Antalya Historical Places

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Antalya Historical Places

Kaleici (Inner Castle)

Start your visit to Antalya in the historical city centre, which takes in Hadrian's Gate, Hidirlik Tower, Yivli Minaret, Kesik Minaret, and Kaleici with its narrow streets and historical houses and the ancient port. All are within an area of one square kilometer. You can cover all this on foot, which is a good thing as cars are banned on certain streets.

Kaleici can be visited at all hours of the day but the best time is towards evening. Many of the historical houses and mansions of Kaleici have been restored and a large number of them are being used as hotels, pensions, bars and shops.

Antalya is not a city with just sun, sea and sand. It has a great history especially in the Kaleici district.

Things to do in Kaleici:

Antalya's old city, Kaleici has everything you want in the perfect seaside town, offers great things to do for everyone.

Enjoyable: Most shops offer gifts and souvenirs aimed at the tourist market. Most of the hotels, restaurants and bars in Kaleici have an inner courtyard. In the afternoon of a summer day it is enjoyable to take a drink with lots of ice in one of these courtyards under the orange trees.

There are also many cafeterias, bars and restaurants overlooking the sea from the city walls.

Old Harbour: The old harbour of Antalya was restored in the 1980s and this restoration work was recognised with the European Council Golden Apple award.

Entertainment: The nights in Kaleici are colourful. You can get carried away by the music emanating from the side streets, enjoy a drink or dance in bars and restaurants with live music and they are all open until late. You can make friends with people of many different nationalities.

 

Hadrian's Gate

Hadrian's Gate is a famous tourist landmark, located in Kaleici, Antalya. It stands out between two towers of the city walls.

Hadrian's Gate, commonly known as Three Gates, is one of the most beautiful ancient works of art in Antalya. The gate was built in honour of Roman Emperor Hadrian. With its breathtaking decorations which connects the city to the outer world, this antique gate has rich reliefs as glamorous as the ones in Rome.

The gate is different from the other ones in Anatolia, because of its amazing bass reliefs and column heads decorated with flowers. These reliefs fascinate the visitors even today.

Architectural Features:

Three Gates: There are three round arched openings for entry in the two storey structure. It is made of white marble except for the columns, and decorated with reliefs and engravings.

Two Towers: Two towers stand on either side of the gate. The southern Julia Sancta Tower was built of plain, block stones during the reign of Hadrian. The lower portions of the Northern Tower date to antiquity while the upper portion was constructed during the Seljuk Period.

Ancient and Modern: With the modern city on one side and the old city of Antalya on the other, stunning Hadrian's Gate fortified with its towers is literally a window into the city's past.

Standing before this gate, a symbol of harmony and the intermixing of artifacts from the civilizations which are existed one after the other through the ages, you can stare around and imagine yourself on a journey back in time.

 

Old Harbour

Nestled into a recess in the cliffs, Antalya's old harbor is a picturesque huddle of boutiques, pretty cafés, bazaars, and gently bobbing yachts that look out over the shimmering Mediterranean. With its peaceful pleasure-boat atmosphere now, it's difficult to imagine this place was once Antalya's major economic hub, but from the 2nd century up until the mid-20th century, this was the main port, bringing trade and prosperity to the city and surrounding region.

These days, you come here to shop and then watch the sun set over the sea while you sip a coffee, or you can head out onto the Mediterranean on one of the many excursion boats to swim, sightsee, and spread out your towel on an empty beach.

 

Yivli Minare

Antalya's most distinctive landmark is the Yivli Minare (fluted minaret), built by the Seljuk sultan Alaeddin Keykubad (1219-36). The minaret is a typical example of Seljuk architecture, with a square base surmounted by an octagonal drum bearing the fluted shaft, with its corbelled gallery around the top. The attached 14th-century mosque is still in use today. The minaret is right beside the Kale entrance gate into the old city.

Opposite the minaret is Antalya's Ottoman-era clock tower, while nearby are some tombs dating from the 14th century.

 

Roman Fortress

Built in the 2nd century, this squat 14-meter-high cylindrical tower watches over the old harbor from high above on the edge of Karaalioglu Park. No one is quite sure what its main function was, but most agree it acted as a watchtower or lighthouse over the busy port below. Now it's a fantastic spot to watch the sunset or get that all-important panoramic view over the old harbor area.

The park itself is prime picnicking territory and a tranquil, flower-filled spot to escape the city streets. Do as the locals do and come here at dusk to promenade. Excellent cafés are also nearby if you need to recuperate after sightseein