Was an ancient harbour whose name means pomegranate. Today Side is a picturesque resort filled with fascinating ruins, beautiful sandy beaches, shops and wonderful tourist accommodation.
Just imagine sitting at a beach side restaurant gazing out at the clear azure sea. Side has a multitude of Turkish crafts – some of which you can see in the making. Beautiful leathers and of course our renowned gold. Come and see the magnificent ancient theatre built in colonnaded arches – the largest in the area. Also the Agora – The Temple of Apollo, next to the sea. The famous Roman baths, now a museum, houses one of Turkey’s finest archeological collections
To the East of Side are the resorts of Sorgun Titreyengol (blue flag) and Kızılagac with beautiful sandy beaches and glittering blue sea.
To the West is Kumkoy and Colakli offers sun, sea and ancient ruins.
SIDE IN MYTHOLOGY
One day, Accordinkes to the Anatolion Mythology, The God Taurus takes her youngest daughter Side, who had been The Goddes of nature and abundance, to the valley of the Rıver Manauwa (Manavgat) for picking up flowers and making wreaths with the Nymphes (water-fairies) While picking up flowers and dancing with the Nymphes, Side, suddenly sees a tree with thin branches having shiny leaves and colourful flowers and breaks off a branch, to take it to her little daugther. As she breaks the branch off it starts bleeding. Accually, Side realizes that the tree is not a real one it is a Nymphe who has escaped from some wicked human beings and taken the shape of a tree. She is so sorry and so scared that she wants to go away, but she can't. She is stuck and she feels that her feet are bried in ground. Then her body changes into a from of a tree. The Nymphes are sad and they start crying. The Nymphes are sad and they start crying. The fresh roots of Side are watered with the of Nymphes. Side says that it was her fault and ask the Nymphes to take a message to her little daugher The message is as follows; From now on I'll be the symbol of nature, life and abundance with my blood-red rich fruit, I ask you to take my daughter here from time to time, to play in my shade. And warn her not to pick flowers and never damage trees on earth; because any of those trees could be a Goddes. This is why the peninsula of Side full of pomegranate trees.
HISTORICAL MONUMENTS IN SİDE
THE CITY WALLS : The walls of Antique Side surrounds the city all around the peninsula. The length of the walls with the inner ones is about 6 km. The width of the walls on the sea-side is nearly 3 m.some points. The height reaches 10 m. When the walls on theland-side in the North-East are taken into consireadion, and on the walls there are 13 semi-circular and rectangular towers for watching and defence.
THE GREAT GATE OF THE CITY : The main entrance, The GREAT GATE, was built in the North-East. The oldest entrance of the Antique City, now in ruins, had been restored many times. The last form of the Gate was given in Roman times. It was built as two storeys on an arched base. For defending the gate there were two towers on each side where the soldiers were on guard. These towers are about 10m high.
THE EASTERN GATE : The secont Great Gate of the City was built in the East. The Gate was buried in sand for many years. It has lately been cleaned up and is being exhibited. It had been built with conglomerat type of block-stones. You can walk to the Square of protocol passing two circle-arched corridors behind the door on which there are two rectangular watch and defence towers. The base of The Square which is 50m wide had been decorated with mosaics during Byzantium times.
WATER ARCHES : In Antique times the water needed in Side was brought from the river Manavgat by means of water-arches which were built between the village Sevinç of today and Side. The length of the waterway is 30 km and the height reachs 25 m at some points. Some parts of the waterway was carved in rocks.
THE GRAND MONUMENTAL FOUNTAIN : The Grand Monumental Fountain was built nearby The Castellum Aqua, which could be seen at the end of the waterwayon the arches that brought water to the city from the River Manavgat. It stands opposite the Great Entrance Gate in the North West of the city. The fountain seems to have two storeys todey; but it is supposed to have been built in three storeys with the dimensions 5 m height and 35 m width.
KOLONNEL STREET: The street that starts at the door protocol which was built in between the Great Entrance Gate takes you to the Square of Agora in the south direction is 250 m long with coloumns on both sides. It was given the name "Kolonnel Street".
HOUSES: The ruins of the Antique Houses on both sides of the Kolonnel Street in general, were built as diateas (living-rooms), lined-up around the big inner hall named Atrium, There was usually a fountain in the middle of the inner hall, and all the floors of the rooms were decorated with mosaics.
AGORA : The Big Agora of the city takes place in front of the theatre which was built at the end of The Kolonnel Street. It has the dimensions 92x92 m (outher) and 65x65 m (inner). Entrance to the Agora is supposed to be through the monumental gate in the west. The Agora is surrounded by granite columns and was called Portiko. You can reach the Portiko, which is 4 m wide, walking up two stairs. There are dekorated marble blocks on 100 Chorint and lon headed clumns. In the middle of the Agora you can notice the ruins of a temple (as it could be found in all Antique Cities) with 12 lon and chorint headed columns surrounding it and it had belonged to The Goddess of luck and commerce called Fortuna. People from different social classes could have discussions in the Agoras and orient the crowds and set them in motion. The Agora in Side was connected to the stage building of the theatre by means of a passage and both places were used for slave trading, in B.C 100.
THE MONUMENTAL LIBRARY AND THE STATE AGORA : You can reach the square State Agora after a short walk about 50 meters along a story road in the East direction from the Commercial Agora. The Portika of the Agora is surrounded by double columns on all sides and was used for offical purposes and protocols and around it there were official buildings.
