Wondrous Back-Country Ruins

I have only got to Gerga once – and the absence of signage meant that finding the place took considerable local assistance – but have often dreamed of returning.

Because Gerga is unlike anywhere else, not least for the Greek rendering of the word Gerga, whatever it may signify, inscribed so ubiquitously in the stone-work as to suggest some long-forgotten cultic presence.  Then there is the architecture – a kind of rusticated palladianism of petrified timber-work, not least in the roof beams of the exceptionally preserved temple buildings.  Here too there were once statues on a monumental scale, as the surviving feet of one so spectacularly indicate.  Add to this huge sacrificial altars and the sense is of a remote temple sanctuary to a Carian god whose writ seems to have run into the Roman age.

George Bean, who knew about these things, claimed to know ‘no place more fascinating’.

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