Monday, August 31, 2009

Antalya Kaleici (The Fortress) and Marina

The ancient city center enclosed by the sea and land walls is today called the "Kale Ici" (Inner Bailey). The streets and buildings still bear the marks of Antalya's history. The characteristic of the houses do not lie only in their architecture but reflect the living habits, customs and social ways of the inhabitants of ancient Antalya and are thus a valuable source of information.
This streets within the bailey are narrow, and stretch upwards from the harbor and along by the walls. The difference in the houses shows the economic status of the owners or the purpose for which they were used. However, they share many common factors. Most of them were built of masonry interspersed with timber.
Each one has a front and back garden. They are very few windows on the street side of the first floor of the house. On the top floor is a "cumba" or trellised projection in harmony with the architecture of the house and street, adorned with wooden ornaments. The center of the house is on the ground floor and opens onto a paved courtyard called "taslik" and where there are wooden benches. This leads into the ground floor rooms and there is also a staircase to the upper floors. The ground floor is largely the house's servicing area and consists of the kitchen, storage room, etc. while the upper floor contains the living quarters, although kitchen and storage room can sometimes be seen on the top floor. The upper floor rooms are larger and lighter with large windows. In some of these houses the top floor rooms have two rows of windows, one on top of the other, and in some cases the upper rows do not have any glass only wooden lattices. The bottom row can be opened. In the upper part of some of the "cumba" are small pieces of glass, sometimes colored.
A few of the buildings within the harbor have been restored and restoration is continuing. Today in the inner bailey, can be found places of entertainment, guesthouses, restaurants, shops selling souvenirs and old carpets and other necessities, a supermarket servicing the yacht as well as other amenities required by them, and it is in fact an attractive center of tourism. The port of Antalya was formerly considered after Mersin as the only port on Turkey's western seaboard where ships could dock. However, today it is used exclusively as a yacht harbor. After the new industrial harbor west of Antalya went into operation, the former port became known as the Yacht Harbor. The ancient city of Antalya was protected by two walls, in the shape of a horseshoe, one enclosing it along the shore and the other inland. In addition, there were walls within the city separating the various settlements, and a great number of towers on the outer walls at 50 paces from each other. These walls date back to ancient times and, as was the general rule, the Romans built on the Hellenistic foundations and these were subsequently widens and repaired by the Seljuks. Many stone blocks with ancient inscriptions were used and the walls were well protected until the end of the 19th century. Today in the city can be seen the remains of some of the walls, a few turrets, Hadrian's Gate, the Clock Tower, and the Hidirlik Tower. This is one of the best preserved monuments in Antalya. This Roman edifice was built in 130 A.D. to honor the Emperor Hadrian.
Formerly the city walls enclosed the outside of the gate and it was not used for many years. This may be the reason why it has not been destroyed, and it was only revealed when the walls collapsed. It is considered as Pamphylia's most beautiful Gate. The upper part has three apertures in the shape of a cupola, and except for the pillars is built entirely of white marble. The ornamentation is very striking. The original Gate was two storeys but little is known of the top storey.

On either side of the Gate are towers, which are known not to have been built at the same time. The southern one is known as the Julia Sancta tower and is a work of the Hadrian era. It was constructed of plain stone blocks. While the base of the northern tower belongs to antiquity, the upper part is left over from the Seljuks.
It is worth while stopping in front of the Gate and reflecting for a few moments. On the one hand you are standing on modern Antalya's dual carriageway, lined with palm and orange trees, Ataturk Caddesi, while behind you is ancient Attaleia, the past and the present separated by Pamphylia's most beautiful Gate, which itself has on either side towers representing the art and civilization of two different epochs. This blending of the epochs is something peculiar to Antalya and can be often seen.

The Hidirlik Tower, which has a square base surmounted by a cylindrical edifice, can be seen at the southern most point of the land walls. Belonging to ancient times, there is a large square block in the interior. The tower is a very solid building and, from the shape of the inside, it is thought to have been used for defense or to send out signals by lighting a fire.
Examination of the TRUNCATED MINARET MOSQUE reveals that it dates to the 2nd century A.D. and that in the 5th century A.D. a basilica was built on an ancient temple. The son of Bayazit II, Sultan Korkud, transformed it into a mosque and had a minaret added. When a fire broke out in the 19th century the timber section of the minaret was burnt out, and since then it has been called the "truncated minaret". It is to this day in a state of disrepair and does not function as a mosque, but as visitors can see ancient, Byzantine and Seljuk remains all at one time, it still serves as an unusually interesting sight.

The "Kalekapisi" neighborhood is where number of buildings of Seljuk origin are concentrated, and consist of the following: the Fluted (Yivli) Minaret, the Yivli Mosque, the Giyaseddin Keyhusrev Medrese, the Seljuk Medrese, the Mevlevi Han, the Zincirkiran Mausoleum and the Nigar Hatun Mausoleum.
The Fluted Minaret is one of the first Muslim edifices in Antalya and is an 18th century work of the Seljuk period. Its base is of hewn stone and the trunk of bricks and turquoise colored tiles, and it has eight grooves. This minaret has now become the symbol of Antalya. It is 38 meters high and the top is reached by 90 steps.
The Yivli Minaret Mosque is to the west of the Truncated Minaret. It is the oldest example of the multicupola construction in Anatolia; it is covered by six semi-spherical cupolas. It was built in 1372 by Balaban Tavsi and it can be seen that ancient ruins have been used in addition to other products in its construction.
Giyaseddin Keyhusrev had the Medrese built in his name by Atabey Armagan in 1239. Facing the entrance of this building are the ruins of what is thought to be a 13th century Seljuk Medrese.
The Zincirkiran Mausoleum is north of the Fluted Minaret in the upper garden and is of Seljuk design. However, because of the simplicity of the exterior, of having windows, and the tombs being at a lower level, it has the characteristics of the Ottoman Mausoleums. In was built in 1379 and contains three tombs.
The Nigar Hatun Mausoleum is also north of the Fluted Minaret. It is of simple design and is hexagonal in shape. The Seljuk style mausoleum dates back to 1502.
It is believed that the Mevlevis house to the west of the Zincirkiran Mausoleum was built by Aladdin Keykubat in 1225. Its inscription has been effaced, but the building has been repaired and is today used as a fine arts gallery.

ISKELE MOSQUE is a very small and pretty mosque in the old Yacht Harbor. It is not known when it was built, but it was repaired within the framework of the Inner Bailey restoration project.


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