The Antalya Region, offering all the mysticism of past in our day, is now called the “Turkish Riviera” due to its archaeological and natural beauties. Antalya is the place where sea, sun, history and nature constitute a perfect harmony and which also includes the most beautiful and clearest coast along the Mediterranean. The city still preserves its importance as a center throughout history in the south coast of the country, in addition to its wonderful natural beauties. The mythological city which housed the Gods and Goddesses now exhibits all its secrets and marvels to mankind.
Antalya is located in the west of the Mediterranean region. In ancient times it covered all Pamphylia which means “the land of all tribes”. The land really deserves the name since it has witnessed many successive civilizations throughout history. In 1st century BC the Pergamum king Attalus ordered his men to find the most beautiful piece of land on earth; he wanted them to find “heaven on earth”. After a long search all over the world, they discovered this land and said “This must be ‘Heaven’ ” and King Attalus founded the city giving it the name “Attaleia”. From then on many nations kept their eyes on the city. When the Romans took over the Pergamene Kingdom, Attaleia became an outstanding Roman city which the great Roman Emperor Hadrian visited in 130 AD; an arch was built in his honor which is now worth seeing. Then came the Byzantines, after which the Seljuk Turks took over the city in 1207 and gave it a different name, Adalya, and built the Yivli Minaret. The Ottomans followed the Seljuks and finally within the Turkish Republic it became a Turkish city and an important port. Antalya has been growing rapidly since 1960 and its population is 1,146,109 according to the 1990 census.
The climate of the province is typical Mediterranean: hot and dry in summers and temperate and rainy in winters. Sunshine is guaranteed from April to October and the winters are pleasantly mild. The humidity is a little bit high, about 64%, and the average water temperature is 21.5 °C. Antalya is really a heavenly place where the summer season is about 8-9 months long.
You may reach Antalya from almost every city of the country, and even from little towns, coach companies going to Antalya are available. Antalya has an international airport which may connect you to major cities. It has modern facilities including waiting rooms, restaurants, cafe-bar, and a shopping center. When traveling by sea, one can use the Antalya Venice Ferryboat line.
Antalya and its surrounding is an important and noteworthy touristy center on the Mediterranean Coast with its perfect climate and splendid harmony of archaeological, historical and natural beauties, throughout the year. Daily tours to surrounding touristy areas like Side, Alanya and Termessos are available, in addition to longer tours to Pamukkale or Cappadocia or anywhere you would like to go. Professional tourist guides are also available.
City Walls: The memorial Hadrian Arch and The Clock Tower are remarkable and date back to Hellenistic era.
Kaleici: This is the nucleus of a city which embraced many civilizations during time. It is now restored and has became a most attractive touristy center with its hotels, restaurants, shopping and entertainment facilities. Kaleici retains all the original ancient Turkish archaeological characteristics. The port’s marina has been completely restored and is well worth visiting. The restoration activities in Kaleici won the Golden Apple Prize, the Oscar of tourism.
Antalya Museum: A prize winning museum and one of the most notable archaeology museums, of the world. It is also the only museum in Turkey with a children’s department exhibiting ancient monuments appealing to children.
Hadrian’s Gate: This ornamental marble arch was constructed in 2nd century BC by the Romans in honour of the Emperor Hadrian. It is the most amazing area in the whole ancient Pamphylia region.
Kesik Minaret (Broken Minaret): Once a Byzantine Panaglia church, later converted into a mosque.
Yivli Minaret: This fluted minaret of 13th century was built by the Seljuks. Decorated with dark blue and turquoise tiles, the minaret eventually became the symbol of the city.
Karatay Medresesi, Hidirilk Tower, Ahi Yusuf Mescidi, Iskele Mosque, Murat Pasa Mosque, Tekeli Mehmet Pasa Mosque, Balibey Mosque, Musellim Mosque, Seyh Sinan Efendi Mosque and Osman Efendi Mosque are other places to be visited.
“Han”s are Seljuk or Ottoman inns which have architectural significance. Some worth visiting are the Evdir Han, Klrkoz Han, Alara Han and Castle and Sarapsu (Serapsu) Han.
Termessos: It is a Pisidyan city with remnants of an agora, theatre and an odeon. It has a reputation of being the most magnificent necropolis on the Mediterranean, 35 kms northwest of Antalya.
Perge: 18 kms northeast of Antalya. The ruins are spread on two hills, the theatre on one and the acropolis on the other. According to the legend the city was built by three heroes from Troy.
Sillyon: 34 kms from Antalya on the Alanya direction. It is situated between Aspendos and Perge and dates back to 4th.century BC.
Aspendos: One of the most important Pamphilian cities. It is situated on the point where the Kopru River meets the sea. Once an important port and a commercial centre, it has a reputation for raising the best horses on earth. The odeon, basilica, galleria and fountains are worth seeing.
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