ancient cities in Antalya

Ancient Cities in Antalya: Delve into Antalya’s History!

Ancient cities in Antalya have emerged as a mixture of many cultures. Antalya has an important place in both Anatolian and Mediterranean history. Today, many ancient cities are located within the borders of Antalya and thus have a place in the history of Antalya. The city, which is especially important in terms of trade, has therefore become a location that many people prefer to live. In this way, important Roman emperors visited the city and many gigantic buildings were built here. Lycians, Lydians, Persians, Pergamans, Romans and Byzantines ruled here. Then the Seljuks and Ottomans continued their political power in Antalya. Let’s discover the ancient cities of Antalya, an important settlement in terms of both nature and history!

A Short History of Antalya

Antalya is literally the “Land of Attalos” and came to the fore with Attalos II. It is a region that passed from hand to hand, especially when the Kingdom of Pergamon ended in 133 BC. Antalya, which was Roman territory, gained wealth and developed in this process. Especially with the Byzantine rule, there is also a bishopric center here. When the Turks took over, the city was strengthened and fortified. The ancient cities in Antalya bear the traces of many different cultures. However, especially the traces of the Roman period are widespread. Ancient cities in Antalya are scattered in many regions and cannot be limited.

What are the Ancient Cities in Antalya?

There are many ancient cities attributed to different dates in Antalya. These ancient cities stand out at different dates and thus become a famous region at different dates. While some cities are used as living spaces, many ancient cities that are evaluated within the scope of faith also stand out. Of course, each city has its own unique characteristics. Both the materials used and building techniques vary according to the regions. Of course, cultural elements are also quite diverse. In this way, ancient cities in Antalya emerge. Aspendos, Patara, Perge, Selge, Termessos, Side, Olympos, Phaselis, Myra, Antiphellos, Trebenna, Ariassos, Onobara, Limyra, Arykanda, Arneai, Akalissos, Anydros, Rhodiapolis, Selinus, Syedra, Antiochia Ad Cragum, Iotape, Laertes, Hamaxia, Colybrassus, Xanthos, Kekova, Apollonia, Aperlai, Arneai, Sura and Kandyba are among these cities.

6 Ancient Cities You Must See in Antalya

Although the number of ancient cities in Antalya is quite high, some of these cities are much more prominent. Especially these 6 ancient cities have important qualities that reflect the culture of Antalya. To learn about these cities in detail:

Aspendos Ancient City

The ancient city of Aspendos is also known as Belkıs. The most important feature of this ancient city is the Aspendos Theater. This theater is among the best preserved Roman theaters. This city is located near a river and is thus very advantageous. There are some coins that prove that this city existed in the 5th century BC. In this way, it is possible to learn a little bit about the city’s past. The theater here is a typical Roman theater. At the same time, waterways are also dense here. The remains of these waterways that have survived to this day also allow us to learn the architecture of the period.


Ancient City of Perge

Perge Ancient City is very close to Antalya city center. This city is very organized and the settlement quality is very good. There are many sculptures in this region and these help to understand the art of the period. All these elements emphasize that Perge was an important city at that time. One of the most important buildings in Perge is the stadium. This stadium has been preserve very well until today. The chief goddess of this city is Artemis. However, an Artemis temple has still not been found. This city became an important religious center with Christianity and basilicas were built here.


Myra Ancient City

Myra Ancient City is located in Demre district. This place has influenced many periods and hosts different civilizations. The rock tombs belonging to the Lycian period are an example of this. It is also famous for a Roman theater and St. Nicholas. It is possible to say that Myra Ancient City existed in the 5th century BC at the earliest. There are also city walls here. These walls belong to the Roman period. It is also possible to come across the remains of fortifications from the 5th century BC. The Roman theater has standard features and thus becomes a good example.


Patara Ancient City

The ancient city of Patara is known as the city where Apollo was born and is also known as the Apollo oracle center. Herodotus and Hekataios mention this ancient city. It is one of the oldest Lycian cities and in fact its history is much older. Remains from the 11th and 10th centuries BC were found here. The monuments, necropolis and tomb architecture in Patara are among the most interesting ruins of this region. The region attracted intense interest especially during the Hellenistic and Roman periods. Thanks to the city’s location around the harbor, it is also possible to find items of commercial nature.


Side Ancient City

Side is a port city. It is considere in the Pamphylia region and is located on a peninsula. Side Ancient City was found in the 7th century BC. It is one of the oldest among the ancient cities in Antalya. The city, which came under Lydian rule, was then rule under the influence of Persia and Alexander the Great. The administration changed many times in the Hellenistic period kingdoms. Side’s most glorious times are the period when it was independent. Side, which was then under Roman rule, came under Byzantine and Ottoman rule respectively.


Olympos Ancient City

Olympos Ancient City is an important port city. The ruins of the baths here have many important features of Roman bath architecture. It is said that the chief goddess of this city was Athena. However, a temple has not yet been found. This place is also known as a pirate hotbed. The pirate rule ended with the arrival of Rome. This region lost its importance with late Christianity.


The number of ancient cities in Antalya is much higher. However, especially these 6 ancient cities are among the most visited. They are among the ancient cities that attract both Turks and foreigners. Ancient cities in Antalya fascinate many people with their original designs, historical quality and advanced archaeological excavations. Take advantage of our transfer service to visit these cities in the most practical way. For details:

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