The largest Turkish city located on the coast of the Mediterranean, Antalya is the biggest international sea resort of Turkey and is explored by millions of tourists every year coming from distant countries. Attalos II, the King of Pergamon had laid the foundations of this city in the 2nd century BC. It was a major city during the times when the region was under the rule of the Byzantine Empire. It came under the rule of the Seljuk Turks in the early 13th century and was later conquered by the Ottoman rulers. It became a part of Turkey after the Turkish War of Independence. During your holiday, you’ll get to visit some excellent historic attractions in and around the coastal city:
- Hadrian’s Gate
It is an ancient arch, which separates the old town of Kaleici from the city of Antalya. During your Antalya holidays, you’ll get to visit this monumental gateway, which was built to celebrate the visit of the Roman Emperor, Hadrian, to this city in the year 130. It has inscriptions mentioning Hadrian and Theseus as the two founders. Pentelic marble, which was used for building several prominent structures in the city of Athens, was used in the construction of this arch. The deep marks in the stone pavement stand testimony to the fact that thousands of carts had passed through this gate in the past.
Located at a distance of 4 kilometres along the road separating from the Antalya-Alanya highway is the resort town of Side, which was an ancient Greek city. It was founded by the Greek settlers in the 7th century BC. The city was also under the rule of Alexander the Great during the 3rd century BC. Your visit to this town would give you the opportunity to explore several attractions, such as the Side Museum, Aspendos Bridge, and a Greek amphitheatre. The Greek, Roman, and Byzantine ruins found all over the town would also give you some interesting insights into its rich history.
Also located close to Antalya is the ancient city of Perge, which was once the capital of a Roman province called Pamphylia Secunda. It is home to some well-preserved ancient ruins dating back to the period when the entire area was under the Roman Empire’s rule. Upon entering from a Roman gate’s arch, you’ll get to witness a Hellenistic Gate as well as the remains of a city wall. The Romans had arrived in the city in 188 BC. While exploring Perge, you’ll also get to explore an ancient theatre, bath, and gymnasium.
Once the capital of a geopolitical region called Lycia, Myra is a beautiful town that can be reached while exploring the Antalya province. The tourist attractions you’ll get to visit while in this town are the rock-cut tombs, an amphitheatre, and the church of St Nicholas. The Greco-Roman theatre is believed to have been the largest in Lycia with many rows of seats, a grand facade with theatrical masks, and corridors with double vaults. Visitors can explore the ruins during the visiting hours, which begin at 9 in the morning and end at 7 in the evening.