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Alanya, which is host to many foreign citizens today, is situated on the eastern edge of the Gulf of Antalya and was actually established as a pirate town. When the audacious pirate Tryphon decided to build a castle that would serve him as refuge in times of duress, he saw that the rocky peninsula where today’s Alanya Castle is located was the most strategic place for such a building. He immediately embarked on the construction of the castle. The rampant piracy threatened the hegemony of Rome in the region and by the middle of the 1st century BC this could be stemmed by the forceful actions of Roman commanders. Following Alanya's conquest in the 13th century by the Seljuks, the city was used as a capital where Seljuk Sultans used to spend the winter months.

Alanya was a major centre of timber production in ancient times and was especially renowned for its cedars high up in the Taurus Mountains. It became a wealthy city, whose wealth was channelled into the beautification of the city. Today it has become a well-developed city with modern amenities. A quarter of the city’s population is composed of foreigners who have purchased summer residences, making it a truly cosmopolitan centre.

Castle of Alanya

The famed Pompeius struck a heavy blow against the domination of pirates along the Mediterranean coast. He also had the city walls once built by the pirate Tryphon, demolished. The castle was used in later centuries and underwent ​​minor repairs. Most of the castle was built in the beginning of the 13th century on the remnants of earlier fortifications during the era of Sultan Alaeddin Keykubad I who conquered the city. The castle consists of three parts which are separated from each other with inner ramparts. The Sultans’ living quarters are situated on a higher elevation in the smaller part of the castle. Northwest of the castle at a lower elevation are the remnants of the palace cisterns, chapel and dungeon. The Bedesten, situated in the citadel of Alanya Castle has been recently restored and is used today as a shopping and recreational area. Built by the first military user of the citadel, Akşebe Sultan, it is one of the most visited places along with Süleymaniye Mosque and the Alanya House, restored by Alanya Municipality.

One of the notable structures in the castle are the cisterns. Besides the many cisterns that are located on the bastions of the defensive walls there are also remnants of cisterns which were used to meet the needs of the population living within the walls. The Kızıl Kule (Red Tower) on the eastern side of the Castle is a unique example of Seljuk architecture. To the south of Kızıl Kule lies the dockyard with its five docks and was built around the same time as the tower.


Alanya is one of most accessible cities to the sea. Extending on either side of the peninsula, the beaches offer many accommodation and transportation facilities to visitor and are free for public access. The beaches extend from the shores of the western edge of the district nearOkurcalar village to the shores of the town of Demirtaş in the east. The sea is part of everyday life in Alanya. There are many facilities on the beaches catering to the needs of the visitors. Besides going swimming, visitors can enjoy the numerous cafes, restaurants and other recreational amenities which line the coast.


The limestone structures of the Taurus Mountains make it suited to cave formations. Alanya is one of the most abundant areas in Anatolia in terms of the number of caves. The Damlataş Cave,which was coincidentally discovered near the city centre, is one of these. The cave is said to relieve those who suffer from asthma and is visited by thousands of tourists each year. The Kadıini Cave in the vicinity of Oba village 15 kilometres north of Alanya is an important site where prehistoric artefacts were discovered. The cave is easy to reach and the Oba River, which flows beside the cave, has recreation areas on both shores.

The extensive Dim Cave at the eastern edge of Dim Valley is a site worth seeing. The cave is approximately 300 meters long and is covered by many stalactites and stalagmites. The interior lighting gives the cave a special appeal. The walkways enable visitors to explore every nook and corner of the cave.