Old Town Kaleiçi
Working hours: 24 hours
How to go: on foot
How long does it take: You are there!
Antalya, meaning Settlement of Attalos, was founded by Attalos II. After the end of the Pergamum Kingdom (133 BC), the city was independent for a while, then happened to be under the authority of pirates. BC 77, by Commander Servilius Isauricus, the territory was included in Roman ownership. In BC 67 has become the base of Pompey’s navy. Along with the visit of Hadrian’s Attaleia in AD 130, the city improvements took place. During Byzantium domination, being episcopate center named Attaleia, after Turkish conversion, city saw major development. Since modern city was built on the place of antique settlement, few ancient remains are found in Antalya today. The first visible remain is a part of the harbor breakwater, described as the old harbor wall surrounding the harbor. Restored Hadrian Gate, located outside the park walls, is one of the most beautiful ancient monuments in Antalya.
Like in all ancient city, Attaleia supposed to have had such typical constructions, as temples, agora, theater, but it is impossible to see them today.
Old City; Large part of it has been demolished and disappeared, horseshoe shaped, is surrounded by ancient walls from inside and outside. Walls are common creation of Hellenistic, Roman, Byzantine, Seljuk, and Ottoman periods and cultures. Walls have 80 towers. Around 3000 tile – roofed houses are located within the walls. The typical construction of houses do not only give the idea about architectural history, but reflect the lifestyle, customs and traditions of the region in the best way as well.
In 1972 the inner harbor and the Old City district of Antalya, was placed under protection by “Real Estate Supreme Council of Antiquities and Monuments” as a ”Protected Area” due to its unique texture. On April 28, 1984, Golden Apple Tourism Oscar award was given by FİJET (International Tourism Writers Association) to Ministry of Tourism due to “Antalya Kaleici Complex” restoration work. Nowadays, Old City hotels, pensions, along with restaurants and bars has become an entertainment center.
Throughout history, located in the South-West of the Mediterranean coast of Turkey, Antalya has become one of the Anatolia’s gateway to the sea.
Before the foundation of ancient city of Attaleia, in Antalya Kaleiçi, ancient sources state, that pirate named Korykos found the marina. ”Rock Burrow”, which also means Korykos, are important due to natural structure of the cliff and is important for asylum port consisting both.
Since BC 2, port and developing antique Attaleia has seen continuous settlement since centuries and managed to survive to the present day.
Horseshoe- shaped antique city of Antalya is protected by two thick walls, one of the walls in the shape of the sea and the other sheep are also inland. Besides main walls, there are walls separating various settlements and 50 feet tower located on the outer wall. The construction time of these walls date back to the ancient times. Romans laid the foundations of the Hellenistic wall, followed by repair and expansion done by Seljuks.
Many stone blocks with ancient inscriptions on them were used for the wall construction, and they were well protected until 19th century. Nowadays, besides such constructions as Hidirlik Tower, Hadrian’s Gate and Clock Tower, ruins are random. Today, the city surrounded by the sea and it’s walls are called Kaleiçi (Old City). The streets and buildings still bear the marks and of Antalya’s history reflects many. The streets and buildings are still full of landmarks reflecting Antalya’s history.
The narrow streets inside the walls extend upwards from the port. Fluted Minaret, Cyrus Madrasa, Karatay Madrasa, Pier Mosque, Tekeli Mahmut Pasha Mosque are just few important historical monuments within the city walls. The breathtaking views of yacht marina and old city in, both day and night, have been always inspiring international artists, poets and writers.
Today, Antalya Old City is surrounded and restricted by the sea in the West, main streets and parallel streets in the North and East and remains of the still standing ancient walls. Old City with this significant threshold limit, without typical modern storey buildings, preserved it’s traditional touch, lived up genuine and unique until the present.
The settlement pattern of the Old City, separarted by the medium ancient wall along the Church Hidirlik Streets, is formed in two different ways. The area between Republic Street and streets just mentioned, are organicly developed in accordance with the topography and the ancient walls of the Old City. Islands left between the streets are not regular. The size of the island and the length is variable. Along with medium wall, extending till Karaalioğlu park and outer walls ending with area of Hıdırlık Tower are grid textured. Structured islands are usually smooth rectangular shaped. In both textures, houses are opened to the street from one side, and to the garden from another side. Base floor planning is not regular, according to the street. On the first floor, cantilever plans are organized and carried out. Cantilevers can enrich building plan, as well as various forms of cantilevers, alleys and small squares.
Old City is available on the mezzanine floor of the house with some two or three floors. In two or three-storied houses of Kaleiçi, mezzanine floor is available sometimes. The lower floors with the top floor and courtyard stony places where the service yard is located. Since everyday life took place there, well, cookers, parts used as stables and warehouses were located on this floor. High walls, surrounding these places also provide privacy of the home. Inner stairs, which connect courtyard and first floor, gives opportunity of transition to mezzanine floor. Interim floors can be used as winter storage chamber or warehouse. Rooms on the upper floor are connecting with each other hall opens to the hall. Each room opens to the hall is shaped so that the continuation of daily life. Each room connected to hall is formed so as to continue the daily life.