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Antalya is located on the Mediterranean coast of south-west Turkey, between the Taurus Mountains and the Mediterranean sea. Area 20,723 km²
The city and thus the province are named after Attalos II, king of Pergamon, who founded the city in the 2nd century BC.
Antalya has been settled for a long, long time. Evidence of human habitation dating back to early Paleolithic age (150,000-200,000) years has been discovered in the Karain caves, 30 km of the north of Antalya city Other finds dating back to the Mesolithic (Beldibi caves), Neolithic (Bademağacı Höyüğü) and more recent periods show that the area has been populated by various civilizations throughout the ages.
There are long periods shrouded in mystery until records from the Hittite period refer to the area as part of the "Lukka Lands" (from which ''Lycia" is derived) and document the lively interaction going on between provinces in the second millennium BC. Like their descendants, the Lukkans or Lycians were known for their seamanship (especially their piracy) and demonstrated a fiery independent spirit. Neither the Hittites, nor the kingdom of Arzawa on the west coast, could ever keep them at peace for long. Legends of Ancient Greece tell us that these communities grew into independent cities, the area as a whole came to be called Pamphylia and in a federation of these cities was set up. There are also tales of the migration of the Akha clan to the area after the Trojan war and eventually Greek settlements were built along the coast and inland.
In the Hellenistic period the western parts of Antalya province were in Lycia, the east was in Pamphylia, and at the extremes east, in ancient Cilictia, while Pisidia was to the north.
Antalya was part of the Lydian Kingdom from the 7th century BC until Lydia was defeated by the Persians during the battle of Sardis in 546 BC. The Macedonian commander Alexander the Great ended Persian rule and in around 334 BC conquered the cities of the area one by one - except for Termessos and Sillyon which managed to repulse his armies in 333 BC. Antalya itself was founded later. With the death of Alexander in 323 BC, a long battle erupted between his commanders that lasted until 188 BC.
With the defeat of the Seleucid army at Apema began the reign of the kingdom of PergamonAntalya. When Attalos III, the last king of Pergamom, died in 133 BC he left his kingdom to the Ancient Romans. At this time the area is dominated by pirates based in small cities along the coast. and the foundation of the city of
Christianity started to spread in the region after 2nd century. Antalya was visited by Paul of Tarsus, as recorded in the Acts of the Apostles (Acts 14:25-26), (wherein Antalya is referred to as Attalia). St. Paul and St. Barnabas went to Antalya and sailed from there to AntiochPisidia and Pamphylia. after preaching in
During the mid-Byzantie era (the 5th and 6th centuries) the city of Antalya grew beyond the city walls.
From the 7th century Muslim Arabs started to be dominant in the region and Antalya later played a part in the Christian Crusades against Islam. The army of Louis VII. sailed from Antalya for Syria in 1148, and the fleet of Richard of England rallied here before the conquest of Cyprus. Between the years 1120-1206, Antalya was again under the sovereignty of Byzantines.
The Seljuk Turks
The area was conquered by the Seljuks Turks and recaptured by the Byzantines again and again from 1076 onwards as the Seljuks strove to establish a trading base on the Mediterranean. At one stage Turkish lord Kilij Arslan had a palace here. In 1220 Byzantine rule ended for the last time and the city was quickly divided into Christian and Muslim sections, the Christian trading communities including Venetians and Genoese. Alanya also grew and thrived during the Seljuk period.
The Ottoman Empire onwards
The area passed through many hands before its final occupation by the Ottoman Empire under Murad II in 1432. Ottoman rule of the coast persisited until the end of the First World War, when Antalya was briefly occupied by Italian troops before becoming part of the Republic of Turkey in 1921.
There are many archaeological sites in the province including three National Parks and three Specially Protected Areas.
The land of the province is 77.8% mountain, 10.2% plain and 12% uneven. Many of the peaks of the Taurus mountains are above 2500-3000 metres. The Teke peninsula in the west includes wide plateaus and river basins. Climate, agriculture, demographics and habitation patterns differ greatly between the inland mountain areas and the coastal plain.
Places of interest
The highest point of the Taurus mountains is Akdağ at an altitude of 3025 metres. Located to the northwest of the city centre and at a distance of 50 km is the Saklıkent ski and recreation centre on Beydağları. Here one can ski and then go down to the shore and into the sea during the months of January-April. In Saklıkent there are two teleski and ski courses along with villas and accommodation facilities available in the area. Situated on Bakırlı Hill behind Saklıkent is the Antalya National Space Observatory with a reflecting telescope 40 m in diameter and a telescope 150 cm in diameter. It is possible to watch meteor showers and shooting stars on certain days of the year. In rivers rafting and canoeing sports and on the Taurus mountains jeep safari, hunting and trekking tours are organised. Alternatively, there is rock-climbing, bird watching tourism, photo-safari, mountain tourism, line fishing and health tourism at the thalasso and dialysis centres in Geyirbayır. Holy tourism activities are organized in Myra and Patara where St.Nicholas was born and lived. There are underwater diving centres on the coast, primarily in Kemer, Çamyuva, Olympos, Adrasan, Kaş, Kalkan, Üçağız, Kekova, Side and Alanya. In addition, yacht tours are organized from the port of Antalya to Düden Waterfalls-Karpuzkaldıran and Kemer, from Side to Alanya, from Demre-Çayağzı to Kekova, from Kaş to Kekova, from Kemer to Çıralı-Olympos-Adrasan and Cape Gelidonya. There are also boat tours on Manavgat creek and canoe tours on Xanthos creek. In addition, blue voyage, which covers the southwestern Anatolian coast, ends in Antalya. There are ferryboat trips from Alanya to Cyprus and from Antalya to Italy. Antalya today is a world tourism centre with its unique touristic accommodation facilities, nature and historical beauties.
Ancient Cities and Ruins
There are sites of historical and archaelogical interest all over Antalya including:
Sites of natural beauty
Solar Eclipse of 2006
On marth 29 , a total 2006solar eclipse occurred over Antalya, lasting almost 4 minutes, the centre line passing over the resorts of Side and Manavgat A solar eclipse is a rare natural event that one can see maybe only once in a lifetime.
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