Overlooking the main road that runs along the Fethiye harbor is the site of the ancient amphitheater of Telmessos, as the city was known in antiquity. Built into a hillside, the semicircular theater was constructed in the Hellenistic (Greek) style and could once hold some 5,000 to 6,000 spectators. During the Roman period, in approximately the 2nd century AD, a stage building was added, and the theater remained in use until about the 7th century.
Unfortunately, after an earthquake struck the town in 1957, many pieces of masonry were removed from the theater by local residents for use in rebuilding, and even after excavation by archaeologists in the 1990s the site remained in a poor state of preservation. The theater is currently undergoing an ambitious restoration, after which it is expected to reopen to visitors in approximately early 2015 and to host open-air performances again – just as in ancient times.
Though the theater is not open to visitors during the restoration process, it is possible to see the site from the main road, or by walking around the perimeter and looking down from above.