Antalya Information

About Antalya, Turkey

Antalya, Turkey

Legendary Anatolia, or Asia Minor is one of the countries surrounding the Mediterranean Sea which was eventually the birth-place of a bold and unsurpassed civilization for centuries. This peninsula of the Turkish Republic has the coastline on the Mediterranean Sea, almost half of which is the border of Antalya City. The wonders still stand there today, even in ruins, in its power to amaze – through the excellence of monuments, its spectacular tombs and, above all, the awesome spin of time through which its greatness has survived. It is God’s work that country was rich in art and accomplishment while Europe was in its Stone age, and also to its life it was so gratifying that man asked better nothing but eternity than to go living in a close replica of this fruitful earth he loved.
They in fact engineered intricate irrigation systems, developed mathematics, mined useful and precious ores, traded with lands over sea, perfected the techniques of administration and government.

It has a large and radiant Park embellished with motley-kind of flowers and trees. Its south is the sea, and the cliffs are often rocky and sleep, and they form a natural border in the height of 50 or 60 meters in the south of the City, and those cliffs stretch along the shore 10 or 12 kilometers long. Rivers and streams, the sources of which are actually in the Taurus Mountains, pour down in thunder over the cataracts on its way into the sea along this coast. Another wonder for the visitors who won’t really be able to see any other similar to this! The water comes down over the cliffs in such a way that million of water-dews in atoms look like a misty dust embracing the gloomy sea.

Lara, Karpuzkaldiran, Mermerli Beaches near the Park, and Adalar, Konyaalti Beaches in the east are some that can provide good-bathing for the vacationers. After Konyaalti Beach towards the west Arapsuyu Beach, is another one which was turned to be camping by the Antalya Tourism and information Society.

Perhaps you have heard about the enchantments of this miracle land though some epochs told by the visitors of Antalya. You will see that it is really no exaggeration in telling and applauding this truth wherever you enter into the City. On both sides of the streets date trees soar up into the sky, and in the middle of the streets water flows in canals in a never-failing continuity and serenity. Those are the first vivid specialties that will welcome you.

Whenever the vacationer visits Denizli (Hierapolis). Konya and Adana they are bound to call at Antalya. Because those cities are so near to Antalya. And also you will find priceless treasures of the historical masterpieces as well as the two sophistications mentioned above such an incomparable treasure that you will ask yourself in a moment and try to give an answer to how even one huge stone, in tons of the facade of the theatre of Perge had been hauled up 20 or 25 meters high by the use of levers, ropes and manpower only; and further why and for whom the theatre in Side had been constructed so large; and then today why no human beings live except birds in Termossos which once had a population of 150.000 and which Alexander the Great hadn’t been able to conquer.

Antalya History

Through the excavations carried out in the Antalya district in the last quarter of the previous Century, a stunning discovery of the prehistoric ages of Paleolithic, Neolithic and Mezolithic has proved the miracle of an early civilization ruled in the caves of Karain and Beldibi.

Following the Hittite dissolution some Akkadians migrated to this area after the great Trojan War according to the historical records. Beginning from the 8th Century B.C. the age of colonizing started. Side and Phaselis were the first two colonial cities built in Pamphylia. Herodot, the historian, reports that Pamphylia was conquered by the King of Lydia, Croesus. Then it was in the hand of the Persians in the 6th Century B.C. Later on, Alexander the Great captured this area in the year 334 B.C. but Perge, Aspendos and Side were not destroyed or plundered by him. After the death of Alexander the Great the City was under the rule of Ptolemaios from Egypt, and further it was a dependency of Pergamum by the decree of the Roman Senate in the 2nd Century B.C. Soon after this the King of Pergamum Attalos II had the City of Antalya constructed and the City was called as Attalos after him, later on it turned to be named as Attaleia and in the end as Antalya. Hidirlik-Tower in the City-Park, the fortresses of the eastern gate and Hadrianus Gate, which all were erected in that era, still stand there. Pamphylia was bound to Cilicia in the First Century B.C. It was mastered by the roman Empire in the 2nd Century A.D.. Christianity started to be diffused in this district in the 4th Century A.D. It was under the rule of Byzantium in the 7th Century A.D. Soon after this it was pillaged by the Arabians, then plundered by the Rodhorian, the Venetian and the Genevese pirates, and the Crusaders followed them successively. The Sultan of the Seljuk Turks Giyasettin Keyhusrev I got Pamphylia under the rule of the Seljuks at the beginning of the 13th Century A.D. Soon after this Antalya lived its jubilant days and expanded in this period and also became a city for winter-hibernation of the Sultans.

