Side is a coastal town in Antalya’s Manavgat district, where tourists appear intensively every year. From the ruins of the ancient city of Side to its magnificent view and shallow sea, it is a must-see and attractive tourism center.
The ancient city of Side, which is 80 km east of Antalya and 7 km west of Manavgat, was built on a charming peninsula extending to the Mediterranean Sea.
Side, one of the most important cities of the Pamphylia region, means Pomegranate in Anatolian, one of the fertility symbols of the Roman Empire.
It spread fertility to its lands with its nature and tourism. When the inscriptions exhibited in the Side Museum were examined, it was understood that the Anatolian language was Luwian. In short, Side means Pomegranate in Luwian.
Starting from the 8th century BC, Side came under the rule of Lyndia, Persia, Alexander and Hellenistic kingdoms.
Its growth to become the port city and slave trade center of the Mediterranean begins with the Roman Empire in the 1st century BC. Although it was later damaged by fires, earthquakes, pirates or wars, some important buildings have survived until today.
In the 19th century, as a result of the events that started in Crete Island, some of the Turkish families who had to flee from the island settled in Side.
The city, which was named Selimiye Village after the Sultan’s son Şehzade Selim, was later renamed Side and became a town.
The asphalt road built to go to Side accompanies you between the ruins of the city. If you go by car, park your car in the first place you see available. It is best to visit the settlement on foot.
Theater: The theater is one of the largest Greco-Roman structures in Anatolia. With a capacity of 15,000 people, it is unique in the Eastern Mediterranean region.
The area where the audience sits in the Roman theater is called cavea. The main walkway that divides the theater horizontally is called diazoma.
In the theater, there are 29 rows downwards from the diazoma. The spectators who will sit here enter through the door on the marble-columned street.
Those in the 29 rows above the diazoma go up the interior stairs to the top of the theater and take their seats.
The theater, which was used for Christian rituals during the Byzantine period, has rich architectural ornaments.
The theater was destroyed by earthquakes and suffered many architectural losses. In addition, in the orchestra area, the set walls built to ensure the safety of the audience during the gladiator games have survived to the present day.
Temple of Apollo
When you walk along the coastline in the city on the peninsula for a while, we come across a structure that excites us.
Although Athena and Apollo are known as the chief gods of Side, Apollo gained more importance over time, he was rewarded as Theoktistes, the founding god of the city, and the Temple of Apollo was built in his honor.
Between 1983 and 1990, the corner of the temple, which was raised between 1983 and 1990, provides information about the location and position of the temple. The building has a peripretos plan, i.e. a rectangular structure surrounded by columns.
It has an area of 17 x 30 meters and columns each 9 meters high. The columns were dismantled during the Christian era to be used in the construction of a basilica, and the frieze of Medusa on the upper part of the temple draws attention.
Don’t neglect to see the imposing city gate, the fountain, the baths, the baths, the agora, which is indispensable for ancient cities, and the museum of the ancient city, where valuable finds were unearthed as a result of the studies initiated by Prof. Dr. Arif Müfid Mansel, one of the archaeologists of Istanbul University, in 1947.