Pontus Kralları Mezarlari

Tombs of the Kings of Pontus

Useful Information

Location: 05000 Yuvacık/Amasya District/Amasya, Türkiye.
(40.653600, 35.830420)
Open: All year daily 9-12, 13-18:30.
Fee: Adults TRL 25.
Classification: SubterraneaCave Tomb SubterraneaMonlithic Church
Light: bring torch
Guided tours: self guided, D=1-2 h.
Photography: allowed
Accessibility: no
Address: Tombs of the Kings of Pontus, 05000 Yuvacık/Amasya District/Amasya.
As far as we know this information was accurate when it was published (see years in brackets), but may have changed since then.
Please check rates and details directly with the companies in question if you need more recent info.


3rd century BC tombs created.
2015 inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage Tentative List.


The Pontus Kralları Mezarlari (Tombs of the Kings of Pontus) are located high in the rock above the bustling city Amasya. The five tombs date to the 3rd century BC, the Hellenistic Period. They all have roughly the same architecture. The whole building with the facade and the roughly cube-shaped building behind was cut from the rock, by cutting a vertical slot on both sides, at the rear, and a vaulted slot on the top. The block which was separated this way is still attached to the surrounding rock at a few small spots. As a result, it is possible to walk all the way around the tomb. This is called a monolithic structure, because it was cut from a single block of rock. With the tombs, walkways and tunnels were carved into the cliff face to make the tombs easy to access. It seems the tombs were visited by large groups venerating the dead. Three are reached by two separate staircases cut into the rock, two tombs by a tunnel with steps.

The typical size of the facade is 8 m wide and 15 m high. It has a rectangular opening in the center which is the entrance to the tomb. As it is relatively high up, it is only accessible with a ladder. The facades have columns, rounded tops, and inscriptions in the facade.

The Kings of Pontus were a dynasty of ex-Persian satraps, or governors. They bear Persian names such as Pharnakes and Mithridates. After the collapse of the Achaemenid Persian Empire and the death of Alexander the Great in 323 BC, they came to power. The first king was Mithridates I who reigned 281–266 BC. He established the Kingdom of Pontus and made Amaseia the Capital city. This kingdom was the largest in northern Anatolia, and it lasted for some time. At this site are the five most prominent tombs, we have listed two others, but in total there are 21 rock-carved royal tombs around the city.