You may wish to see an introduction to this section first.
Port Vathy is the landing place
for boats from the island, of Kastelorizo;
there is consequently the usual appendage of a coffee-house, to which, and a
few huts, the inhabitants give the name
of Antiphilo: the similarity of the names
affords a strong presumption that this was the Antiphellus of Strabo.
Francis Beaufort, Captain of HMS Frederikssteen, a frigate of 32 guns: Karamania; or a brief description of the South Coast of Asia Minor, and of the Remains of Antiquity collected during a survey of that coast, under the orders of the Lords Commissioners of the Admiralty, in the years 1811 & 1812 - Published in 1817
The town of Phellos was an ancient Lycian settlement in the upper valley of the River Demre; this river empties into the sea at Andriake; the town was surrounded by fertile agricultural land and at one point its inhabitants decided to have their own harbour rather than relying on Andriake which was controlled by the important town of Myra; their choice fell on a bay which was protected by a long peninsula. A road across the mountains linked Phellos to its harbour which was named Antiphellos (in front of Phellos).
high mountain that rises from its northern shore, contains many excavated sepulchres;
and on the elevated neck of land that separates it from the gulf, there are remains
of considerable buildings. Amongst
others a theatre, with twenty-six rows
of seats; rudely built in comparison with that of Patara, but beautifully placed
with its front to the sea and commanding a view of the little archipelago of
islands that dapple the surface of the bay. Beaufort
Eventually Antiphellos became more important than its parent town and during Hellenistic times and the Roman period it was provided with an agora, two baths and a theatre, which is its main archaeological remain. Antiphellos is now called Kas and is a modern tourist resort which attracts an ever growing number of holidaymakers.
View of Castelrosso (Kastelorizo)
This morning we continued the ascent
for two hours, and, after passing some richly wooded ravines, we rapidly descended upon the singularly beautiful but wild and barren neighbourhood of Antiphellus,
an active little trading harbour for firewood, containing
two boats to communicate with the important island of
Castellorizzo, a few miles from the shore. (..) The
important island and town now under me are called by
all people here Turks, Greeks, and Arabs Mais (Megisti). Europeans call it Castello Rosso, or Castellorizzo.
Charles Fellows - Journal Written during an Excursion in Asia Minor in 1838
Over the centuries a competition developed between the harbour of Antiphellos and that located on the nearby island of Kastelorizo (which now belongs to Greece). For many centuries the harbour of the island was preferred by ships travelling from the Aegean Sea to Cyprus and Syria. At the end of the XIXth century Kastelorizo was a small town, while on the ancient site of Antiphellos there was just a village. Today the situation is quite the reverse (see the page on Kastelorizo to learn about the decline of that port).
Groups of sarcophagi surround the
place: some plain, others ornamented,
and generally bearing inscriptions. These
inscriptions, and those on the stone doors
of the sepulchres, appear, from the rudeness of their execution, to be very antient. Beaufort
The form of the sarcophagus found here is peculiar to the district of Lycia. The shape of the lid or top somewhat resembles the pointed Gothic arch. Fellows
In a small square of Kas there is a typical "Gothic" Lycian sarcophagus decorated with fine lion heads.
The chief objects of
interest in the place are the tombs, which are very
numerous, and of the largest kind that I have seen.
The rocks for miles round are strewn with their fragments, and many hundreds are still standing apparently
unopened; but the greater number have been pillaged: they have all Greek inscriptions, but these are generally much destroyed by the
damp sea air, which has eaten away the surface of the
marble. The cliff overhanging the town is also full of
tombs, cut into its face, many being highly ornamented
with architectural designs. (..) It is remarkable that all
the tombs cut out of the face of the rock are
in exact imitation of buildings of wood, the joints representing wedged ties or dovetails, and the overhanging
cornices being formed like the ends of beams of round
trees, producing a picturesque architectural ornament. Fellows
Lycia is known for its rock-cut tombs, many of which have the appearance of a small Ionic temple: those on the hill above Antiphellos belong to an earlier period: some have a lintel decorated with rolls, which most likely are a reminder of the logs used by the Lycians for building their houses.