Somewhat later it was a possession of Hamitogullari and Tekeliogullari Dynasties. Then it was overrun by the Ottoman Empire in 1391.

Alanya, Antalya / Turkey

We haven’t much information about the construction of this City which was called as “Cilicia” or sometimes as “Pamphyila”. It was once a home of pirates. Today very few architectural works, belonging to the Seljuk Turks only, survive. The Fortress which soars up in zigzagging belongs to the Hellenistic Period and a church in the Fortress is decorated with frescoes.

The most important buildings are ‘Kizilkule’ (Scarlet-Tower, 29 meters in diameter and 33 meters in height) and shipyard (57 meters in length and 40 meters in depth). This shipyard is consisted of five entablature departments. The walls were made from finelz-hewn blocks of stones, and arches and entablatures were made from bricks. The roof has windows-like holes in order to let the sun rays in. Castle-Mosque, Bedesten (Market-place), mosque of Sultan Aksebe, all belong to the Seljuk and Ottoman Periods. The remnants of the Palace of Sultan Kezkubat are over the hill near the Castle.

It began to be formed in the days of Cilicia. First the City was ruled by Lydia and later was conquered by Alexander the Great in the 4th Century B.C. Years later the City was called as “Pamphylia”. Sometime later it was captured by crude pirates. When Antonius from Rome had some relations with Cleopatra from Egypt, the City was mastered by the Romans. In the year 1471 it was included into the Ottoman Empire by Fatih, the Conqueror.

It is a region of banana, fruits and fish. Along the coastline there are excellent luxurious motels and the water is always warmed by the sun.
    On the left of a nice highway, in the length of 80 kilometers leading to Antalya, an asphalt side-road of 4 kilometers will take you there. Though it doesn’t flow down from a high precipice the abundance of its water splashing on the rocks dazzles the eyes of the guests, and makes them thrill with excitement in front of a vast celestial background.
    Memorial Fountain
    As entering ‘Side’ it is the monumental structure on the left. It is 50 meters long and has a pool of water in front of it. Its width is ten meters. Water used to flow from three large depots, each had three marble-grooves. The front marble facade of the fountain was carved with designs illustrating the actions of punishment of those who had committed sins against gods, and different sexual relations.
    When we walk forward from the south gate of the City (beginning on the left of the theatre) we arrive at a plain. Here is the Agora of the City. A little ahead a colossal building faces you. It is one of the best-preserved constructions, being in the height of 16 meters. It has been built with a kind of brick called conglomerated brick.
    City Walls
    We see them before entering into the ruins of the City, Side. On the right there used to be an archaic Necropolis (a cemetery) and there is a huge stone-lid of a grave on the ground as seen in the picture. An eagle-shape is carved on it. When you look at over this stone towards the City of ‘Side’ you can discern the three-storied walls constructed in the Second Century B.C. belonging to the Hellenistic Period. They were 1.70 m wide and 10 meters high, one could climb up the walls by means of wooden-stairs. The small openings on the top of the walls weren’t the battlements but the windows which could be covered with screen-boards. The stone arches on the background on the left side of the walls belong to the later period. The whole length is 700 meters.
    At the point where the road bends towards the theatre, you see the picture on the left. The asphalt road between the Nimfeum and the walls seems to get the old entrance-gate under it. Accordingly the new road of today is about one metre higher at least than the old one. On the right and left of the gate there were waiting-places and guest-rooms in the shape of a semicircular in the diameter of 50 meters. Today not many fragments of those ones at left are remained.
    It is on the plain in the north of the Theatre. Unfortunately the part seen in the picture has only remained today.
    This theatre which is the most majestic and monumental masterpiece of ‘Side’ has not been built at the foot of a hill as others but constructed on arches. As seen here the rows of seats for 25,000 spectators are in two parts, each with 30 flights of stairs upward. The stage-building consists of two main-floors and of two basements. There used to be a waterway (canal) around the semi-circular stage which is full of marble remains today. Later on, a rather high wall coated with red plaster was erected around this area, so that a kind of arena was formed for the fightings of gladiators and wild beasts.
    At about 75 km before you arrive at Manavgat on a narrow asphalt side-road, 4 kilometers ahead, you see a lot of ruined arches on the side of the road. There are ten of them, along which water was brought and in some places through underground tunnels to the City of Side in the past. The spring of the water was at a distance of 30 kilometers far from the place where the Manavgat Stream originates from.

