, Apollo-Mithras-Helios, Hercules-Artagnes-Mars, and Goddess Fortuna Commagene, as well as two Eagles and Lions. The heads used to be mounted on 7 meter bodies seated on their stone thrones.

Erosion and the high fluctuation of difference between night and day temperature is affecting the statues drastically.

Nemrut is an artificial mound which has a size of 50 meters tallness and 150 m in diameter.

A ground penetrating (2012) radar inspection showed that in the center of the mound, there might be a hollow, pyramid-shaped chamber containing a long object (most probably a tomb, sarcophagus). The chamber is yet to be excavated, although the fragile structure of the tumulus, composed of small rocks and pebbles, is making further digging quite a risky task.

How to reach Mount Nemrud :

  • Direct Turkish Airlines flights, twice a day, from Ataturk Airport are available to city Adıyaman. From there with a bus to Karadut close to Nemrut. There you can organise your hotel stay and climbs at both sunrise and sunset.

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