THE PALACE OF THE BISHOP AND ITS BASILICA : The Palace and the Basilica seen in the complex of a building takes place near by the Eastern Gate. In the middle of the courtyard between the Palaceand the Basilica there is the martyrion and you can enter the complex of the building from the western side. The rooms of the complex have many sections and they have arches made of bricks. In the middle of the complex there is a square planned place with three sections for sitting. The Schabel of the Bishop that can still be seen in front of the platform obsis has the characteristics of Byzantian construction. The Great Basilica of the Bishop in the Eastern part of the complex was probably built in A.D. 600 and had a trancept plan. The obsis of the Basilica in the Eastern direction has a spherical plan inside and a triangular one from outside.
THE FOUNTAIN OF VESPASIANUS : The front side of the one-arched (15 m high and 7 m wide) fountain was covered with Marble. It was situated between the museum of today and the Western end of the Agora near the Theatre. This fountain with one tap attracts with its marble frescos.
THE FOUNTAIN WITH THREE POOLS : Opposite the Fountain of Vespasianus there stands the Fountain with three Pools on one side of the Agora Bath facing the street with coloumns. The fountain was probably built in A.D. 300 m. On the front side of the fountain there were Korenth headed collumns and today you can only see the three pools covered with marble.
THEATRE : Theatres were important places for the activities of groups of people in Antique times. Struggle with the nature was also the most significant thing in those days. People started showing their feelings towards the events they faced and the productions that came out as s result of their struggle with the nature by symbolizing them with festivals. At the very beginning, human-begins who had disclosed their feelings by celebrating such events by singing and dancing, lately. And the first dramas came out of those celebrations. Carving rows of seats in slopes in Antique Cities and making circular areas in the middle in B.C. 500 were the first steps taken in the architecture of Theatres. Highly tolerated actors could even make fun of The gods and the Emperors in their plays. The players could also start a discussion with the andiences after the dramas in which they criticise the things related with their country. When the plays were approved a great applause could be heard and when they were disapproved the andiences would protest by hitting the stone of the marble seats with their sandals. In the two epigraphies which were discovered in excavations it was written that Modesta, who was one of the richest man of Side, had financed fights between Gladiators. The two epigraphies are being displayed in the Museum of Side. During the raids of Arabs in the 8 th Century the theatre was burned down and destroyed and later on the building of the stage collapsed on the place of the orchestra because of an eartquake. The excavations and the explorations in the theatre are still going on.
THE TEMPLE OF MEN : In the north of the Great Harbour Bath there is the Temple of Men. The temple was built in the name of the Anatolian Moon God, Men and it had a semi-circular podium. It is supposed that the Temple was built in B.C. 500 and was restored twice; first in the times of Alexander the Great and then in the Byzantian period.
THE TEMPLE OF BACUS : The ruins of the Temple of Bacus today was situated in the North end of The Square just in front of the Entrance of the Theatre of Side. Only the stairs and the marble podium of the temple can be seen today.The temple was constructed in the name of The God of wine and entertainment, Bacus. In front of the entrance there were four columns made of red granite with Korenth heads. And you can walk up to the front area going up 7 marble stairs with five half columns on each side. The plan was a Pouseudoperipteros one. It was discovered that the temple was built near a small Theatre before the construction of the Great Thestre of Side in B.C. 300.
THE GREAT HARBOUR BATH : The Bath complex with four big Halls parallel to each other and three rooms built next to them was constructed in the South of the Side Theatre just behind the Harbour Walls. The Bath, which was found out to be built in A.D. 300 and had several restorations in different times, had a rectangular shape 60 m., long and 40 m. wide. In later years two GYMS. were added to tje complex. You can enter the Bath trough the changing-room in the North named Apoditerum.
THE TEMPLE OF APOLLON : The two temples which were built next to each other within a Peripteros plan were situated in the Southern end of the peninsula Side. The one in the East belonged to Apollon and the one in the west to Athena. During the period of Paxromana, the Goddess of Anatolia, Kybele and The God of Moon, Men were purified and sanctified with The Head Gods of Side, Apollon and Athena and this was why the people of Side built those two splendid temples. The temple which was built for the God Apollon, who had been sanctified as The God of light, beauty and art had a rectangular plan with the dimensions of 17x30 m. On top of it there are columns with Korenth heads. 8,90 m. high and a row of 6x11. The cloumns around the temple had bases with holes in the middle on stylobat : and this shows us that there were pieces of iron underneath on which the columns were situated.
THE TEMPLE OF ATHENA : This temple was built next to the Temple of Apollon in the form of a peripheros plan with the dimensions 20x35 m. It is a little bigger than the Temple of Apollon and has columns similar to it. The block on the columns attracts attention with its decorative reliefs.
THE HARBOUR OF SİDE : That the harbour was at the south of the peninsula was very important for Side which was a maritine business center. The harbour was surrounded by a breakwater made of konglemerat stones.
THE HARBOUR BATH : During the period of Paxromana, with the growth of trade Bath was built behind The Harbour in order to cover the need.
THE SİDE MUSEUM : With little restorations in the recent years The Side Museum wasfounded on the complex of the Bath which was built in the period of Romans. You enter the museum through the door in the East direction. Then you go into the stony courtyard which is known as the second tepidorium of the Bath.when you cross the courtyard you enter a big garden. Around the courtyard and in the garden you can see tombs, columns, busts, inscriptions, statues, pedestals and reciefs which were excavated from the city Antique Side, The garden of the museum is actually the courtyard is the Gym.