Kayaköy village is located 8 km south of Fethiye and was built on the site of the ancient city of Carmylessus. Although according to the philological data Kayaköy dates back to 3000 BC, no find has yet been discovered dating earlier than 4th century BC.

Charles Fellows was one of the many travellers who visited Teke Peninsula in 18th and 19th centuries. He defined Gemiler Island which is at the south of Kayaköy as Carmylessus. However, compared with the descriptions of ancient author Strabo, it is clearly understood that his definition is not true.


The empty buildings leaning against the hillside seems to be a ghost town, including hundreds of abandoned houses with no roofs or windows which used to be wooden, and the walls of some of which are partially ruined as a result of the nature. They were emptied as a result of the rights granted to minorities in the later stages of the Ottoman Empire.  

In the abandoned city, there are around 350 to 400 houses and they are not bigger than 50 m2, each has a specific position not blocking the light and the view of each other, usually two floored, the ground floors were used as barn or cellar, also they had underground cisterns at their entrances to collect rainwater from the roof. Besides houses there are also plenty of chapels interspersed among the houses and two large churches, one school building and one customs building.


The most significant sights in the region are the churches. The upper church originally called as Taksiyarhis, is located on a dominant hill in the middle of the settlement. Atrium is surrounded by high walls and covered with mosaic floors with geometric patterns made of black and white pebbles. The church is built mostly with broken and edges smoothed stones by using lime mortar; its exterior is covered with a thick pink plaster. Door and window frames are covered with marbles. There is a cistern, now filled with rubble, underneath the three-arched antechamber. The south westerly entrance to the single nave is through the doors opening from the antechamber.
The lower church, originally called as Panayia Pirgiotissa, is located at the west end of the settlement and is better preserved than the other. This is mainly due to its having been in use as a mosque until the 1960s. The garden of the church surrounded by high walls is entered through the gate on the east side. On south-east corner of the garden there is a bell tower and on north-east there is a small cemetery. The floor of the atrium is paved with mosaics made of pebbles just like in the upper church, unfortunately, it is no longer intact. The three rows of seats, adjacent to the courtyard to the south were constructed for attendants of the religious ceremonies.  

In addition to the churches two schools are features of the settlement that illustrate the way of life in the settlement. These were devoted to the education of the children, with boys and girls in Levissi attending separate schools. The girls’ school is located on the elevation above the Turabi Fountain and the boys’ school is on the peak of the hill to the north-west of the Upper church. According to an inscription found in this region, the building was constructed by Lövisidi brothers. The schools were only for primary education where lessons were taught in the Greek language. The students were subsequently sent to Rhodes, Athens and Istanbul for further education.

Another group of notable buildings at Levissi are the windmills. The windmill on the south hill, approximately 100 meters to the west of the Western Chapel, faces the breeze from the sea. The other windmill is located on the peak of Değirmentepe at the south-west of the Kaya Valley. They were circular constructions with two floors and at the present only the main outer walls remain.   
The square to the north of the Upper Church used to be the market place of the city. The buildings are not recognizable today but it was ascertained that there used to be cafés, butchers, greengrocers, grocery stores and textile shops here.


This project is co-financed by the European Union and the Republic of Turkey