Arch of Modestus at Patara

This monumental triple vaulted arch is the symbol of Patara and greets everyone on their way to the beach.  It is Patara's best-preserved monument, located on the southeastern side of Tepecik hill.  Only a few of these exist in Anatolia, so this is a special monument, a massive 10 metres high, 19 metres length and 2.5 metres wide.  It was not built as the main entrance to the city (there was no road under it), but rather in honour of an important figure.  It was also used as the last part of the aquaduct that ran from today's village of Islamlar, 20 km northeast of the city.

An inscription reveals that "the people of Patara, the metropolis of the Lycian people" built it and another belonging to the emperor Trajan informs us that it was constructed to honour the highest ranking administrator of Patara around 100 AD.  That man was C. Trebonius Proculus Mettius Modestus, the first governor general of Lyica and Pamphylia.

Click to see this structure's location


The arch has twelve consoles, six on each side, and portrait busts  of Modestus and his family were placed on them.

Note: Information on this page is from the book Patara: The History and Ruins of The Capital City of Lycian League by Dr. Fahri Işıki (head excavator of Patara), Orkun and Ozan Medya Hizmetleri A.Ş. 2000.  I believe this is a limited edition book and unfortunately I don't know where it can be purchased.