a small peninsula, 80
kilometers/ 50 miles to the east of Antalya.
was one of the most important cities in the vast
coastal plain known in Antiquity as Pamphylia.
is an ancient harbour that was founded in the 7th
century BC by Aeolian
colonists who had come from the north of Smyrna.
The name Side, which means "pomegranate",
is thought to have been the symbol of the city because
it was represented on the local coins. Before and
after the Hellenistic
period, taking advantage of the natural location
of their city built on a long peninsula, the inhabitants
of Side were indulged in the practices of piracy
which were more remunerative than shipbuilding activities.
The place was also long reputed as a slave market.
In the 3rd century BC, Side came under the domination
of the Ptolemy
of Egypt and Seleucids
of Syria. From the 2nd and 1st century BC, due to
its good relations with Rome,
Side, now devoted to trade, enjoyed a first period
of prosperity. After the establishment of the "Pax
Romana" (Roman Peace), between the 2nd-3rd
century AD, Side reached its peak as can be seen
through the numerous monuments built at that period.
In the 4th century, the city declined altogether
with the Empire. However in the 5th century, under
it prospered again as a bishopric.
Later ruined by earthquakes and raids, the site
was completely abandoned. A massive settlement took
place in 1895 when Turkish immigrants from Crete
Today Side has become a charming holiday resort,
thanks to the picturesque village of fishermen located
among the archaeoligical remains, to the beautiful
sandbeaches and holiday resorts of Sorgun
and Titriyen Göl located in the east of Side,
and also to the villages of Kumköy and Kamelya
in the west.
archaeological site of Side includes:
City Walls and the Main Gate from where
two colonaded streets, once lined with Corinthian
colums, led to the agora and to the south of the
are the largest in the ancient city. They were originally
built in the 3rd century AD and restored in the
5-6th century AD. Its southeastern side was lined
by two rows of shops.
The Baths of the Agora today houses the Archaeological
Museum. The past glory of Side is reflected
in the rich archaeological collections displayed.
The original entrance to the baths was from the
market place to the west. An aqueduct supplied
the city and baths with water coming from the ancient
Melas River (see below Manavgat Çayi).
center of cultural and commercial activities. Here
the prisoners captured by the pirates were sold
Monumental Gate and the Fountain at the
entrance of the theatre.
with the sea for background, is the most imposing
monument of Side and one of the largest Graeco-Roman
ruins in Asia Minor. It was rebuilt in the 2nd century
AD upon a smaller Hellenistic theatre. Because there
is no hillside, the lower level of the theatre leans
against a small natural slope while the upper level
rests on high vaults making it a unique construction
in Eastern Mediterranean. The theatre had a seating
capacity of 15,000 spectators. The orchestra was
later protected by a 1.50m / 5 feet wall when gladiator
and wild animal fights took place in the late Roman
period. The skene was a three-storey stage building
with rich marble decorations. The theatre was converted
into an open-air church in the 5th and 6th centuries.
The architectural elements including the podiium
of a pseudodipteral temple
have been attributed to the Temple of Dionysos
due to its proximity to the theatre (south-west
The Temples of Apolloand Athena are beautifully situated near
the sea. According to inscriptions, coins and other
evidences, these two structures, that once protected
the harbour and shipping, were almost identical.
The peripteral temples,
erected in the late 2nd century AD, had Corinthian
columns, 6 to front and rear, 11 to each side. Inthe 5th century, a large Byzantine Basilica,
whose remains can be seen, was constructed surrounding
Sandy beach of Side
Monumental Gate and Fountain
Temple of Apollo and remains of the Byzantine Church
Temple of Apollo
The Great Baths
The bath complex next to the agora houses the museum
Sarcophagi from different Roman periods displayed in the museum
Statue of Hercules (in Greek, Heracles)
Statue of Hermes, son of Zeus and Maia
waterfalls that stretch over 50 m / 165 feet,
are supplied by the Manavgat river (ancient
Melas River) that flows from the Taurus
Mountains, and on which the Oymapinar and Manavgat
dams are built. It is possible to take a boat
ride downstream from the falls.
the last important holiday resort on the Turkish
Riviera, is located in a beautiful bay
overlooked by the Taurus
Mountains and surrounded by banana, orange
and lemon tree plantations.
Every year in August, folkloric events take
place in Alanya.The Alanya International Triathlon
Competition takes place every year in October.
