Yivli Minare Mosque
One of the special sights of Antalya is of course the minaret of the Yivli Minare Mosque. The jewel, built in the 13th century, is the unrestricted symbol of the city.
The oldest part of Antalya is Kaleiçi. Numerous historical buildings in traditional Turkish, but also Greek style have been preserved there.
Other very interesting facilities and buildings in the city also include the 14 meter high Hıdırlık Tower, the Antalya Museum with its fine archaeological collections or Hadrian’s Gate, the last remaining entrance gate to the old town of Antalya according to intershippingrates.
Hadrian’s Gate (Turkish Üçkapılar)
The imposing Hadrian’s Gate on Ataturk Caddesi is the only remaining entrance gate to the historic old town of Antalya. The city wall once ran along to the right of the gate. In 130 it was built on four pedestals in honor of a visit by the Roman Emperor Hadrian. It looks like a Roman triumphal arch and impresses with its three arches and the finely decorated pillars. One of the two towers of the gate dates back to Roman times and the other to the period between 1219 and 1238, when Sultan Alaaddin Keykubat I was the ruler of the city. In 1959 the gate was restored.
Hıdırlık Tower (Turkish: Hıdırlık Kulesi)
This characteristic tower at the point where the Kaleiçi meets Karaalioglu Park is said to have been built in the Hellenistic period and redesigned in the 2nd century. It measures 14 meters high and was used either as a fortress or as a lighthouse. If you go through the gate of the tower, you will reach a small room from which a narrow staircase leads to the upper part of the tower. Nowadays, the Hırılık Tower is lined with numerous cafes and restaurants and offers a picturesque view of the Gulf of Antalya.
Mosques and minarets
In Kaleiçi, the historic old town of Antalya, there is the “broken minaret”. The Romans once had a temple built here in the 2nd century, which was converted into a Byzantine church in honor of Our Lady in the 7th century. After this church was badly destroyed during the Arab invasions in the 8th century and restored in the 10th century, it was made into a mosque under the Seljuks and given a mineratt. In 1846 a devastating fire destroyed the mosque. Only the minaret is left and today it is known as the Kesik Minare and is one of the most famous sights of Antalya.
Murat Paşa Mosque (Turkish: Murat Paşa Camii)
This Ottoman mosque in Antalya’s old town was laid out under the Grand Vizier Kuyucu Murad Pasha in 1570 and covered with a large dome. The Islamic church impresses with its fine Turkish-Seljuk calligraphy.
Tekeli Mehmet Paşa Mosque (Turkish: Tekeli Mehmet Paşa Camii)
The Tekeli Mehmet Paşa Mosque was built in the Kalekapisi district of Antalya in the 18th century. Today it is one of the most important Ottoman mosques in the city.
Yivli Minare Mosque (Turkish: Ulu camii)
This mosque is one of the first Islamic buildings in Antalya. It was completed in 1230, but had to be reconstructed in 1373. The most obvious element is a 38 meter high minaret, which has eight floors that can be reached via 90 steps. This Yivli Minare (“furrowed minaret) is one of the landmarks of Antalya with its height and dark blue tiles.
Special neighborhoods and squares
Old Town (Turkish: Kaleiçi)
Most of the historical buildings of Antalya can be found along the narrow streets of Kaleiçi, the historical old town of Antalya. The historical, archaeological and architectural features to be seen there include, in addition to many mosques, the Yivli Minaret, the Karatay Medresesi, the Antalya Museum of Archeology, the Hıdırlık Tower, the Hadrian’s Gate and the Clock Tower. Many of these structures go back to the Hellenistic period. In addition to the historically interesting buildings, the old town also includes numerous hotels, restaurants, bars and shops, which have not done anything to the old town charm. The restoration of the Kaleiçi was more likely to win the Golden Apple Tourism Prize.
This is the main square in Antalya. Often times, open-air demonstrations and exhibitions are given in the lively square.
Antalya Museum (Turkish Antalya Müzesi)
The Antalya Museum is dedicated to archeology and shows one of the world’s most important collections of ancient art. The museum in Konyaaltı, which incidentally is one of the largest in Turkey, also contains numerous pieces from the early history of Anatolia. All exhibits are spread over 13 exhibition rooms and an open-air gallery and are arranged on 7,000 m². In 1988 the Antalya Museum was awarded the European Council Special Prize.
Kaleiçi Museum (Turkish: Kaleiçi Müzesi)
The museum opened in 2007 by Akdeniz Medeniyetleri Araştırma Merkezi (= Mediterranean Civilizations Research Center) is also worth an extended visit.
Akdeniz University (Turkish: Akdeniz Üniversitesi)
This campus university is located between Antalya and Alanya and is the leading higher education institution in the western Mediterranean region of Turkey. The university, founded in 1982, now has twelve faculties and is currently training around 17,500 students.
Parks and viewpoints
Karaalioğlu Park (Turkish: Karaalioğlu Parkı)
The large Karaalioğlu Park extends south of the Kaleiçi in the center of Antalya. It can be easily reached on foot or by tram.
For a good view of Antalya it is best to go to the 618 meter high Tünek Tepe in the west of Antalya, from where you can enjoy a wonderful panorama of the city.
Antalya Ataturk Stadium (Turkish: Antalya Ataturk Stadyumu)
The Antalyas football stadium named after Ataturk, which has a total of 11,700 spectators, also functions as the home ground of the Antalyaspor football club. The Ataturk Stadium was one of the three venues during the U-17 European Football Championship 2008 in Antalya.
Gulf of Antalya (Turkish Antalya Körfezi)
Antalya spreads out on the Gulf of Antalya, which is known to be part of the Mediterranean. In the vicinity of the city, the long sandy beaches of the so-called Turkish Riviera attract millions of tourists from all over the world.