Limyra was a small city in ancient Lycia on the southern coast of Asia Minor, on the Limyrus River (Ancient Greek: Î›Î¹Î¼ÏÏÎ¿Ï‚).
Already flourishing in the second millennium BCE, the city was one of
the oldest and most prosperous in Lycia; it gradually became one of the
finest trade settlements in Greece.
In the 4th century BCE Pericles adopted it as the capital of the Lycian League; subsequently it came under control of the Persian Empire. After Alexander the Great ended Persian rule, most of Lycia was ruled by Ptolemy I Soter; his son Ptolemy II Philadelphos supported the Limyrans against the invading Galatians and the inhabitants dedicated a monument, the Ptolemaion, to him in thanks.
The five necropolises from this period demonstrate the city's
importance. The mausoleum of Pericles is particularly notable for its
fine reliefs and exquisite sculptures such as Perseus slaying Medusa and
one of her sisters.
Limyra is mentioned by Strabo (XIV, 666), Ptolemy (V, 3, 6) and several Latin authors. Gaius Caesar, adopted son of Augustus, died there (Velleius Paterculus, II, 102).
The Romans cut a theater into the hill which held 8000
spectators. It was commissioned in the second century AD by important
Lycian benefactor named Opramoas of Rhodiapolis. Also from this period are a bathhouse with a complex heating system and the colonnaded streets. The Roman Bridge at Limyra, east of the city, is one of the oldest segmental arch bridges in the world.