Antalya, the city of Attalus

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Antalya is one of the most famous cities of Anatolia, always able to represent a landing place of extreme importance

The words of Ibn Battuta

“From here I left for the splendid Antalya, a very popular city, among the most beautiful, largest and best organized in the world.”

Ibn Battuta


The city was officially founded in 150 BC. from Attalus II with the name of Attaleia, however, excavations in 2008 at nearby Doğu Garajı suggest that the latter was built on an inhabited center from the 3rd century BC. . The next monarch, Attalus III, had no descendants, thus deciding to donate the kingdom of Pergamum to Rome and with it also the city of Attaleia. With the arrival of Christianity, the settlement became the destination of San Barnaba and Paolo di Tarso who carried out a long and active proselytizing job right here.


Under the Byzantine Empire it became one of the most important and renowned cities in the whole of Anatolia, so much so that it was the head of the southern province of Kibyrrhaioton. Thanks to its strategic position it became a perfect connection point between Cyprus and the Aegean Sea, calling to itself merchants and customers from every corner of the Mediterranean. With the fall of Constantinople following the Fourth Crusade, the city was briefly occupied by a certain Aldobrando, a leader of Italic origins who took advantage of the right moment. Unfortunately for him, the Seljuks were also enticed by the possibility of conquest, placing it immediately under siege and conquering it after just 16 days. After a brief Byzantine return, starting from 1216 Attaleia will definitively become a Turkish stronghold.

Turkish period

From the arrival of the Seljuks, Antalya will follow the fate of the rest of the peninsula, then passing to the Ottomans. Under the new lords, however, the local nobility managed to maintain a great influence, sometimes representing a power parallel to that of the Sublime Porte.


Until the Population Exchange with Greece, the city had 1/3 of the population of Hellenic origin, a small Armenian and a Jewish community. Starting from the 20th century, its port acquired more and more importance, becoming essential for the exchanges of raw materials of the hinterland. In 1985 Dalida will hold her last concert here.

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