Pinara was a large city of ancient Lycia at the foot of Mount Cragus (now Mount Babadağ), and not far from the western bank of the River Xanthos, homonymous with the ancient city of Xanthos (now Eşen Stream).
The remains of several ancient temples can be seen in Pinara, as
well as rock tombs including one "royal tomb", an upper and a lower acropolis, a theatre, an odeon, an agora and a church. The name Pinara has somewhat been assimilated to the name of the present-day village of Minare, half an hour below the ruins and depending Fethiye district of Muğla Province, Turkey.
The city, though not often mentioned by ancient writers, appears from its vast and beautiful ruins to have been, as Strabo asserts, one of Lycia's largest, its chief port city until the harbor silted up to form the reed-filled wetlands of today.
Yet another rare mention of the city in ancient sources is in
connection with the help it provided, along with several other Lycian
cities, to Pixodarus of Caria.
Pinara was a member of the Lycian League, in which it held three votes. The city surrendered to Alexander the Great in 334 BCE. After Alexander's death, the city fell to the kingdom of Pergamum. Pinara became a Roman city when Pergamum was willed by its last king Attalus III to the Roman Republic in 133 BCE. The city enjoyed prosperity during Roman rule, but was badly damaged by earthquakes in 141 and 240 CE. In the first occurrence, the city is recorded to have received a contribution from Opramoas for the repair of public buildings. Pinara was Christianized early. Five bishops are known: Eustathius, who signed the formula of Acacius of Cæsarea at the Council of Seleucia in 359; Heliodorus, who signed the letter from the bishops of Lycia to the emperor Leo I the Thracian (458); Zenas, present at the Trullan Council (692); Theodore, at the Second Council of Nicaea (787); Athanasius, at the synod that reinstated Patriarch Photius I of Constantinople (the Photian Council) in 879. Pinara was the birthplace of Nicolas of Myra. Under repeated pressure from invading forces, the city lost its inhabitants in the ninth century.