Art and Literature About Lycia

Kaleköy, ancient SimenaLuigi Mayer, a gifted German artist with Italian roots and schooling, toured the Ottoman coast in 1791 with his friend Sir Robert Ainslie, England’s ambassador to Turkey at Constantinople.  Sir Robert commissioned Mayer to produce drawings of many landmarks along their coastal route.  Some of these works depict places that were once settlements of ancient Lycia, such as The Harbor At Cacamo, which appears at the right. It is in fact a depiction of the north shore of today's town of Kaleköy at ancient Simena.  Below is Mayer's rendition of ancient Telmessus (today's Fethiye).

Feithye, ancient Telmessus

Mayer also completed drawings for Sir Robert in the Balkans and other places in the Eastern Medierranean.  His works were later reproduced by means of vividly hand coloured folio aquatints.


Freya StarkDame Freya Stark, born in Britain, wrote more than twenty four books based on her travels in the Middle East before the second World War which continue to be read today. She began her travels in the 1930s while on British government service in the Middle East, a solitary traveller in an age when women rarely went abroad alone. She ventured through Arab countries by camel, pony and mule. She travelled in Persia, Arabia, Turkey and Afghanistan, sometimes in areas no European women and few European men had ever seen.

Her book, The Lycian Shore, is the account of Freya's journey with companions along the coast of Turkey in the early 1950's, following the trail of Greek and Persion traders.  Her style of writing and grasp of antiquity bring to life an ancient civilization.

'There are not so many places left where magic reigns without interruption,’ wrote Freya Stark in The Lycian Shore, ‘and of all those I know, the coast of Lycia was the most magical.’