Old town

Old Town Kaleiçi

Old Town Kaleiçi Eski Masal Hotel Kaleici Antalya

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’s domination, being an episcopate centre named Attaleia, after the Turkish conversion, the city saw major development. Since the modern city was built on the place of antique settlement, few ancient remains are found in Antalya today. The first visible remaining is a part of the harbor breakwater, described as the old harbor wall surrounding the harbor. The restored Hadrian Gate, located outside the park walls, is one of the most beautiful ancient monuments in Antalya.

Like in all ancient cities, Attaleia is supposed to have had such typical constructions, as temples, agora, and theatres, but it is impossible to see them today.

Old City a large part of it has been demolished and disappeared, horseshoe-shaped, is surrounded by ancient walls from inside and outside. Walls are a common creation of Hellenistic, Roman, Byzantine, Seljuk, and Ottoman periods and cultures. The walls have 80 towers. Around 3000 tile–roofed houses are located within the walls. The typical construction of houses not only gives the idea about architectural history but reflects 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 were placed under protection by the “Real Estate Supreme Council of Antiquities and Monuments” as a ”Protected Area” due to their unique texture. On April 28, 1984, the Golden Apple Tourism Award was given by FİJET (International Tourism Writers Association) to the Ministry of Tourism due to the “Antalya Kaleici Complex” restoration work. Nowadays, Old City hotels, pensions, along with restaurants and bars have become an entertainment centre.

Throughout history, located in the southwest of the Mediterranean coast of Turkey, Antalya has become one of Anatolia’s gateway to the sea.

Before the foundation of the ancient city of Attaleia, in Antalya Kaleiçi, ancient sources state, that a pirate named Korykos found the marina. ”Rock Burrow”, which also means Korykos, is important due to the natural structure of the cliff and is important for the asylum port consisting of both.

Since BC 2, the port and developing antique Attaleia has seen continuous settlement for centuries and managed to survive to the present day.

The horseshoe-shaped antique city of Antalya is protected by two thick walls, one of the walls is in the shape of the sea and the other sheep are also inland. Besides the main walls, there are walls separating various settlements and a 50-foot tower located on the outer wall. The construction time of these walls dates 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 wall construction, and they were well-protected until the 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 its walls are called Kaleiçi (Old City). The streets and buildings still bear the marks and 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, and Tekeli Mahmut Pasha Mosque are just a few important historical monuments within the city walls. The breathtaking views of the yacht marina and old city, both day and night, have always inspired 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 its traditional touch, lived up genuine and unique until the present.

The settlement pattern of the Old City, separated by the medium ancient wall along the Church Hidirlik Streets, is formed in two different ways. The area between Republic Street and the streets just mentioned, is 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 are variable. Along with the medium wall, extending till Karaalioğlu Park and outer walls ending with an 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 plans, 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, a 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 in the home. Inner stairs, which connect the courtyard and first floor, give an opportunity to transition to the mezzanine floor. Interim floors can be used as winter storage chambers or warehouses. Rooms on the upper floor connect with each other hall opens to the hall. Each room opens to the hall and is shaped so that the continuation of daily life. Each room connected to the hall is formed so as to continue the daily life.

Old Harbor

Old Harbor Eski Masal Hotel Kaleici Antalya

Working hours: 24 hours
How to go: On foot
How long does it take: 1 minute

Nestled into a recess in the cliffs, Antalya’s old harbor is a picturesque huddle of boutiques, pretty cafés, bazaars and gently bobbing yachts that look out over a shimmering Mediterranean.

With its peaceful pleasure-boat atmosphere now, it’s difficult to imagine this place was once Antalya’s major economic hub. But from the 2nd century up until the mid-20th century this was the main port, bringing trade and prosperity to the city and surrounding region.

These days you come here to shop and then watch sunset over the sea while you sip a coffee. Or, head out onto the Mediterranean on one of the many excursion boats before spreading out your towel on an empty beach.

Fluted Minaret

Fluted Minaret Eski Masal Hotel Kaleici Antalya

Working hours: 24 hours
How to go: on foot
How long does it take: 1 minute

Antalya’s most distinctive landmark is the Yivli Minare (fluted minaret) built by the Seljuk sultan Alaeddin Kykubad (1219-36). The minaret is a typical example of Seljuk architecture with a square base surmounted by an octagonal drum bearing the fluted shaft with its corbelled gallery around the top. The attached 14th-century mosque is still in use today.

Hadrian’s Gate

Hadrian’s Gate Eski Masal Hotel Kaleici Antalya

Working hours: 24 hours
How to go: On foot
How long does it take: 3 minutes

Hadrian’s Gate is one of the main (and the most dramatic) entrance gates into the Kaleiçi district. Considerable stretches of the Hellenistic and Roman town walls on the eastern side of the old town have been preserved and Hadrian’s Gate is the most notable of these sections.

Erected in honor of the AD 130 visit by Emperor Hadrian himself, this imposing three-arched marble gateway, flanked by imposing towers, is decorated with rich sculptural decorations. As you walk through the arches look up at the ceiling to view the best-preserved carvings.

Roman Fortress

Roman Fortress Eski Masal Hotel Kaleici Antalya

Working hours: 24 hours
How to go: On foot
How long does it take: 3 minutes

This squat 14 m high cylindrical tower watches over the old harbor from high above on the edge of Karaalioǧlu Park. Built in the 2nd century no one is quite sure what its main function was, but most agree it acted as a watchtower or lighthouse over the busy port below.

Now it’s a fantastic spot to watch a sunset or get that all-important panoramic view over the old harbor area. The park itself is a tranquil, flower-filled spot to escape the city streets and prime picnicking territory.