Information about Medical Care, beaches, Food & Drinks, news from Side, Money, Language, Passport & Visa, Golf.
Side, one of the best kept secrets in Turkey, not only boasts one of the best known classical historically preserved sites in Turkey but also has a modern holiday resort making for a very mixed continental clientele and a cosmopolitan atmosphere. This combination of new meeting old & surrounded by the Tauras Mountains which provides a stunning backdrop for the resort makes Side the most unique and charming resort on Turkey’s southern coast.
One of the best-known classical sites in Turkey, Side was an ancient harbour whose name meant pomegranate, a symbol of fertility in ancient Anatolian culture.
As you approach Side, ruins are visible in every direction: walls, aqueducts, agora, baths, theatre, temples, nymphion and tombs.
The entrance to Side is dominated by a stunning amphitheatre, built on colonnaded arches, which has a capacity of 15,000 seats. It dates from the 2nd century A.D. and is the largest in the area. The audience section is a curved semi-circle. Late empire-period gladiator and animal fights took place in the theatre. During the Byzantine Period, in the 5th - 6th century AD, it was used as an open air church.
The magnificent Apollo Temple, in Corinthian style and peripteros design, is located within a Byzantine Basilica along with the Athena Temple and dates from the city’s Roman period, around the first century AD. A section of the Apollo Temple was recovered and restored between 1983 and 1990 and now forms a stunning backdrop through which to view the sun setting.
Other monuments include the Agora, a fountain and necropolis.
The extensive Roman baths, now a museum, houses one of Turkey's finest archaeological collections.
In approximately 547 BC when Side was under Lycian rule, the region was invaded by the Persians. Two centuries later, in 334 BC, Alexander the Great arrived and Side surrendered without a fight. Alexander set up his mint here.
After the death of Alexander, Side was ruled successively by the Ptolemations and Seleucids, later winning independence which continued after Pamphylia became part of the kingdom of Pergamum in 188 BC.
As well as being a wealthy sea port, Side was a centre of culture and scholarship. In 78 BC it became part of the Roman Empire, whilst still retaining an extensive degree of self-government. During this period it added the slave trade to its already considerable sources of wealth.
In the second half of the 3rd century attacks on Pamphlyia by the mountain peoples to the north weakened the city's economy and new walls were built to protect against these incursions.
Under the Byzantines Side enjoyed final burst of prosperity before a combination of earthquakes, piracy and Arab incursions eventually caused the city to be entirely abandoned in the 10th century. According to the Arab geographer Idrisi, writing in 1150, the people of Side migrated westwards at this stage to New Antalya. More Side
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23 July - 17 September
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