Founded by, and named for, a king
of Pergamum named Attalus, Attaleia (Antalya) became a Roman city upon
the death of the last Pergamene king.
A prosperous port, Attaleia was surrounded
by thick defensive stone
walls pierced by several gates that could
and sealed in case of attack from pirates
The grandest of these, and the only
one surviving, is Hadrian's
Kapısı), a monumental triple-arched
portal on Atatürk Caddesi (map), modeled on the Roman
Hadrian's Gate was constructed in
130 AD to commemorate Emperor
visit to the city. Note the coffered
ceiling in the arches, the
decorative marble columns between
the arches on
both sides. At one time, statues of
Emperor Hadrian and his family probably
decorated the top of the gate, but
these are long gone.
Note also the deep
the stone pavement beneath the central
arch, carved by the wheels
of thousands of carts passing
in and out of the city over the centuries.
are so deep—and treacherous to
pedestrians—that a transparent walkway has been built beneath the arch so visitors don't sprain an ankle walking through.
The massive, crenellated stone
the gate date from different periods.
on the left as you view the gate
from the boulevard,
with a carved stone plaque set
in it as proof. The north
tower (right) was
rebuilt in Seljuk
Turkish times by
Sultan Alaeddin Keykubat I (1219-1238),
as attested by a plaque set in it.
The inscription is in old Turkish,
written in the Arabic script.
Still a gate...
The gate is still in use...as a gate!
It leads into Kaleiçi (Old Antalya)
and Hesapçı Sokak,
with its several pensions and
The pleasant, shady park on
the east (boulevard) side of the gate
is a favorite sitting and chatting
spot for city residents. An itinerant çaycı (Turkish
tea waiter) circulates regularly bringing
the nation's favorite beverage to anyone
who needs its calming and invigorating
—by Tom Brosnahan