Knidos Ancient City

Discover Mugla and visit ancient Knidos

Ancient City of Knidos

Knidos or Cnidus is one of the major ancient cities in the southwest part of Turkey. The ancient city of Knidos, which is famous for its statues of Dionysus, Athena and Aphrodite, is located 35 km west of Datca town, Mugla.


Dating back to 13th century BC, Knidos is located on the border of the Aegean and Mediterranean. It is just like an open air museum.

Knidos Ancient City, which is one the most important historical sites in the area, was famous in antiquity for its many great amphitheatres. It is also the site of the Temple of Aphrodite, which housed a beautiful statue of the goddess sculpted by Praxiteles, one of the most celebrated artists of antiquity.

Ancient Figures of Knidos: Well known mathematician and philosopher Eudoxus, sculptor Praxiteles who sculptured the famous naked statue of Aphrodite, Skopas, Bryaxis, Sostratos who was the architect of Lighthouse of Alexandria in Egypt lived in Datca town.

History of Knidos

Knidos was founded first in Burgaz, which is 2 km away from the centre of Datca, by the local people who migrated from Argos in 700 BC.

The locals who became wealth gradually marketed agricultural products by sea. The ships sailing to North, unable to resist to Northwest winds, had to anchor and wait at the west end of the peninsula. For this reason, it was moved to the end of Datca peninsula in order to build a harbour city in 360 BC. Two harbours, one of them for the war ships in the North and the other for the merchant ships in the South, were built in the cape of Deveboynu. People of Knidos showed their wealth and strength by building treasure room in Apollon Temple in Delphi during this period.

Ancient Ruins of Knidos

The remains of the ancient city of Knidos, near the modern Turkish town of Datca, are among the most picturesque historic attractions in the Aegean region. Besides the Knidos (Cnidus), the ruins of Burgaz are also worth visiting.

The basic highlights of the archaeological site;

  • Beautiful sunset at Knidos.
  • Dionysus Terrace and Stoa Structure.
  • Harbour Street and West Harbour Chapel Complex.
  • Apollon Karneios Sacred Place.
  • Small Theatre.
Archaeological Site of Knidos
Knidos Archaeological Site, Datca, Mugla