The incredible statues of Mount Nemrud or Nemrut (Nemrud Dagi in Turkish) are located at the top of the 2,134 meter peak of Mount Nemrud (map), near the city of Adiyaman in Southeastern Turkey. This stunning UNESCO World Heritage site is one of the highlights of a trip to Eastern Turkey.

The statues of Nemrud Dagi.

In the 1st century BC, King Antiochus built a tomb-like monument for himself atop the mountain. He actually added a further 50 meters to the height of the mountain by constructing a mound or tumulus on the peak! From afar, this artificial peak is unmistakable – an incredible engineering marvel. Flanking this tumulus are giant statues of himself (in their original upright state, they would have been eight to nine meters tall), lions, eagles and various gods. The parts of the statues and the busts are now scattered throughout the site but they are nonetheless impressive. In addition, the view from the peak of the adjacent mountains, valleys and the Ataturk lake is stupendous.

Mount Nemrud

Tours by van, four-wheel drive or even by helicopter can easily be arranged in Adiyaman. There are also a variety of beautiful bed and breakfasts and hotels in and around Karadut, a small hamlet overlooking a gorgeous valley near the Mount Nemrud site.

Visiting this site involves a rather strenuous climb of a few hundred meters (from the visitor centre) so be prepared. In addition, the weather can change very quickly, as I discovered – a beautiful sunny day turned into a stormy adventure within an hour. By that time, we were at the peak and there was only a small hut to seek shelter (20 tourists crammed into a small space selling souvenirs and tea!). The howling wind, hail, thunder and lightning added a unique dimension to my visit: I left the shelter, braving the fierce weather, and had the complete site to myself. The sight of the immense statues, the dark threatening clouds and the occasional lightning bolt which lit up the sky, coupled with the roar of thunder, was quite simply bewildering!

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12 Responses

  • I’ve gone to Turkey twice so far. Last time I spent some time in the eastern regions and stopped to check out Mt. Nemrut while staying in Malatya (where most Turkish fresh Apricots are go in the late spring if you can) There is a man named Mr. Kemal who is the town tourist ambassador. He runs the tour to Mt. Nemrut seen on this page

    The site needs some redesign but it’s full of information. You can see what Mr. Kemal looks like about half way down. He’s easy to find…he spends his time in the garden drinking tea near the tourist office. What a character..very chatty. The hotel were the tour stays overnight is a short drive from the top of the mountain where the statues are. The food wasn’t great so I would pack some snacks just in case…I’m vegetarian :/ Wear warm’s cold up there but it’s an amazing site.

    More places to add to this list is a trip to Lake Van which can be reached by bus from Malatya. Eastern Turkey is a wonderful area to visit if you want a little adventure 🙂

    Cheers !

  • Eight meters tall! wow that’s impressive.. Seems like fantastic place to visit and climb! Now I’m getting charm of hiking, so I will keep this place in mind till I get there! 🙂


  • I went turkey two time and I found a friendly cooperative environment there. I also went to Mount Nemrud. I don’t know much about it, But through this article i know the importance of Mount Nemrud. Thanks for the information.

  • Thanks for your comment and kind words Gwen! Thanks also for forwarding this client to your client. I have many more Turkey tips if she’s interested.


  • Hi Keith

    One of my Life Transition coaching clients is off on her very first solo trip to Turkey in a couple of months. I’ve forwarded this link on to her. Many thanks.

    I must say that it is so nice that I have discovered you via Twitter. I love to have folks like you that I can count on for great suggestions and excellent travel tips that I can pass on to my coaching clients and friends with great confidence.

    Keep up the good work.

    Gwen McCauley

  • Thanks D&D & Anil for your comments.

    Turkey is one of my favourite countries. The historical sites are impressive, the nature is stunning and the people are some of the friendliest, most hospitable I know. Let me know if you need more tips. I’ve covered a large part of the country, including the unforgettable route from Erzurum in the northeast, along the borders with Armenia, Iran, Iraq and Syria down to Adana in the southeast.


  • The weather in that region can shift dramatically within a few hours. Certainly adds some spice to the trip 😉

  • We definitely have to make it to Turkey on the next trip. There are so many fascinating places to visit there. Good for you for braving the weather.

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