Kaleiçi – The Old Town of Antalya is Also Its Historical Centre:
Kaleiçi, the historical heart of Antalya is as vibrant today as when it was during ancient times. This old quarter of Antalya was once a Roman settlement and it was also the centre of life during the Byzantine, Seljuk and Ottoman occupation. For this reason, Kaleiçi is where most of the historic and interesting attractions of Antalya are located.
Kaleiçi – Antalya Old Town
If you only have limited time in Antalya, take a stroll around Kaleiçi and you will see many of the interesting sights of Antalya, all reminders of the city’s Roman, Byzantine, Seljuk and Ottoman heritage.
When Antalya became part of the Roman Republic in 133 BC, the Romans settled in this old quarter of Antalya because of the harbour. Antalya’s old harbour was a strategic entry point and outlet for their supplies. The Romans built two protective walls, in the shape of a horseshoe – one running along the shoreline and the other inland. These walls were subsequently repaired and widened by the Seljuks. As you explore Kaleiçi or look up from the Yacht Harbour, you will see traces of the Old City Wall. Another significant reminder of Roman settlement in Kaleiçi is the impressive Hadrian’s Gate.
Antalya was also an important city in the Byzantine Empire before it was taken over by the Seljuk Turks and then the Ottomans. In the narrow cobbled streets of Kaleiçi you will see Seljuk mansions and Ottoman era houses. These give an idea of the social set-up during that time. The Kaleiçi area has been restored to capture its historical character and it is now a heritage protected site.
Other Attractions in Kaleiçi
Some very interesting historical sites to visit within the old town are the:
- Fluted Minaret (Yivli Minaret)
- Clock Tower
- Truncated Minaret
- Hidirlik Kulesi
- Iskele Mosque and the Tekeli Mehmet Pasa Mosque and
During your exploration, you will also see various old chapels. The Church of St. George is one of those which has been beautifully restored. The presence of churches in the old town is also the result of Greeks and Armenians settling in the area, during the 19th century, many of whom came to trade here.
Hotels in Old Antalya
The historical and multicultural aspect of the old town makes Kaleiçi an attractive area for anyone holidaying in Antalya. In this area are many shops, restaurants and other eateries as well as accommodation types. During our walk around the area we saw many budget pensions and comfortable-looking lodges, whereas boutique hotels like the Pudding Hotel and the Tuvana Hotel offer suites that give a flavour of Ottoman times. For the list of Old town Kaleici hotels, see Here.
Map of Kaleiçi