Antic Side attractions

A small peninsula is just between Antalya and Alanya where the town of Side was located in ancient times. There remained some wonderful ancient sights you should visit.

However, for most tourists the resort of Side is not this small ancient town but a rather vast coastal area. There are many hotels, mostly all inclusive ones, in this area. And many of them are cheaper than in the neighbouring Belek. Side has wide gently sloping beaches. So most people come here with their children.

The town of Side was founded by Greek settlers in VII century B.C. During the campaign of Alexander the Great the town surrendered to him without fight. Later it was included in the Seleucid Empire. Eventually, the town became one of the cultural and entertainment centers of the Asia Minor. In II century B.C. Side was a prospering town but this prosperity was due to the biggest slave market in the Mediterranean region. The beauty of local female slaves was known in all neighbouring states and attracted rich slave traders.

At the turn of the century Side was captured by Cilician pirates, but in 67 the Roman consul Pompey drove them of the town and the fame of being the center of entertainments was returned to it. It was just here that the Roman built the largest ancient amphitheatre on the territory of the modern Turkey. The population of Side reached 60 thousand people. The amphitheatre was the place of not only theatre performances but also of gladiator games.

In Christian times of Byzantine period Side fell into decay but still retained its importance, which was evidenced by the location of the bishop`s see in the town. However, since VII century the Arab had continuously raided Side. As a result, the population of the town steadily decreased. Side was finally abandoned after the destructive earthquake of 1150. All its population moved to Antalya.

Most of the antique sights are in the area of the amphitheater. The town was surrounded on all sides by fortress walls. You should get to the extreme point of the peninsula, where you will find the ruins of the temple of Neptune and the ancient port.

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Many people come to ancient Side to see this wonderful sunset among the columns of the Temple of Apollo
Ruins of the Temple of Dionysus in front of the amphitheater in ancient Side
Vespasian gate was built in side in the 1st century AD in honor of the arrival of the Roman Emperor Vespasian
Ruins of the fortress wall built by the Romans around the ancient Side
Ruins of Roman baths in ancient Side
There were three columned streets in the ancient Side, but only one remains, running from the Northern gate to the Agora
The Temple of Apollo in Side was built in the 2nd century AD, it was surrounded by a colonnade of 34 columns
Christian Basilica, built by the Byzantines in the 5th century, next to the Temple of Apollo in Side
The height of the waterfall Manavgat is only 2 meters, width - 40 meters
On the Eastern side of the Old town of Side along the sea there are a lot of restaurants
Rocky mountains over the waters of Green Canyon
Antique viaduct that stretches from the mountains of the Western Tavr to the antique Side
The Nympherium fountain in ancient Side was built in the 1st century AD in honor of the Emperor Vespasian
The amphitheatre in the ancient Side was built by Roman architects on a flat place, although they were usually built on the slopes of hills
The amphitheatre of ancient Side is very well preserved and performances are still held here
Agora square in ancient Side - the center of the town, as well as the main slave market
Niches in the wall of the Agora of the ancient Side, where sculptures used to stand
The temple of Apollo in side was destroyed by an earthquake in the 10th century and during the restoration process 5 columns with a portico were restored
The height of the Vespasian arch in side reaches 13 meters, and the width is 7 meters. In those days it was a enormous construction
The statue of the Emperor Vespasian from this arch in Side can now be seen in the Berlin Pergamon Museum
Powerful fortress wall near the Northern gate - the main entrance to the ancient Side
Ruins of the ancient Side fortress wall near the Northern gate
Fragments of the fortress wall that protected the ancient Side from the sea side
In ancient Side, as elsewhere in the Roman Empire, the houses were connected to the water supply and sewerage system
Marble columns and pavement on the Colonnaded street of ancient Side
In the evening in the area of the ancient port of Side always walks a lot of tourists
Ruins of Roman houses of ancient Side in the area of the amphitheatre
Bishop Palace and Christian Basilica, built in the 5th century by the Byzantines near the temple of Apollo in Side