Aspendos, Antalya / Turkey

According to the Greek Myth the City was constructed over the Acropolis that was defensible against every attack by the Akkadians on their turning back from the Trojan War in the 10th Century B.C. The name of Aspendos calls in mind its theatre. This monumental masterpiece was built in honour of the Emperor’s family and dedicated to the Gods by two wealthy nobles of the City according to the Greek and Latin text carved in the marble facades of the Stage-building was three-storied. The outside of the theatre was very simple but the inside was glorious like a palace, and embellished with 40 columns, and covered with marble-slabs. Among the columns there used to be shelf-like niches containing statuettes of the Gods, the emperors and of mythical persons. Over the niches there used to stand semicircular and triangular cornices, the sides of which were decorated with carved reliefs. In the middle of large cornice there is a graven image of Dionysus (God of wine).

Actors acted on the board-covered stage-floor and go in and out to change attires by means of 5 doors. There were two private side boxes, the entrances of which had no relation with the inside passage, for nobles and the Emperor’s family. The semicircular arc of seats for the public, (i.e. the citizens) consisted of first-tiers and second-classes.

One of the most important and extraordinary things is the acoustic of the building which no theatre of the world has. A very low voice uttered in from of the stage can be heard easily from the farthest corners of the construction. There is no need to use a loud-speaker. The theatre still stands there because it was built with conglomerate type of bricks, and also was restored by the Seljuks for using as a caravanserai.

Though the columns are fallen down and partly ruined because of the earthquakes, the pedestals of the statues carved of one block marble, almost 10 tons in weight, are so got fixed over the walls of the building that they are in their places today. This colossal and monumental masterpiece once had been a stage for passionate performances of the wine festival exercised in every spring in honour of Dionysus in the Roman Period and today for theatrical feasts as well.

Aspendos Theatre, Antalya / Turkey

This monumental masterpiece of the City has a capacity for 20,000 spectators and its stage is just like a many-storied apartment. The doors in the walls are outlets for the actors in order that they might change their attires. There used to be tiers on the right as balconies and on the left too. The right tiers belonged to the Emperor. It was restored in the Seljuk Dynasty and used as a palace. The walls were embellished with china-work (tiles). The sitting places for spectators were separated from the stage by a strolling space (Diazoma). The gallery on the upper part has been added later.

Beldibi Cave, Antalya / Turkey

It was a second important habitation center of the prehistoric era, and some remnants of the Middle Stone Age (Mezolithic) were found in diggings in this cave .The remains of ordinary household objects, cups, pots and of some rough figurines of goats and animals, are really stunning. Beldibi Cave is an under rock shelter located at the 38th kilometer of the coastal highway between Antalya and Kemer, just after the Camdag tunnel. It is at the locality of Oba village.


