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Kaleici, Antalya, Turkiye

Kaleici, Antalya, TurkiyePrior to Antalya becoming a top holiday destination on the south coast of Turkiye, it was the ancient city of Attalia, founded during the Hellenistic period before becoming part of the Roman Empire.

So, Kaleiçi - which is old town in Antalya is a hugely important part of the city in the country where Europe and Asia meet.

It's easy find Kaleiçi by walking or taking a cab to Kale Kapısı, the main square, which stands out thanks to the Saat Kulesi - clock tower, built during the reign of Ottoman Sultan Abdül Hamid II.

You’ll also know you’ve made it to the square when you see the statue of King Attalus II of Pergamon, who founded the city of Attalia around 150BCE. From there, you can enter the old town by walking into Uzun Çarşı Sokak, opposite the clock tower.

The Tekeli Mehmet Paşa Cami is an 18th century Ottoman mosque.

Once you’re on Uzun Çarşı Sokak, make sure to see the beautiful Tekeli Mehmet Paşa Cami, an Ottoman mosque built in the 18th century.

If you meander towards the top along Hesapçı Sokak, sooner or later you’ll come upon the grand ruins of Hadrian’s Gate, built in 130CE to commemorate the visit of Roman emperor Hadrian.

Kaleici, Antalya, TurkiyeMake sure to pay attention to, and shoot some photographs of the beautifully ornate floral motif friezes and cornices.

A little further down on Hesapçı Sokak, you’ll find the ruins of the Kesik Minare Cami (Broken Minaret Mosque), a former Roman temple built in the second century that later became a Byzantine church and then, in the 13th century, a mosque.

From there, walk down to the ancient harbour by taking the Kırkmerdiven (40 Steps), built by the Venetians who occupied Antalya in the 15th century.

At the base of the steps, you’ll find yourself in the ancient Roman Harbour, which was the main artery from the second century BCE until the late 20th century, when a new port was built near Konyaaltı Beach.

Nowadays, the historic harbour is home to yachts and tour boats as well as cafes and bars. Walk to the southwestern edge to gaze upon the stunning Hıdırlık Kulesi, a stone tower supposedly built by the Roman Empire in the second century that later became a fortification and lighthouse.

The port, which was the main factor in the establishment of the city at this point - gained military and commercial importance from it, was among the most vibrant ports of the Eastern Mediterranean in the Roman Period; especially during the Byzantine and Seljuk periods, it was an important foreign trade port where maritime connections were established with Egypt and Syria.

As soon as you’ve taken in all the sights, make sure to wander around the narrow cobblestoned streets to admire the Ottoman-era houses, many of which have been restored and turned into small boutique hotels.

Kaleici, Antalya, TurkiyeOne of the historic homes also houses the Suna-İnan Kıraç Kaleiçi Museum, which focusses on ethnography and also happens to contain an Orthodox church in its beautiful garden.

You can also do some shopping in one of the many little shops selling souvenirs, or just sit down at a cafe for a cool drink and a much-needed rest in the shade.

If you happen to be in Kaleiçi in the evening, walk to Karaalioğlu Park - the southwestern edge of Kaleiçi, for a stroll accompanied by a spectacular, colourful view of a magnificent sunset.

Kaleiçi, which was the center of Antalya in antiquity, has not lost its importance today. The town, which is still the choice of holidaymakers with its rich history, sea, and prisitine nature, is also at the forefront with the comfort and quality offered by Kaleiçi hotels.

While walking in the streets of Kaleiçi, which is surrounded by walls and the sea on all sides, you will see the traces of many civilizations that lived in these lands.

With the restoration of the old Greek and Ottoman houses in the district and their transformation into charming boutique hotels, you'll sense you've been transported to different worlds with their architecture and atmosphere.

Kaleici, Antalya, TurkiyeKaleiçi hotels are located between the narrow streets of the town rather than being by the sea. They all have their own unique beauty. No matter which Kaleiçi hotel you stay in, you will be offered a comfortable and quality service.

The hotels, which still carry the traces of history, offer today's modern facilities to their guests in the best way. The prices of Antalya Kaleiçi hotels have also been updated to be quite affordable.

If you have planned a holiday in Kaleiçi so that you can visit the pages of history, you can see a diversity of Kaleiçi hotels with reasonable price options and reservation opportunities.

Submarine NEMO Excursion - View the marine life of the Mediterranean Sea during a 1-hour submarine ride from Antalya.

Descend into the Mediterranean Sea in a submarine where you can see fish and ships from below the water's surface. Insightful commentary from the guide aboard provided and it includes hotel pickup and drop-off.

