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Mount Spil (elevation ) or Mount Sipylus (in Turkish Spil Dağı) is a mountain rich in legends and history situated near the city of Manisa in Turkey's Aegean Region. Its summit towers over the city of Manisa as well as over the road between İzmirmarker and Manisa. The contiguous mass of Mount Yamanlar, also overlooking the Gulf of İzmirmarker, has often been considered as an extension of Mount Sipylus massif with which it shares much history, although it is actually an extinct volcano and a distinct geographical formation.

History

In historic times, Mount Sipylus, located in Lydia, rose above the site of Magnesia ad Sipylummarker (in the southern portion of modern Manisa), on the Hermus River (Gediz Rivermarker), which was the scene of the defeat of Antiochus III "the Great" by the Romans, at the Battle of Magnesia in 190 BCE. Smyrnamarker lay nearby.

In Greek mythology, Mount Sipylus was ruled in pre-Lydian times by Tantalus, who was said to have cut up his son Pelops and served him up as food for the gods. Tantalus' daughter was the tragic Niobe, who is associated with the "Weeping Rock" (Ağlayan Kaya in Turkish), a natural formation facing the city of Manisa.

A late-Hittite statue of Cybele, carved in relief in the rock, is found in Mount Sipylus, which was considered a favorite haunt of the mother goddess, also known to the Greeks as Sipylene after this, her sacred mountain. According to an old local myth the sculpture was carved by Broteas, Tantalus' ugly son. The sculpture is known as Taş Suret in Turkish (meaning "Stone Figure").

Spil today

Today, Spil Dağı National Park attracts both tourists and locals. The famous "Weeping Rock" of Niobe (Ağlayan Kaya) still can be seen with the richly forested and beautiful scenery area surrounded with flowers, especially with wild tulips. The mountain is also a good spot for camping, parachuting, hiking and other mountain sports.

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