Myra ( Demre ), Antalya / Turkey

This district is specially important as being the last meeting-place of St. Paul with the other apostles on the way to Rome. At the same time the grave, including the bones of St. Nicholas who has been personified as “Santa Claus” in the Christian World is in the Church which stands there.

Karain Cave, Antalya / Turkey

It a conjecture that prehistoric man had begun to live in this cave about 50,000 years ago, and it was a very ancient habitation district. Excavations have revealed some stone-axes, teeth of Neanderthals, and teeth of cave-bear and of lions belonging to the Stone Age (Paleolithic).And further it was unearthed some relics of the polished Stone Age (Neolithic)

Karain Cave is situated 27 km. from Antalya. You can reach it from the Burdur highway, turning left at the Karain sign. Digs have been continuing from 1946. You can see something in the Karain Museum and others in the Pre-History Section of Antalya Museum.

Olympos, Antalya / Turkey

By Car 45 kilometers from Antalya towards the west, you get to Olimpos, which is 50 meters high above sea-level, and which was one of the important cities of the Lykia Kingdom.
You can go by bus from Antalya. It’s about 1 hour. One can go to “Yanartas” from “Cirali” which is 7 kilometers far from the City. Here you will see the burning-gas flourishing out of a rock crack for thousands of years. “Hipponoes, the son of Glaukos, the King of Epyr has killed his brother, Belleros, in hunting accidently. Upon this unexpected tragedy, Hipponoes is called as “Bellerophontes” meaning “Eater of Belleros”. The brother killer has not only stained with fratricide, but also has the suffering of being exiled from his country. After so many pains and wanderings Bellerephontes pleas protection of Preotos, the King of “Tipins” in Greece.

The prince is a handsome young man, so that the wife of the King falls in love with the young prince. But the young man doesn’t betray his protector and commit so great a wrong! The Queen, then, is very angry with him and tells her husband that Bellerephontes tried to seduce her. The King hesitates and guided by conscience he sends him to his father-in-law named Yobates, the King of Lykia, so that he should be killed there. But King Yobates also can’t manage to get this young man murdered. However, he tries another way of getting rid of him.

He will spare his life in defeating the Monster Chimera which has lion-head, goat body, snake-tail and which flame has been flourishing out of its mouth, in the environment. On the other hand, the father of the gods, Zeus, pitying our Hero and sends Pegasus, the Winged-Horse to him. On the back of this godlike horse he struggles with this fearful monster and puts Chimera in the earth 7 times deep. So results of the legend and concludes that this flame of the Monster has been flourishing out of the dark depths of the earth since.”

Perge, Antalya / Turkey

According to the writings of the archaic Greek tablets, the Akkadians had settled down in this area in 2,000 B.C. The Greeks that came to the western coast of Anatolia in the 7th Century B.C. were the only masters at that age. Later on, it was ruled by Lydia, then by the Persians, Alexander the Great (334 B.C.), Rome (2nd Century), Pergamum, and again by the Romans (25 B.C.) successively.
The City of Perge seems to be a truthful follower of the Christian belief in the 4th century A.D. It loses its importance in the 7th Century. Perge was a possession of the Seljuk Turks like other cities of the district.

On entering into Perge there is a theatre for 15.000 spectators, a little ahead is the stadium for 27.000 spectators. They are the masterpieces of a mighty and brilliant period. There used to stand the gates of the pillared street, the Agora in the east, the gymnasium on one side erected in honour or Emperor Cladius. The Temple of Artemis of Perge, the relief of which was carved in marbles and coins has not yet been found and unearthed.

Phaselis (Tekirova), Antalya / Turkey

It is one of the early Greek colonies, and seems to be an important commercial port in the 6th Century B.C. Sometime later it was mastered by Alexander the Great, and in the Christian Period it became a center of priesthood. Brutus brought the City under the dependency of Rome in the year 42 B.C. It lost its importance in the 9th Century

Side, Antalya / Turkey

The name is derived from the word meaning “pomegranate” in that language used to symbolize abundance in the past. Historian Strabon reports that the City of Side was first constructed by the colonists migrated from “Kyme” in the 7th Century B.C. Later on, it was mastered by the Lydians in the 6th Century B.C. and by the Persians at the beginning of the 3rd Century B.C. successively.

