Antalya In History


The dormitory of Attalos is the original meaning of the name of Antalya, founded by Attalos II. When the kingdom of Pergamon came to its end (133 BC) the city was independent for a short while before it was taken over by pirates. In the year 77 BC Captain Servilius Isauricus added the land to the Roman Empire. In the year 67 BC, it was the navy base of Pompeius. When Hadrianus visited Attaleia in 130 AD it gave the opportunity to grow. In the time of Byzantium sovereignty, it was the Episcopal center named Attaleia which advanced amazingly after the Turks had taken over the city. Since the modern city was founded on the ancient settlement, the ancient ruins of Antalya are rarely encountered. The first encounter was the ruins of the harbour breakwater and the fortification surrounding the port. The part of the fortification located outside the park called The Gate of Hadrianus is one of the most beautiful relics that has been restored.

The city of Antalya and the region was called Pamphylia, meaning fertile soil in the antique times and the West part was called Lykia. Before the Birth of Christ, starting from the 8th century the people started immigrating from the West side of Aegean sea they established cities such as Side and Aspendos. In the middle of the 2nd century, BC King Attalos II. of Pergamon besieged Side. When he couldn't take over Side located about 75 km east of Antalya he founded the city, which now is the center of the region. It was called Attaleia after him. In time, people started calling it Atalya and Adalya. Today the name Antalya is an heir of those names. During the archeological research in the Antalya area, it has been proven that people have lived here 40 000 years ago. Since 2000 BC until today in this order: Hittite, Pamphylia, Lykia, Kilikya are some of the city-states and Persian, Alexander the Great and following him Antigonos, Ptolemais, and Selevkos were under the rule of Pergamon administration. Later on, the rule was handed over to the Roman Empire. In the antique times, the city was called Pamphylia and the cities established here had their golden times in the 2nd and the 3rd century. The former glory was lost by the 5th century.

When the region was called the East Roman Empire or as identified in Turkey, the Byzantium Empire 1207 the Seljuks joined the rule. During the time of Anatolian principalities, it was under the rule of the Hamitogullari, a branch of the Teke tribe. Teke Turks are the largest group of the population in the area of today's Turkmenistan from where the Turkish people originate. On the11th century a part of that group immigrated here. These days the North of Antalya, Isparta and a part of Burdur called Göller Bölgesi, is still also called Teke region. During the time of the Ottoman Empire, the Teke flag was under the Anatolian rule and its center is still the center of modern Antalya. In those times, it was called the Teke rule. But the name that the city carries is just a little varied version of the antique name of the area and it was officially given during the time of the republic.

In the second period of the 17th century, famous Ottoman traveler called Evliya Çelebi came to Antalya and found out there were four quarters and 3000 houses inside the fortress and 24 quarters outside the fortress. The center of the city was outside the fortress. According to Evliya Çelebi, the harbor had been large enough to fit 200 boats. In the last years of the Ottoman Empire, Antalya that was under the Teke flag was given its sovereignty.

Kaleiçi; shaped like a horseshoe, most of the fortress is ruined and walls are surrounding it from the inside and outside. The walls are made by Hellens, Romans, Byzants, Seljuks, and Ottomans together. The walls have 80 towers. Inside the walls, there are near 3000 houses with tiled roofs. The characteristic style of the houses doesn't only teach us about the historical architecture of Antalya, it also tells us how people lived, what traditions and customs they had in the best possible way. In 1972, the inner harbor of Kaleiçi and the Kaleiçi district were taken under protection as "SİT area" by the "High Council of Real Estate Antiquities and Monuments" because of its unique construction. The Council of Tourism got The Golden Apple Touristic Oscar prize by FIJET (International Touristic Writer's Association) in 28. april 1984 because of the restoration that had been finished in Kaleici. Nowadays, Kaleici is filled with hotels, pensions, restaurants and bars, resembling an entertainment center.

The old houses of Antalya: Because of the hot summers and mild winters, the houses were being built more than anything to cover from the sun and staying cool. The specialties that allow the cool air flow easily trough, were the courtyards and the shaded walls. The houses were in three stores where there were the storage and entrance was a hallway.

Yivli Minaret: Antalya's first structure made by the Turks was Yivli Minaret. It's located near the harbour in the center. According to tho the text written on it, it was constructed during the rule of Anatolian Seljuk Empire Sultan Aladdin Keykubat (1219- 1236). It's forms of eight sylinder parts and it's coated with bricks. If there was a mosque built next to it, it must have been ruined. The mosque next to it was built only much later, 1372. During the times of Hamitoglu principality, it was constructed by an architecture called Tavashi Balaban.

Evdir Inn: At the beginning of the 20th-century transportation was mainly done by horses and camels, these animals were the ones who also carried the merchandise. The caravans needed inns to stay in on their way. Evdir Han was one of those inns. It's located above the highway to North from Antalya city center. One km to the East from today's Antalya- Korkuteli highway, 18 km from the city center. The most interesting part is the pointed arched entrance that was constructed by the Seljuks at the beginning of the 13th century.

Düden Waterfalls: This waterfall is located about 10 km to the North- East from the Antalya city center, it is one of the natural beauties symbolizing the city. It falls from 20 m high cliff. The main source is in the Kırkgöz district. The lower Düden waterfall is located on the way to Lara- Beach about 10 km South- West from the city center. and it falls from the 40 m high cliffs. One of the iconic natural beauties of Antalya.

Kurşunlu Waterfall: Located East from the city center, on the Antalya- Alanya highway after driving 24 km it can be reached after turning to the Isparta highway 7 km onwards. This natural beauty is one of the most visited sites with its green surroundings in the deep valley. It takes about half an hour walk around the area. There are ponds and puddles here and there and a lot of fish live in the water. The fauna of the area is also very interesting. Düden, Kurşunlu and Manavgat waterfalls are easily reached by local buses and they have played roles in many Turkish films as backgrounds.

Perge: Located 18 km from Antalya city center near Aksu Bucağı. For its location above the Kilikya - Pisidia trade route, it was an important city in Pamphylia. It was established around the same time as the other cities in Pamphylia (in the 7th century BC). Perge was also very important to Christians. Saint Paul and Barnabas both visited the city. Wealthy folks such as Magna Plancia brought several important monuments to the area. The first archeological research was started by Istanbul University in 1946 and the found a theater, a stadium and a colonnaded street which formed the ancient ruins of Agora city.

Ariassos: You can reach Ariassos after driving Antalya-Burdur highway 48 km onwards and after 1 km turning left. Situated on the slope of a hill it is worth seeing for its baths and rock tombs. The most magnificent ruin rises at the beginnig of the valley which enters the Ariassos city, the city gate. It was constructed by the Romans and it's called "the Three Doors" by local folks for its three arches hence three entrances. An astonishing feature of the city is that three- quarters of the city area are the remains of the necropolis, which is an exceptionally monumental tomb.

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