MEDITERRANEAN TOURS


Set amid amazing scenery of sharp contrasts, Antalya, Turkey’s principal holiday resort, is an attractive city with sandy palm-lined boulevards and a prize-winning marina. In the picturesque old quarter, Kaleici, narrow, winding streets and old wooden houses about the ancient city walls.

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INFORMATOIN ON MEDITERRANEAN


Set amid amazing scenery of sharp contrasts, Antalya, Turkey’s principal holiday resort, is an attractive city with sandy palm-lined boulevards and a prize-winning marina. In the picturesque old quarter, Kaleici, narrow, winding streets and old wooden houses about the ancient city walls.

Since its founding in the second century B.C. by At tales II, a king of Pergamon, who named the city Attaleia after himself, Antalya has been continuously inhabited. The Romans, Byzantines and Seljuks successively occupied the city before it came under Ottoman rule. The elegent,fluted minarets of the Yivli Minareli Mosque in the center of the city, built by the Seljuk sultan Alaeddin Keykubat in the 13th century, has become Antalya’s symbol. The Karatay Medrese (theological college) in the Kaleici district, from the same period, exemplifies the best of Seljuk stone carving. The two most important Ottoman Mosques in the city are 16th century Murat Pasa Mosque, remarkable for its tile decoration, and the 18th century Tekeli Mehmet Pasa Mosque.

Neighbouring the marina, the attractive late 19th century Iskele Mosque is built of cut stone and set on four pillars over a natural spring. The Hidirlik Kulesi ( tower) probably was originally constructed as a lighthouse in the second century. The Kesik Minaret Mosque attests to the city’s long history in its succession of Roman, Byzantine, Seljuk and Ottoman renovations.

When Empire Hadrian visited Antalya in 130 A.D. a beautifully decorated three-arched gate was built into the city walls in his honour. Near the two towers flanking the gate and other sections of the walls still stand. The clock tower in Kalekapisi Square was also part of the old city’s fortifications.

In the Ataturk and Karaalioglu Parks, with their colourful exotic flowers and the bay’s shimmering water in front of the mountain behind, you will have no doubt why Antalya has become such a popular resort. And Aqua Park, on the eastern coast, has every kind of water sport, including many interesting water-slides.

The Archaeological Museum, with remains from the Paleolithic Age to Ottoman times, offers a glimpse of the area’s rich history. The Ataturk Museum displays objects used by the founder of the Turkish republic.

The Antalya Altin Portakal (Golden Orange) Film and Art Festival, held in the autumn, attracts both participants and visitors. The ancient theatre in Aspendos makes an impressive setting for some of the festival’s plays and concerts.

Antalya also hosts annual jewellery fairs.

PERGE: One of the most important cities of ancient Pamphylia, is 18 km away from Antalya and was founded by the Hittites around 1500 BC. Saint Paul had informed his first preaches here.Perge, once the principle town of Pamphylia during the time of Alexander the Great. Ancient Perge was settled by Greek colonist after the Trojan War. The city’s prosperity peaked under Alexander the Great and the Roman but began to dwindle under the Byzantines. Substantial remains include the 14,000 seats theatre, huge Hellenistic and Roman gates, and an impressive colonnaded street. Perge’s theatre is especially known for its beautiful stage relief, depicting the life of Dionyssos. The theatre was originally a Hellenistic style with a horseshoe-shaped orchestra, but later, especially with the construction of the stage building in the 2C AD, the style modified to Roman. By the outer facade of the stag building there was a 12 meter high (40ft) nymphaeum and the theater was probably combined with the nymphaeum.

ASPENDOS: The ancient city of Aspendos, near the village of Belkis. The major port city in the Roman period Aspendos was founded on hilltop near the eurymedon river ( Koprulu Cay ) and it later spread down to the plain. The Theatre is the best preserved of any in the Mediterranean and It was built in the 2C AD by local architect Xenon Curtius brothers in the reign of Marcus Aurelius, dedicated to ‘ the gods of country and the imperial house ‘ according to the inscription. The theater’s capacity is estimated to have been 20.000 people. There are remains of an Agora, a Basilica, a market hall with shops and a Nymphaeum on the hilltop. Water was brought to the city through a marvelous aqueduct which is also extremely well-preserved with four long sections still standing. In the 13C during the Seljuk’s period the theatre was restored to be a royal caravanserai for the sultans.

SIDE: One of the well known ancient regions of Turkey is Side. The name of that is an old harbor means pomegranate. The ancient ruins, nice climate, sandy beaches numerous shopping centers and modern accommodation facilities are the major reasons for the visitors of Side, which is a lovely coastal town today. Side was founded by Aeolians of the Aegean region. Side was not only an important seaport in the 2nd and 3rd centuries, but also was an integral port of the trading of slaves. ‘Side’ meant ‘ Pomegranete’ in the local language which was the symbol used on the coins of Side. Entrance of the site is from among the well preserved city walls and through the main gate of the ancient city. After the main gate Colonnaded Street starts and reaches first to the Agora and to the Theatre. The Agora was also the place where pirates sold slaves. The Theatre, from 2C AD, seated approximately 15,000 people and was used in late Roman period for gladiator fights. It was used an on open air church in the 5-6C AD. The temple of Dionysus from early Roman period is located near the theatre. Two temples side by side, near the theater, was dedicated to Apollo and to Artemis. The peak period of the city of Side started around 2C BC by establishing good relations with Roman Empire. Side lost its prominence the 4C AD. with earthquakes, Christian sea lots and Arab raids, by the 10C Ad, the site was completely abandoned, left to be buried.

ANTALYA MUSEUM: Antalya museum is one of the most important museums is Turkey. The museum presents a real treasure for those interested in history with its Natural History and Prehistory, The Works of Phrygian Age, Gods, Small Works and Underwater Findings, Emperors, Tombs, Mosaic, Coins, Icons and Ethnography sections. The thirteen different rooms of the Antalya Museum display an amazing variety of impressive collections, including pottery, coins, mosaics, sculptures, costumes, sarcophagi and numerous artifacts found in nearby caves. A furnished nomad’s tent, a carpet loom and several rooms from a typical Ottoman household provide fascinating glimpses into the local lifestyles. The hall of Emperors and classical art displays statues of the Greek gods, the Emperors Hadrian and Septius Serverus and their empresses. There is also a stunning mosaic collection from Xanthos depicting the infant Achilles being dangled by his mother into River Stix. Other exhibits include the extraordinary finds from Karain Caves which date back to the Old Stone Age, as well as a comprehensive ethnographical collection.