Book the Antalya Excursion to Perge, Aspendos, Side, and the Manavgat waterfall and wander among the ruins of these great cities of antiquity.

The Antalya Museum or Antalya Archeological Museum (Turkish: Antalya Müzesi) is one of Turkiye's largest museums, located in Konyaaltı, Antalya. It includes 13 exhibition halls and an open air gallery.

Kaleici, Antalya, TurkiyeThe Museum covers an area of 7,000 m2 (75,000 sq ft) and 5000 works of art are exhibited. The Museum won the “European Council Special Prize” in 1988.

As a museum exhibiting examples of works, which illuminate the history of the Mediterranean and Pamphylia regions in Anatolia, Antalya Museum is one of the most important of Turkiye's museums.

Atatürk's House Museum (Turkish: Atatürk Evi ve Müzesi) is a national museum in Antalya, Turkiye dedicated to the visits of Mustafa Kemal Atatürk to this city.

The museum is located in a two-storey replica house, which was rebuilt original. Mustafa Kemal Atatürk stayed here during his official visits to Antalya in 1930 and 1935 in the mansion that belonged to the governorship of the province.

In 1984, the building was handed over to the Ministry of Culture and Tourism to be transformed into a house museum. The building had to be broken down in the frame of city's street widening project.

Işıklar Caddesi, Muratpaşa, Antalya

09:00–19:30 April to October
08:30–17:30 November to March
Mondays closed - admission is free of charge

Kaleici, Antalya, TurkiyeThe Antalya Aquarium - The world’s largest tunnel aquarium! As one of the biggest aquarium complexes of the world, Antalya Aquarium offers inspiration, entertainment and education all at once.

After touring the 40 thematic aquariums, you will come across the part of this facility that houses the biggest tunnel aquarium of the world with a length of 131 meters and a width of 3 meters.

52 cities from 27 countries from Southeast Asia to Northern Europe participated in the Kaleiçi Old Town Festival, which was held for the 7th time by Antalya Muratpaşa Municipality on October 13th – 16th.

Chiang Mai, one of Thailand's most popular tourist cities about 13,000 kilometers away, and Cork, Ireland's most important city after the capital Dublin, came together in Kaleiçi.

Of Central European countries, Linz, which is also one of the state capitals of Austria, Heusenstamm from Germany, Prague 6 and Pribor from the Czech Republic.

Zamosc from Poland, Katowice, Radom, Szigetvár, where Sultan Suleiman the Magnificent from Hungary made his last voyage and died, were among the participating countries of the festival.

Old town Antalya is where I spent most of my time. I loved this area, it puts one in a mood makes you feel like you’re walking in ancient times, and because of the great restaurants, bars, and shops that are found there.

Kaleici, Antalya, TurkiyeTo walk in the ancient world in modern-day Antalya, just follow the ancient city walls, find Hadrian’s Gate, and enter the world of the old town.

Here, you’ll see a lot of historical relics and tourist attractions like the Yivli and Kesik Minarets among the remnants left behind by the Greeks, Seljuks, and Ottomans on the city’s narrow streets.

Locals don’t call this area the old town–they call it Kaleiçi, meaning “inside the city’s walls.”

Expect a 30 minute to 1 hour drive to get to your hotel in Kaleiçi. Though the airport isn’t far from Kaleiçi, due to traffic in Antalya and especially the traffic around Kaleiçi, expect your trip to take some time.

You can arrange for a transfer prior to your flight through your airline or hotel. You can also take a Havaş bus in front of the airport. It’s not as comfortable as a private transfer, but it’s more luxurious than any public bus.

If you’d prefer to use public transport, you can use the Antray train, which leaves from the airport to get to the city. You’ll have to get off at Ismetpaşa Station for Kaleiçi. You’ll pay very little for the trip, but expect a 15-minute walk.

Antalya’s old town is small, but it’s witnessed many important events, people, and civilizations throughout history. What is great is that you can also witness this history because it’s really well-protected.

Kaleici, Antalya, TurkiyeThe glass elevator is an iconic place in Kaleici. The elevator connects old to new Antalya. Once you get to the top, the view over the harbor is one to enjoy for a few minutes.

Near the Panoramic glass elevator viewpoint, you can play or take care of cats who are rescued. It’s just a super small park next to the main street and free to volunteer or walk through.

All the small streets of Kaleici are filled with little shops where you can easily get a good pair of walking shoes for a low budget price. But shoes are not the only thing you can find, there are necklaces, beautiful clothing, sports outfits, anything you can imagine

The same goes for Turkish carpets. If you’re ending your trip in Antalya we highly recommend taking a kilim carpet for your house.

