Side was the most important port city of the Pamphylia region in ancient times. Side Ancient City was established on a peninsula in the coastal part of Manavgat District. It has a history dating back to the 8th century BC. It got its name "Side" which means pomegranate from Luwian. It came under the rule of the Lydian kingdom together with the whole Pamphylia region in the 7th century BC. This was followed by the domination of Persia and Alexander the Great. After the Roman consul Publius Servilius cleansed the region from the pirates in 78 BC, Side was attached to the Roman Empire like the other cities of Pamphylia.
The ancient city of Side, which was weakened by the attacks of the Arab raids, Rhodes, Venice, Genoese pirates, pillages, and the attacks of the Kings of Cyprus and the looting during the Crusades, was completely abandoned since the 12th century and the local people migrated to Antalya.
The ruins that you can see in the ancient city of Side, city walls, city gate, Nymphaeum, waterway, streets with columns, houses, Trade Agora, Ancient Theater, Agora Bath (Side Museum), Vespasian Fountain and Monumental Gate, Triumphal Arch, Dionysus Temple, basilica, harbor bath, Temple of Apollo, Temple of Athena, South Basilica, Great Bath, State Agora, Baptistery, Episcopal Palace and Basilica, Philippus Attius Wall.
Selimiye Village was founded by the Cretan immigrants in the 1890s on the seaside of Side Ancient City's ruins. Settlement continues in the city today. Some venues have ancient walls or floors. Visiting the Ancient City of Side is free. Side Museum and Side Theater are paid to be visited with separate tickets.
Side Ancient Theater
It was built in the Roman architecture tradition in the center of Side Ancient City. The part of the theater seats up to the road in the middle of the steps is leaning on a slope. The upper part of the rows of seats is placed on a plane-shaped inclined on the vaults. With this feature, Side Ancient Theater is the only building example of Anatolia. The stage building of the theater has three floors. Antonine Period's baroque feature is seen in its decorations. Side Ancient Theater is architecturally similar to the Colosseum. It is known that the theater of 17 thousand people was used for gladiator and animal fights in the Late Roman Period.
Temple of Apollo - Athena
The Temple of Apollo, located in the square at the end of the Pillared Street of Ancient Side, was named after Apollo, one of the chief gods of the city of Side, known as the god of light, beauty, and art. A part of the Temple of Apollo in the middle of the Byzantine basilica was dismantled to be used in the construction of the basilica. Today, some of the large columns of the Temple of Apollo, whose construction dates back to 150 AD, have been restored and put into their places. The Temple of Apollo, located by the sea in Side, is truly a heritage worth seeing with its historical remains. Visitors show great interest to sit on the stones of the temple and watch the sunset from here.
Restoration and repair work is being carried out within the scope of the "History Comes to the Light of the Day Project" in the Roman monumental fountain (Nymphaeum), which is located opposite the main entrance door with two towers of Side Ancient City and dates back to the 2nd century AD. It is the largest ancient fountain of Nymphaeum Fountain in Anatolia and in the Pamphylia region. During your trip to Side, do not forget to visit this magnificent building, which is known as "9 Fountains" among the public.
Would you like us to tailor you a private itinerary, including Side Ancient City? Benefit from our expertise. We offer tailor-made tours to Turkey for all interests and desires, from romantic honeymoons and scenic self-drive road trips to photo tours with experienced photographers and cultural tours in major destinations. We arrange everything for your Turkey Tours, including hotel bookings, airport transfers, guided tours, and top-notch experiences. We want you to have a great time in Turkey and make sure your trip is a memorable one as we have escorted so many tours in Turkey personally. Imagine dealing with only one person for all your travel details, receiving customized itineraries and recommendations which will suit exactly your travel interests. Contact Turkey Tour Organizer to get a personalized day by day itinerary for your trip to Turkey.