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recent years, the gulf of Antalya, with a coastal strip of some 200 km with bays
and coves of exceptional beauty filled with the crystal clear waters of the Mediterranean,
has become one of the most popular tourist resorts in Turkey.
The coastal plain is covered
with banana plantations and orchards of citrous fruit, as well as pine forests
and groves of palm trees. The peaks of the Taurus mountains, from which tall trees
descend in places right down to the shore, remain covered in snow right up until
the middle of summer.
Antalya itself, as well
as the nearby tourist centers of Kemer, Beldibi, Belek, Side and Alanya, are thronged
with tourists through every season of the year. The coves, valleys and forests
in the vicinity offer picnic sites of extraordinary beauty. Besides the ancient
cities, there are waterfalls and caverns and many other natural beauties waiting
to greet the visitor. The city of Antalya is situated on cliffs at the extreme
and of the gulf.
city center is located in the region contained within the old defense walls surrounding
the yacht harbor, but, since the 1970's and 1980's the city has expanded very
rapidly towards the west and north. In last twenty years, immigration from central
and eastern Anatolia has raised the urban population by some 400%. The production
of cotton on the fertile soil, the huge greenhouses and of course, tourism all
contribute to local wealth and prosperity. Antalya also contains a number of summer-houses
owned by residents in other parts of Turkey. Although the surrounding region has
been inhabited for nearly 50.000 years, the center of the province of Antalya
is a fairly recent settlement.
the other ancient cities in the vicinity date back as far as 1000 B.C. Antalya
was founded in the 2nd century A.D. by Attalus, King of Pergamon, who named the
city "Atteleia". The ancient city, whose main source of income were the trade
in salt, olive oil, fish cereals, cedar wood and saddle beasts, was incorporated
under the Roman Empire in 133 BC in accordance with the bequest of the last Pergamene
king. Famous personalities who visited the city in ancient times included St Paul
and Barnabas in the 1st century AD and the Emperor Hadrian in the 2nd. Its fertile
soil, its warm climate and its exceptional geographical situation exposed Pamphylia,
which actually means "land of all tribes", to invasions by a number of very different
civilizations throughout the course of its history. In 1207 the region was captured
by the Seljuks and in the 15th century by the Ottomans, after which it was populated
mainly by Turks. In 1918-1921, after the end of the First World War, the whole
region was occupied by Italian forces.
Antalya is also one of
the most important centers of art and culture in Turkey and is enlivened by various
cultural activities such as the annual Art and Film Festival and Jewel Festival.
Another of the specialties of the region is the preparation of jams made from
all sorts of local fruit and vegetables. The harbor area is undoubtedly the most
interesting part of the city. Although construction was begun at the time of the
foundation of the city the surviving remains generally date back to the 3rd century
AD with traces of Roman and Ottoman restorations work in the upper parts of the
walls. The marina is surrounded by numerous bars, cafes, restaurants and tea-
gardens, and from the tea-gardens, set on the top of the cliffs, high above the
harbor, one can enjoy a marvelous bird's eye view of the loveliest part of the
old city; Since the 1970s, many of the old stone or wooden Ottoman houses that
line the narrow streets contained within the old defense walls have been restored
and converted into pensions, hotels and restaurants.
The Fluted Minaret in Republic
Square, which has he come the symbol of the city, belongs to the multi-domed mosque
built by the Seljuk Sultan Alaaddin Keykubad at the beginning of the 13th century.
The minaret itself, which rises to a height of 38 m, rests on an octagonal base
supported by a square stone plinth. Among the monuments located within the walls,
the most interesting is the Truncated Minaret. This minaret, which was partially
destroyed by an earthquake, was added in the 14th century to a large edifice originally
constructed as a temple in the 2nd century A.D. This was converted into a church
during the Byzantine period and, finally, into a mosque by the Ottomans. The Hıdırlık
Tower, which rises to a height of 14 m on the cliffs to the south of the harbor
entrance, was built as a lighthouse in the 2nd century AD From the tower, a short
walk takes one to the Karaali Park, whose tea- gardens, with their trees and pools,
offer delightful coolness and shade on a hot summer afternoon together with a
marvelous view over the city with the peaks of the Taurus Mts. in the background.
The section of the city walls on the east towards the ancient city of Perge contains
a very well-preserved triple- arched monumental gate in the form of a Roman triumphal
arch. Built in 130 AD on the occasion of the Emperor Hadrian's visit to the city,
it is known as Hadrian's Gate after the Emperor to whom it was dedicated.
One of the places that
must definitely be visited during a visit to Antalya is the modern Archaeological
Museum in the western part of the city. In 1972 the Antalya Archaeological Museum
was transferred to this new building situated by the side of several 5-star hotels
at the top of the road leading down to Konyaalti beach. The exhibits were re-
arranged in 1985. Here are preserved the most interesting of the findings discovered
in the region, beautifully arranged in thirteen sections, with a large number
of statues and excavations exhibited in the garden. All the well-preserved findings
unearthed during the excavations carried out in the ancient cities around the
region are brought here for exhibition. The museum contains an extraordinarily
rich collection of objects ranging from prehistoric stone implements to statues
of the gods, from Roman imperial sculpture to Roman and Greek coins, and from
ancient floor mosaics to ethnographic artifacts of the Ottoman period.
cruise yacht charters departing from Antalya
Antalya info above is an extract from " Antalya, by Revak Publications
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