Kremna Ancient City
Kremna Antik Kenti
/ By Josh
Great for: Greek History, Ruins, Mountain Vistas, Banditry
An ancient city of the Pisidians, Kremna was built on a cliff-faced promontory overlooking the mountainous landscape of what is now Burdur province in the Taurus mountains.
With lush valleys below and a defensible position, Kremna (also written Cremna) thrived during the Roman period, though its somewhat remote location kept it out of the limelight compared to other Pisidian cities like Sagalassos or Pisidian Antioch. Far below the city is the Aksu River which, in ancient times, was known as the Cestrus, named after the river god whose now headless statue still looks over the canals of Perge some 70 kilometers downstream from Kremna.
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The history of the city is murky apart from some passing refences including Persians, Alexander the Great. One of the more interesting chapters in the history of the city comes during the Roman period in the 3rd century AD when the city was taken over by Lydios who used it as a center to rob and loot in the region. The city’s strong defences allowed him to hold out against the Roman Army for a surprising length of time. In the 1980’s archaeological surveys uncovered the remains of the Roman siege works left in place after the city was taken.
The site of Ancient Kremna was eventually abandoned sometime in the Middle Ages, the populace migrating a short distance down into the valley where the village was, until recently, known as Girme, a derivative form of the original name Kremna.
The city of Kremna was designed to take advantage of natural fortifications with tall cliffs on two sides, and an impressive fortification wall along the third border of the city. Visitors today will either enter via a path under the cliffs edge or pass through the ruined walls, with the remains of twelve towers still showing in the thick growth of bushes and stunted trees.
Sadly, the city of Kremna is in a state of extreme ruin. Likely due to a combination of harsh weather and locals removing the high quality stone blocks, Kremna has been largely reduced to rubble. Apart from a handful of scatterd walls and arches there is little to identify the remains beyond foundations of massive marble blocks. The city was once home to a pair of theatres (one of which was abandoned in the midst of construction), a number of churches, temples, grand colonnade streets, forums, bath houses, a wide agora, and numerous ruined houses.
As much of the site is a tumble of massive masonry and thorny shrubs, make sure you wear sturdy footwear to explore Kremna!
How To Get There
There is regular bus service to the town of Bucak from both Antalya as well as the city of Burdur (as well as from Ankara and Istanbul which pass through here towards Antalya). From the Burdur bus station it is 15 kilometers into the mountains to reach the ruins of Kremna. There is a taxi stand at the bus station; just remember to set a price to get to and from Kremna.
Drive North out of the city of Antalya following the D650 Highway (Antalya – Burdur Road) towards Burdur. After about 70 kms you’ll reach the town of Bucak. Head east (right) and follow Süleyman Demirel Boulevard through the center of town. Towards the edge of town take a slight left at the roundabout onto Hoca Ahmet Yesevi Boulevard. Follow the winding mountain road towards the villages of Alaatin and Çamlık (which is ancient Kremna). At the village of Alaatin you’ll have signs marking the turn off for Kremna which will be on your left.
From the city of Burdur
Head south out of Burdur on the D650 Highway (Antalya – Burdur Road) towards Antalya. At the town of Bucak turn left (east) and follow Süleyman Demirel Boulevard through the center of town. Towards the edge of town take a slight left at the roundabout onto Hoca Ahmet Yesevi Boulevard. Follow the winding mountain road towards the villages of Alaatin and Çamlık (which is ancient Kremna). At the village of Alaatin you’ll have signs marking the turn off for Kremna which will be on your left.
For more about renting a car and driving in Turkey check out our Drivers Guide!
Where To Stay
The nearest options are in Bucak though there isn’t a great deal to choose from. The city of Burdur is 58 kms away and has a number of small hotel options. The city of Antalya is 90 kms away and, as one of Turkey’s chief vacation cities has a long list of options ranging from campgrounds, boutique hotels in quaint historic neighborhoods to massive all-inclusive resorts on the beach. Eğirdir(70 kms away) in Isparta is an attractive town on Lake Eğirdir with some quiet little boutique hotels
Planning on visiting Kremna? Make sure to check out the rest of Burdur’s sights!
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Have any tips or info to add? Spot any mistakes? We’d love to hear about it.