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ecause of the archaeological and natural wealth of the area, Antalya is also known as the Turkish Riviera. The sun, sea, nature and history combine to form a very popular resort, highlighted by some of the cleanest beaches in the Mediterranean. The 630km shoreline of the province is liberally scattered with ancient cities, harbors, memorial tombs and beaches, secluded coves and lush forests, many of which are easily accessible from the city.


Antalya

With its palm-lined boulevard, internationally-acclaimed marina, and old castle with traditional architecture, all set amidst a modern city, Antalya is a major tourist centre in Turkey. In addition to the wide selection of hotels, restaurants, bars, nightclubs and shops, the city also plays host to a number of sporting events throughout the year, like International Beach Volleyball, triathlon, golf tournaments, archery, tennis and canoeing competitions. The Cultural Centre, which opened in 1995, hosts cultural and art events in the fields of music, theatre, and creative arts. The main area of interest in the city is central old quarter within the Roman walls, known as Kaleici, and there are many good museums.

The award-winning Antalya Kaleici Marina and Leisure Center is considered one of the loveliest marinas in Turkey. This center can well meet every tourist's need with its many souvenir shops, friendly cafes and restaurants as well as yacht moorings and services. Sail in the morning and enjoy the restful peace of the marina in the afternoon. The old city walls, lit at night, lend an atmosphere of serenity and timelessness. The Archaeological Museum, with remains from the Paleolithic Age to Ottoman times, offers a glimpse of the area's rich history.

Antalya also hosts various international fairs.

Kaleici

Today the historical old city of Antalya known as Kaleici (the inner castle) is surrounded by two walls, most of which have fallen down. The inner wall encloses the harbour in a semicircle. As a result of restoration, Kaleici has turned into a major tourist centre with guest-houses, bars, shops and restaurants, and the Roman harbour has been turned into a modern, well-equipped marina. As a result of the restoration work, the Ministry of Tourism was awarded the Golden Apple (Tourism Oscar) in April 1984 by FIJET.

Antalya Museum

Founded in 1922 by Suleyman Fikri Erten and housed first in the Alaaddin Mosque in the old city and then in the Yivli Minaret, the museum was later moved to its current location 2 km further east. The museum consists of 12 exhibition rooms and its gardens and open galleries. In these halls the history of Antalya is given in chronological order, starting with fossils, through the Stone and Bronze ages, then through the classical and Hellenistic periods. There are mosaics, the Gallery of the Gods, Phrygian ornaments, and a room with Christian art that includes pieces of the skull and jawbone of St Nicholas, the original Santa Claus. The ethnography section has a collection of Iznik ceramics, household implements and weapons.

The City Walls

What remains today are a few bastions inside the city as well as Hadrian's Gate and its towers, the large tower facing the harbour and a few pieces of the harbour walls. One of the walls surrounds the yacht harbour and the other the city, almost like horseshoe. One of the remaining towers in the Castle Gate Square is now used as a clock tower. There are four gates in the city walls, which form entrances to the city.

Hadrian's Gate

The only city gate to have survived until the present day is the most attractive of the Pamphylia: Uckapilar (Three Gates), also known as Hadrian's Gate, which is guarded by one tower on either side. Built to honour the emperor Hadrian's visit to the city in 130 AD, the whole gate, except for the columns, is made of pure white marble. The reliefs and carvings are extraordinary.

Old Houses of Antalya

With its hot summers and mild winters, the houses in Antalya are designed to provide protection not against the chill of winter but against the merciless heat of summer. The stone overhangs and courtyards help provide air circulation. The houses in Antalya can be divided into three types based upon the design of the main hall, which also serves as a storage area. The three types are I halls, L halls and U halls. In the design of these houses, great attention was paid to meeting the necessities of daily life, while also providing harmony with nature and the environment.

Mosques and Tombs

Important mosques in the area are Yivli Minaret Complex, Kesik Minaret Camii, Bali Bey Camii, Muratpasa Camii, Iskele Camii, Karatay Medrese, and Ahi Yusuf Camii and Tomb.

Beaches

Kumluca and the many coves between Antalya and Finike are home to some of the most famous holiday resorts in Turkey, like Kemer, Camyuva, Belek, Cirali and Adrasan. Closer to the city, Konyaalti is 3 km west of the city, and Lara beach is 10 km east and well connected by dolmus.

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