Due to its location next to the sea and having a natural harbor, Antalya developed as an important city through time.

The first settlement in Kaleiçi dates back to the 4th century B.C. It’s located in Pamphylia Region and was a small settlement in the early Hellenistic period.

After the domination of the King of Bergama - one of the most powerful kings of the 2nd century B.C.–the city became an important place. The King built the fortification walls and harbor and named the city Attaleia.

This port city gained even more importance when it became a center for trade in the East Mediterranean Region. When it was turned into a Roman state in the 1st century, some of its great structures–like the roads, buildings, towers, and gates–were built.

Kaleici, Antalya, TurkiyeHadrian’s Gate, fortification walls, and Hıdırlık Tower are some great examples from this period.

You’ll also recognize buildings related to Christianity, like Panagia Church (Broken Minaret), because when the city was under East Roman (Byzantine) rule, Christianity was accepted as the official religion in the 4th century.

At the end of the 11th century, the city couldn’t resist the Arab and Persian raids, and it was taken over by Seljuks. After that point in time, Kaleiçi witnessed a great construction and restructuring.

Churches from previous periods were converted to mosques, and some newly-constructed mosques appeared. Yivli Minaret Mosque is one of the most important. They also built madrasahs (schools) and towers.

Kaleiçi is the name given to the city center surrounded by the sea and land walls within the borders of Antalya’s Muratpaşa district. The streets and structures of Kaleiçi bring the traces of Antalya’s history to the present day.

The importance of old houses conveys very useful information not only in terms of architecture, but also about people’s way of life, behavior, traditions and social aspects.

In 1972, Antalya inner port and Kaleiçi district were taken under protection as a “protected area” by the “Real Estate Antiquities and Monuments High Council” due to its unique texture.

Kaleici, Antalya, TurkiyeThe Ministry of Tourism was awarded the Golden Apple Tourism Oscar by FİJET (International Tourism Writers Association) on April 28, 1984 for the restoration work of “Antalya-Kaleiçi Complex”.

Today, Kaleiçi has become an entertainment center with its hotels, hostels, restaurants and bars. The streets of Kaleiçi are narrow. They mostly extend from the harbor towards the upper part of the outer walls.

Houses may differ according to the economic power of the owners and the purpose of use. But they have many common features. They are generally made of masonry stone and with a tree connection.

They all have a street facade and a street-less garden. On the side facing the street, there are very few windows on the first floor. On the upper floor, there are overhangs called “Cumba”, made in accordance with both house and street architecture.

These overhangs are decorated with tree ornaments. The center of the houses is the “Taşlıks” with stone floors and opening to the garden on the ground floor. There are resting sofas made of wood in these gizzards.

From here, you can pass to the rooms on the ground floor, as well as a staircase to the upper floor. The ground floor is mostly the service part of the house. Rooms with functions such as storage and kitchen are located here.

The upper floor is for living. The windows of the rooms of the upper floor are brighter because they are larger. Mostly, these rooms have two rows of windows on top of each other.

The upper windows are without glass and consist of wooden cages, the lower windows are of the type that can be opened and closed. The upper windows of the bay windows have small and usually colored glasses.

Kaleici, Antalya, TurkiyeDüden Waterfalls are located in Varsak District, within the boundaries of Kepez District. Düden Waterfall is also referred to as Iskender Waterfall and Yukari Düden Waterfall in various sources.

At the same time, there are some people who call it Düdenbaşı Waterfall. On the 28th kilometer of the old Antalya-Burdur road, on the 30th kilometer of Kırkgözler, there are two large karstic springs called Pınarbaşı.

These two rivers with abundant water merge after a short flow and disappear into the Whiskered Sinkhole.

After the water lost in the Bıyıklı Sinkhole goes under the ground for 14 kilometers, it emerges from one end of the Varsak Depression, and after a very short flow it sinks again at the other end of the depression.

The water lost in Varsak rises to the earth in Düdenbaşı after two kilometers of underground flow. Even on days when no water flows from the surface, at least 10 cubic meters of water rises to the surface per second under the Düdenbaşı Waterfall.

The maximum flow rate of this water is 94 cubic meters and its average is 15-16 cubic meters per second. The water flowing from the top of Düdenbaşı by making a waterfall is the water coming from the Kepez hydroelectric power plant.

After Düdenbaşı, the Düden Stream, which divides into two main canals in the sheep regulator, pours into the Mediterranean after 9 kilometers from a 40-meter high travertine threshold in the east of Antalya.




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