Ancient houses and colonnaded streets in Side

In the period of Side's greatest prosperity, in the second century AD, two wide colonnaded streets led from the main gate to the city center. The road leading in the southern direction is not currently used and is overgrown by a long stretch of lush vegetation. The road leading to the west, to the city agora, still serves as a thoroughfare of the city. Along this street there are traces of ancient shops and residential buildings that give us an idea of ​​how people lived in Side during antiquity.

Colonnaded street in Side
Colonnaded street in Side

5 hidden archaeological treasures of Turkish Riviera

Summertime has just begun and the holiday season is coming. Every year hundreds of thousands of holidaymakers arrive to the Turkish Riviera, the coastal strip of Mediterranean region of Turkey between Antalya and Alanya. Most of them will spend their leisure time sunbathing, swimming and dancing in numerous nightclubs. Some of these holidaymakers, however, will decide to take a trip to some of the region's most famous archaeological sites. You have most probably already heard of, or even visited, such places as Side, Aspendos or Perge.

The aqueduct in Selinus
The aqueduct in Selinus

Monumental gate and Vespasian monument in Side

The monumental gate, situated next to the theater, led in Roman times to the center of Side. Even today, traffic to the historical part of the town passes this gate. An elegant building, adjacent to this gate and supported by the ramparts of the 4th century AD, was probably erected in honor of Emperor Vespasian.

The current height of the monumental gate is 13.5 meters, but in the ancient times the structure was much higher. The entablature above the gate once supported the statue representing, most probably, a quadriga or a two-wheeled wagon drawn by four horses.

Monumental gate and Vespasian monument in Side
Monumental gate and Vespasian monument in Side

Ortahisar Castle

The fortress, towering above the town of Ortahisar, is one of its biggest tourist attractions. It was opened to the public in 2013 after extensive renovations. While it is less well known than its famous counterpart from Üçhisar, the travellers who make an effort of climbing to the summit will be amply rewarded by the stunning views from the peak. The panorama of the valley of Hallacdere - the fairy chimneys valley, and the majestic, snow-capped volcano Erciyes, looming on the horizon, make the biggest impression on the visitors.

Ortahisar Castle
Ortahisar Castle

Miletus

Miletus, founded by the Greeks on the coast of Asia Minor, will be remembered in the annals of history as the birthplace of mathematician Thales and the two famous philosophers, Anaxagoras and Anaximander. Miletus was also one of the oldest and the most important Greek cities of Ionia, boasting not one, but four harbors. The visit in Miletus should be combined with a stop at the local museum, which is open again after a few-year break.

Theater of Miletus
Theater of Miletus

Byzantine cistern in Silifke

The Byzantine cistern known as Tekir Ambarı is one of the less-known historical attractions of Silifke. Its currently used name literally means "tabby warehouse." Although finding the cistern is a challenge in itself, the structure has impressive dimensions, and its exploration is highly recommended for history-conscious travelers.

Byzantine cistern in Silifke
Byzantine cistern in Silifke

Kırkgöz Han Caravanserai

In the reign of the Seljuk Turks caravans carrying goods from the Far East roamed through the area of Anatolia. In order to facilitate the trade and support the merchants in their hard work a dense network of caravanserais (inns for travelers) was then established in Asia Minor. The last stop before the port of Antalya was Kırkgöz Han caravanserai, situated in Döşemealtı district which is today the metropolitan area of Antalya. This magnificent building has been recently renovated with the aim of hosting various events and festivities, so if you fancy a wedding, a conference or a training event in an unusual place, then you might consider this location. The name of this caravanserai - Kırkgöz - literally means "Forty Eyes" and is derived from the old name of Döşemealtı district, which is known for its many water sources.

Kırkgöz Han Caravanserai
Kırkgöz Han Caravanserai

City Walls of Antalya

Until the 50s of the 20th century, the word Antalya was understood as only one part of today's city, that being its oldest district, known as Kaleiçi. Karol Lanckoroński, who visited Antalya in the late 19th century, described this area in the following words: "The city outlines a horseshoe shape around the angle of the bay and lies on the ground significantly higher up from the coast platform. Its part is closed tightly by the ramparts, with narrow streets and single districts divided by other walls. [...] The only thing that remained on its original place, as far as we know, are the city walls around the city, although often rebuilt and restored over the centuries". Next Lanckoroński presents a plan of Antalya, where two lines of city walls are visible: one in the form of a semicircle around the port, and the second, much larger, around whole Kaleiçi district.

City Walls of Antalya
City Walls of Antalya

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