The ancient city of Coracesium, which was
an old pirates'den in the 2C BC, was destroyed
by Pompey in 67 AD. Mark
Antony, charmed by the site, offered the
city to Cleopatra
as a wedding gift. The Seljuk Turks conquired
the place in 1221 and Alaeddin Keykubat, the
sovereign, gave it its medieval aspect. Alanya
was also the winter residence of Sultan Alaeddin
Ferries link Alanya to Girne / Northern Cyprus.
Fortress can be reached through a road
that snakes among gardens in flower and colored
houses. It is built 117 m / 384 feet above
the sea, and is surrounded by walls running
on 6 km / 3.75 miles. The remains of cisterns,
an old palace, a yard decorated with frescoes
and military constructions, are located in
the upper part of the fortress. Also there
is the St George Church which is a
building, and the "edge" where condemned
prisoners were hurled over the cliff.
Sultan Aksebe Tomb (türbe) and the Süleymaniye
Mosque (also of Seljuk origins but transformed
by the Ottomans), as well as a caravanserai
are located in the lower part.
The Port and Naval Dockyard
Red Tower (Kizil Kule) is a 33 m / 108
ft high octogonal tower made of red brick
which defended the naval dockyard.
In the surroudings of Alanya it is possible
to visit caves. The most interesting are the
Damlatas Caves which have huge stalactites
and stalagmites. The other caves are Kizlar
Magarasi, Asiklar and Fosforlu. Located 15
km / 9.3 miles away from Alanya, Dim Valley
is also an ideal place to make a refreshing
excursion (streams and beach).
this part of the Mediterranean coast,
there are lots of medieval fortresses.
The most interesting one is the Mamure
Castle (Mamure Kalesi)
located 7 km / 4.3 miles southeast of
Anamur. The first fortress, which was
built by the Romans
in the 3C AD, was used by the Byzantines
and the Armenians, and was later enlarged
by the Crusaders.
In 1221 Seljuk
Sultan Aleaddin Keykubat took control
of the place . The castle was entirely
rebuilt by Mahmut Bey, the Karamano?lu
Emir of Karaman,
with a mosque and hammam. The castle
finally came under the rule of the Ottomans
who strenghtened it.
The castle has 39 towers and is composed
of three courtyards. While one half
of it is surrounded by the sea, the
other half is surrounded by a ditch.
The remains of a Hellenistico-Roman
city, Anamurium, stand
on the most southern cape of Anatolia.
Anamur Mamure Castle
The region is reputed for its small bananas.
Between Alanya and Anamur the road is lined
with terraced banana plantations.
Seleucia is located on the right bank
of the Calycadnos river (Göksu),
in the waters of which Emperor Frederik
I Barbarossa drowned in 1190, during
the Third Crusade.
Silifke is reputed for its costumes
and folkloric dances. The International
Silifke Music and Folklore Festival
takes place every year in May.
Silifke is also reputed for its delicious
The places of interest in Silifke
are the ancient Roman bridge,
the medieval castle, the ruins
of the ancient city and the
museum where findings made
in the regions are displayed.
A mountain road leads hinterland to Uzuncaburç
where is located the magnificent ancient site
of Diocaesarea at an altitude
of 1,200 m / 4,000 ft. This site, originally
a sanctuary dedicated to the cult of Zeus,
was separated by the Romans
from the Hellenistic
city of Olba. It was given
a city state status and the new name Diocaesarea
in 72 AD.
The remains of the impressive Temple
of Zeus Olbius (3C BC), Temple of
Tyche, monumental arch, theate, colonnaded
street, Byzantine church, and tower can be
seen. The Necropolis, with rock-cut tombs
carved in both sides of a small valley, was
used in both Hellenistic and Roman times.
Not very far are the ruins of Olba
(Ura) where the remains of a Roman
aqueduct, a theater, and a fountain can be
the coast, at Meryemlik (Ayatekla)
is a Roman necropolis with a 5th century church
and the Tomb of Saint Tekla, who was the first
From Tasucu which is a small
holiday resort, there are ferries that
connect Turkey to Girne in Northern
road from Silifke to Mersin is
a beautiful coastal road lined with
ancient ruins on one side, and with
a succession of small gulfs on the other
side. The road also runs through pinewoods
and orange-tree plantations.
the vicinity of Pasli village
there is a Roman mausoleum called
Mezgit Kalesi. This mausoleum has a
8 m / 26.2 ft high facade, Corinthian
colums and a 1 m / 3.28 ft high relief
representing the god Priapos, and it
is known as the Mausoleum of a Fearless