Confession time. We’ve been in Fethiye nearly 8 years, on and off, and in all that time, despite saying, ‘We ought to visit Fethiye Museum some day,’ we’d never made it till a couple of days back. It took the delivery of the newly discovered statues at Tlos to gee us up into finally making a visit.
Most of the main guidebooks for Turkey will tell travellers that Fethiye museum isn’t really worth their time and energy – and maybe that’s so not surprising when Turkey is home to so many fabulous museums dotted about all over the country. There’s a lot to compete with. But, if you’re like us and you enjoy the odd museum visit but get a big bogged down with the huge buildings with masses of rooms, then Fethiye Museum makes for a pleasant hour or so.
The building has recently been refurbished, displays are pleasing to the eye and it looks as though it’s been styled along the same lines as Antalya Archaeological Museum. There are two separate rooms and each area lights up as you enter. You’re not going to be blown away by the finds in there but it’s enough to keep you interested – ceramics and jewellery dominate and there’s also a pretty impressive mosaic, unearthed at the ancient site of Letoon, mounted on the wall.
As you walk in through the main gate, there’s also a garden entrance to your left – lined at the moment by the Tlos statues.
There isn’t a lot of information about the artefacts in the garden, but each one is labelled with where it was discovered and the period it’s from. Most of the finds are local; from Fethiye and Kaunos, near Dalyan and are from the Lycian, Roman, Greek and Byzantine periods. A water feature, complete with fountain, creates a really pleasant atmosphere. We spent as much time in the garden as we did in the museum building itself.
The highlight of the garden for me was this guy. He was found in Fethiye’s Telmessos Theatre. Telmessos theatre is yet to be restored to its former glory, but wouldn’t it be great if archaeologists could work out where different statues might have been and then add replicas? I think somehow, we might be a long way from that though…
As we said, Fethiye Museum is not huge but it’s well worth an hour or so of your time. All the finds are local which makes it more interesting – at least there is context to what you’re viewing. And the big bonus is, 3 lira Entrance Fee. It’s worth 3 lira!
Fethiye Museum – Useful Info
- Fethiye museum is open every day, 9-6, except Mondays.
- It’s situated on 505 Sokak and is about 5 minutes walk from the dolmus station. You can view it on our map of Fethiye.