Straddling both continental limits and the boundary between ancient and modern times, Antalya of Turkey is a fascinating destination for history buffs and adventure addicts alike. With the preserved streets of its old town a hive of history, the huge selection of idyllic beaches hotels geared towards utter relaxation located along its coast and the ancient ruins of Roman fortifications only a stone’s throw away, there are plenty of things Antalya posses one with.
Antalya’s historic district Kaleici is a sight in itself and could happily spend an hour strolling the narrow lanes here while admiring the mix of finely restored and creakily dilapidated Ottoman-era architecture. This district with the main main square Kale Kapisi accompanied by old stones Saat kulesi and statue of Attalus, the city’s founder acts as a major attraction. It has also got the Iki Kapilar Hani, a sprawling covered bazaar dating to the late 15th century. Followe by thgis is the mosque Tekeli Mehmet Pasa Camii, which has a beautiful Arabic calligraphy in the coloured tiles above the windows and along the base of the dome. It has also got some protected zones, where many of the gracious old Ottoman houses have been restored and converted into pensions, boutique hotels and shops.
This is a handsome and distinctive fluted minaret, erected in the early 13th century, which is Antalya’s symbol. The mosque is still in use.The 38-metre high Fluted Minaret stands on a huge square stone base measuring 6.5 metres tall and 5.5 metres wide. The Minaret’s eight semi-circular grooved red brick shaft was originally decorated with dark blue and turquoise-coloured tiles. With blue-glazaed tiles woven into every other row of the minaret trunk, it gave an illusion of stripes running up the flanks. It must have been quite a sight during its time.
The 2,000-year-old portal to the ancient city is an example of Roman ingenuity, with elegant columns, three arches and a marble frame.
Hadrian’s Gate is an elegant triumphal arch from the Roman dynasty that has survived intact for almost 2,000 years. It was constructed in A.D. 130 to mark the arrival of Emperor Hadrian to the city. The structure consists of three arched gates in a white marble frame. Around the ornate gate rise towers that add to the charm of the historical part of Antalya.