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Great for: Graves, Tombs, Roman History
Today’s Perre (sometimes known as Pirin, Perhe, etc.) Museum on the edge of Adıyaman is basically all that is left of the once wealthy city of the Commagene. Today, apart from a Roman era spring and a short portion of wall, the main attraction is the sprawling complex of graves and tombs cut into the hills above the ancient settlement.
The site of the Perre necropolis was originally a stone quarry. Then, over time, the sheer-sided walls of the quarry were carved out for tomb chambers and grave niches. What has made Perre particularly interesting to archaeologists is the variety of grave types ranging from large multi-grave tomb chambers to sarcophagi, grave niches, and basic pit/cyst graves. The graves range in time period from the Commagene to the Byzantine and so also reflect the beliefs and symbols of the different religions from each period.
While the vast majority of the graves were looted long ago, some of the graves sitting a little apart from the main mass yielded some beautiful burial items that are now on display in Adıyaman.
Very little is known about the city of Perre though it is thought that it was previously called Antioch on the Taurus, named after the great Commagene king Antiochus I. The city continued on as an important site through the Roman period and on into the Byzantine until it was finally abandoned with the arrival of the expanding Muslims, who built their settlement in what would later become the city of Adıyaman. The site of the settlement itself has not yet been excavated so until such a project is undertaken it’s hard to know much about the history of the city.
How To Get There
Perre sits just on the north-western edge of the city of Adıyaman on Malatya Street. To see the Roman era spring and ruined wall, continue past the museum grounds to the town of Örenli; the spring sits in the middle of the village while the wall is just up the hill on the outer edge.
If you ask for directions or take a taxi try saying Pirin instead of Perre if you’re not understood the first tine.
For more about car rental and driving in Turkey make sure to read our full drivers guide.
Where To Stay
Chances are, if you’re in Adıyaman you’re not simply planning to visit Perre. If you’re looking at visiting Mt. Nemrut National Park as well then you have a couple of options. Obviously, the city of Adıyaman is an option as it has lots of selection, is easy to get to, and still fairly close to Mt. Nemrut National Park. However, you may want to consider staying in Kahta, the town just outside of Mt. Nemrut National Park and still close to Perre. Kahta has some plain but cheap options as in Adıyaman. The final option is the more attractive option of staying in some of the guest houses in the park itself.
Planning on visiting Perre? Make sure to check out what other sights are in the region!
Have any tips or info to add? Spot any mistakes? We’d love to hear about it.