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MUT

Taurus Mountain stopover                   Population:

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Old name: Claudiopolis

For the time being (July, 2011), Mut, once known for its fine carpets, makes a great place to break a trans-mountain journey between Karaman and Silifke since its otogar is right in the middle of town with everything you might want to see just a few minutes’ walk away to the rear.

Hop out here, pass an odd hour or so exploring the older part of town and then press on.

Around town

Behind the otogar you can see traces of the old city walls. Bridges over the water channel and steps lead up to the lovely Çınaraltı Çay Bahçesi (Tea Garden Beneath the Plane Tree) which is shaded with monumental ancient trees, yet has modern touches like a trampolining arena for children.

Behind the tea garden stands the austere La’al Paşa Cami (La’al Paşa Mosque) which dates back to the Beylik era following the collapse of the Selçuk Sultanate of Rum. A curiously austere building reminiscent of the İbrahim Bey İmaret in Karaman, it comes twinned with two pyramidal tombs in a state of neglect. The green marble columns supporting the portico almost certainly came from one of the buildings of ancient Claudiopolis.200 DSC05150

Across the road from the mosque are the remains of Mut Kalesi (Mut Castle). The outer walls have been restored quite well and you can still make out where pieces of old Claudiopolis were reused in building them. The circular keep inside has, however, been given a toy-town look. In lieu of a formal museum, the castle grounds contain many sarcophagi and other finds from Claudiopolis.

The streets around the castle contain several examples of what Mut houses used to look like: stone-built with layers of wood, topped off with mud roofs. That they stand over the site of Claudiopolis is indicated by the fact that almost all have gateposts or garden furniture made out of old marble columns and capitals.

Centrepiece of an old-fashioned bazaar quarter is the large Taş Han, currently overgrown and used for storage but surely due for restoration in the near future.

Sleeping

Buletbey Hotel & Spa

Three-star newbie right in the centre of the old part of town.

www.bulutbeyhotel.com, Tel: 0324-774 0347, Kocabaşı Sokak No. 1

Transport info

Many buses ply the main road from Karaman to Silifke, passing through Mut.

Day trip destinations

Alahan

Karaman

Silifke

 

 

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