Antalya is an eye-catching city discovered with great enthusiasm by the King of Pergamum Attalos II ordering his raiders to “Go find me the heaven of the earth”. Embosomed with the breezy plenteousness of the nature, the city stands among Taurus and Bey Mountains. Antalya, hosting millions of domestic and foreign tourists, is called as the capital city of tourism in Turkey and is cited among the world’s a few tourism cities with its natural beauties and historical pattern.
Going springtime for three seasons and summertime for one season, Antalya, while giving skiing opportunity in the snowcovered mountains of Saklıkent with its matchless climatic particularities, offers sea and sun pleasure on its unique coasts.
It smiles for almost 300 days at the people of Antalya who are as warming as the sun.
Throughout history, Antalya hosted various civilizations. It is characterized as the earthly reflection of the heaven with its historical and natural beauties.
Kaleiçi, which is one of the oldest settlements in the history of Antalya, is just one of those beauties. It is possible to find clues touching the history of Antalya by observing life and historical pattern in Kaleiçi.
Characteristic structures of houses in Kaleiçi do not only say a lot about Antalya’s architectural history, but also represent lifestyle, customs and traditions in the region at its best. Kaleiçi has now become a significant touristic symbol introducing Antalya rather than a bare settlement. With its historical pattern and multilingual narrow streets, it is both a touristic phenomenon and a substantial center of daily life. Kaleiçi walls of Antalya, which is remembered as a favorite port city throughout history, are common artifacts built to protect city during Hellenistic, Byzantine, Roman, Seljuk and Ottoman periods. While Kaleiçi stands as a historical token, it also appears as the heart of cultural richness with its various historical buildings. The Hadrian’s Gate or Üçkapılar [The Three Gates], which we may call the opening gate to Kaleiçi, was built in the name of the Roman Emperor Hadrian and its original form has been perfectly preserved until today. Columns keeping up the Hadrian’s Gate for thousands of years are completely made of white marble. Also, with carvings and relieves on it, Hadrian’s Gate has such an appearance that impresses visitors. When Hadrian’s Gate is viewed from the front, modern city of Antalya covered with palm trees is seen and a legendary heritage hidden behind the most beautiful gate of Pamphylia lies on the opposite side. Existence of the ages and civilizations in compliance with each other is a qualification, observable in many places in Antalya.
Most of the civilizations ruled in Antalya utilized the city as a port and this brought about a city decorated with natural beauties of the bays of Antalya and many historical ruins. Olympus is a port city established in the 2nd century BC. Preserving its existence until the 15th century AC, it is also known as the city where the renowned Bellerophon’s Myth took place. The Olympus ancient city, located on the two sides of a valley beyond comparison, is a recreational ground frequently preferred by incomers thanks to its coasts and various historical ruins.
While Olympus presents cultural tourism to the visitors in Antalya on the one hand, it also stands as an incomparable holiday destination with the matchless beauties offered by nature and with its coast. Moreover wooden houses that are now the token of Olympus provide domestic and foreign tourists with a calming and in-touch-with-nature holiday.
Over the years, Antalya has hosted millions of tourists as the most important tourismcenter of Turkey with its natural beauties and historical pattern.
Antalya’s magnificence impressed Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, the founder of the Republic of Turkey, in 1930 during his visit to Antalya. Atatürk, watching Antalya’s sea, coasts and the snow-covered Bey Mountains for a while, couldn’t help telling, “There is no doubt that Antalya is the most beautiful place in the world”.
* This article was taken from “Africa Time” magazine (November 2014 Edition) by demanding all necessary permissions for copyright.