Knidos (Cnidus), Marmaris, Turkey

Last Updated on May 6, 2019

At the western tip of the Reşadiye Peninsula, 100 km (62 miles) west of Marmaris (map), facing the Greek islands of Kos and Mandraki, are the ruins of ancient Knidos, famous as the place where Praxiteles‘ famous Parian marble statue of Aphrodite stood in its temple visible from both the town and the sea.

The goddess was depicted nude, a controversial choice that alarmed many, and pleased more. Praxiteles was apparently the first to reveal completely the female form, and he did it so well that some viewers claimed they could not tell it was not alive.

Knidos was also a transit point along the sea route from the eastern Mediterranean to Rome. Seafarers, including Saint Paul, would wait at Knidos for a change to favorable winds for their onward journey to the Eternal City.

Today Knidos is an active archeological site, with some of its ancient buildings being restored so that visitors may get a better idea of how they looked before earthquakes and the centuries ravaged them.

On both sides of the little peninsula upon which Knidos is situated are perfect little bays, the harbors for the ancient city, which are now favorite anchorages for day-cruise yachts stopping for lunch, a swim, and a visit to the ruined city.

You can get a good idea of daily life and work in Knidos by visiting the Knidos Room in the Marmaris Museum in Marmaris’s little hilltop fortress. More…

You can take a day cruise from Marmaris that stops at Knidos, or you can make the trip overland (2+ hours) in a minibus from the Marmaris Otogar (bus terminal).

—by Tom Brosnahan


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