History of Mysterious Mount Nemrut and the Commagene Kingdom
In the first century BC, Antiochus the first was the king of the Commagene Kingdom which was within the borders of present-day Adıyaman. When he died in 34 BC, he was buried in Mount Nemrut since Antiochus the first of Commagene kingdom wanted to be buried in a high and desolate place.
Nemrut means the one who doesn’t laugh or bring joy. According to the legend, the name of Mount Nemrut comes from the Babylonian ruler named Nemrut, who threw Abraham into the fire. Mount Nemrut is both a volcanic mountain, a natural monument and a human-made historical monument. That’s why it has been on the UNESCO World Heritage List since 1987.
Tumulus, an artificial hill consisting of graves covered with stones, on Nemrut Mountain is home to the ancient ruins of Commagene Kingdom and still maintains its mystery because it is still not reachable.
Discovery of Mount Nemrut
The ancient heritage on Mount Nemrut was first discovered by the Germans during road construction in 1881. It belongs to the Kingdom of Commagene. It is known that the Kingdom of Commagene is related to the Macedonian Emperor Alexander the Great and the Darius King of Persia in the East. The kingdom was able to survive, probably due to its proximity to these two different cultures and the embrace of both sides.
Information About Mount Nemrut
The sanctuary, which is at an altitude of 2,150 meters in the area of Kahta District of Adıyaman, offers a magnificent visual feast with its giant sculptures approaching 8-10 meters in height. According to the inscriptions found on the mount Nemrut, the King of Commagene Antiochus the first built this temple \ grave tumulus to show his gratitude to his ancestors and gods. Sacred areas were built on 3 sides of the hilly tumulus where the graves are located. The sanctuary consists of three terraces, east, west and north.
Each of the giant statues that greet the sunrise and sunset in the area carved with great effort, and they weight approximately 6 tons each. The tumulus is 150 meters in diameter and 50 meters in height and it is made of gravel stones. The crushed stones are piled with an amazing system that will be demolished when the grave room is entered, and thus it remains a mystery as it is not yet accessible today.
Sculptures on Mount Nemrut
On the east and west terraces, there are Antiochos and god and goddess statues, as well as lion and eagle statues. On the western terrace is a unique lion horoscope. The sculptures were carved by blending Hellenistic, Persian art and the original art of Commagene Country. In this sense, Mount Nemrut can be called the bridge of western and eastern civilizations.
Statues of Apollo, Mithra, Helios, Hermes, Tyche-Fortuna, Zeus, Oramasdes, Antiochos, Herakles and Ares can be seen in respective order. Eagle and lion statues are responsible for protecting the gods.
Where is Mount Nemrut?
Nemrut Mountain is located near Kayadibi village in Kahta district of Adıyaman province. The distance of Mount Nemrut to the city center is about 87 km.
Tour Guide to Mount Nemrut
The first and most important advice I will give is to climb Mount Nemrut is either at sunrise or at sunset. Because these times of the day are the moments with the most beautiful views. Since the sunlight is more beautiful, the photos you take also will more beautiful and vivid. If you prefer to visit mount Nemrut at sunset, you should definitely start climbing the mountain an hour before the sunset, so you don’t have to rush to catch the sunset. Don’t forget to bring some wine and cheese :D.
I will be happy to answer your questions if you like to learn more about Nemrut Mountain in Turkey. You can write to me to book a licensed Turkish tour guide to visit Nemrut in Turkey. See you soon, Hasan Gülday.