When the fleet of the King of Syria, Antiochus III was destroyed near the deep waters of Side by the Rodhosian fleet, Pamphylia was given to the Pergamum Kingdom, but Side was independent at that time. The most brilliant and thriving days of Side start in this age. It set up no only a fleet of merchant-ships in addition to warships establishing a mighty domination of trade on the district, but also was distinguished as a center of culture. As time went on, piracy became a way of living, and noble spiritual ideals left their places to plundering and ransacking, so that Side turned to be only a city for marketing the ransacked and pilfered goods of the pirates.

It became a self-determined province of Rome in the First Century A.D. Most of the monumental masterpieces we see today belong to that period. After the 5th Century A.D. Side was under the influence of Christian doctrine as the other cities of this district. From the 9th Century A.D. until the year 1900 the city was under the continued attacks of the Arabs. In the beginning of the 20th Century some people migrated here from Crete.

Termesos, Antalya / Turkey

Double ‘S’ in this word suggest us that this City was constructed by some people that used to live in Anatolia. Nevertheless we haven’t certain information about its construction .First it came into view in the Hellenistic Period. Alexander the Great who had conquered almost all the cities around couldn’t somehow master this one (334 B.C.). The City lived its most brilliant and mighty days in the 2nd and 3rd Centuries A.D. It was deserted in the 5th Century completely for some reasons or other.

Beaches, Antalya / Turkey

    Konyaaltı beach in Antalya
    In the west end of the City this golden coastline lies four or five kilometers to the Bey Montains. Beginning from April it is possible to enter the sea seven months of the year. Then the mountains which are 3.000 meters high above sea level offer the vacationers excellent winter sports – skiing, etc., but unfortunately they haven’t established yet.

    Sands of Konyaalti aren’t so fine, but very clean as though very small refined pebbles, never hurt man’s feet.
    Lara Beach in Antalya
    An asphalt road, in the east of the City, which length is 2 kilometers, will lead you to Lara Beach. It lies in a never-ending line and has become popular for its crystal clear waters.

    A bird’s eye view of the City Park which is one of the widest and most beautiful parks in Turkey. A combination of water-pools, flowers and date trees provides not only rare scenery for the eye, but also a dazzling charm for the man. On a sunny afternoon or under the bright stars of a summer’s night what wonderful sea views from the three sides of the Park! While the tops of the “Bey Mountains” are covered with snow and winter rules far beyond, you are in fact in summer – weather and enjoy the spring. This is such a city that lives summer and winter in combination.

Museums, Antalya / Turkey

    Antalya Museum
    Address:About 1.5km (1 mile) to the west of town on Kenan Evren Bulvar.
    Tel:+90 242 241 45 28
    Open Hours:Tues-Sun 09:00 -18:00
    Kaleici Museum
    Address:Barbaros Mahallesi, Kocatepe Sokak No: 25, Antalya, Turkey‎ – 0242 243 4274‎
    Antalya Museums and Art Galleries: Karain Cave Museum
    Address: Yagca, Turkey
    The museum at the Karain Cave, located 27 km / 17 miles from the city
    Tel: +90 0242 513 12 28
    Antalya Museums and Art Galleries: Alanya Museum of Archaeology
    Address:Saray Mahallesi Hilmi Balci Sokak, Alanya, Turkey
    Tel: +90 0242 513 12 28
    Open Hours:Tues-Sun 09:00 -18:00
    Open Hours:Tuesday to Sunday – 09:00-19:3
    Antalya Museums and Art Galleries: Alanya Museum of Ethnography
    Address:Hilmi Bagci Caddesi, Alanya, Turkey
    Tel: +90 0242 513 12 28
    Open Hours:daily – 09:00 to 12:00 and 13:30 to 18:3


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