top of page

This walk is one of the classics of the St Paul Trail, taking in the unforgettable stone road up to the ancient city of Adada, then up to the prairies of Tota, where you feel the vastness of the countryside, and are likely to come across good numbers of feral horses which live independently on the steppe land in this area.  Known as 'Yilki', these domestic horses were set free after they were too old to work, but successfully adapted to life in the wild, breeding into significant herds.

After you pass Yenikoy village you head into the dense forests that take you to a pass, before descending to another lonely plain, from where you are picked up and brought to Kasimlar village.

The name Adada is first referenced by Artemidoros, in the first century BC, however, it is much older than this. Subsequently, Ptolemoios and the Byzantine antiquarian Herocles called the city Odada. Residents of Adada battled for Alexander in Cyprus and Phoenicia
Before long, in around 133BC, when the Romans acquired the Pergamene realm, Adada was free and stamping its own coins. Gods stamped to on the coinage incorporate Zeus Solymeos (a divine force of Termessos), Hercules and Dionysus, later Artemis Pergia from Perge was added. Themes on the coins incorporated a bull's head (image of Zeus) and triskeles, three legs joined to one centre.

Adada was based on a plain at 1200m, around a small acropolis slope.

The entrance into Adada couldn't be more climatic. The first Roman road rises towards the city, a stream bed on your right. You enter the centre of the town and arrive at the Agora of 32 by 45 meters. To the right, there is a seating area that could seat around 1000 individuals The marketplace was encircled by stoa of shops and there is a fountain in the SW.  Look out for the stone with a triskeles.  There is evidence of a Gymnasium from the times of Septimus Severus with inscriptions mentioning  Dionysus and Tyche.  There are no indications of an aqueduct or major cisterns which suggest there may have been a local source of running water.

The current road over the site corresponds to the line of the ancient road and had large temples on both sides, the largest being a temple of the emperors built to honour the visit of the Emperor Trajanus in 114 AD.  There is a simple theatre, wide but not high. 

It may have been that expansion of the city was abandoned early in the Christian age, as there is scant evidence of Byzantine building and none of the temples have been turned into churches. However we know that there was a bishop of Adada in 325 AD, and the last bishop of Adada recorded as a participant in the great church councils was in 787AD.

While much of the city was build subsequent to Paul's visit, it became an important stopping point on the pilgrimage route to Antioch in Pisidia, where Paul first preached to the gentiles.  The town was latterly known in Turkish as KaraPavlu, or Black Paul, perhaps due to the black-robed pilgrims who passed this way.

bottom of page