Map of Alanya
Alanya is a seaside resort 120 km (74.6 miles) from the city of Antalya. The district has close to 400,000 inhabitants. Alanya has a moderate Mediterranean climate. Most rain comes in winter, with the summers long, hot, and dry. The Taurus Mountains close to the sea cause foggy mornings which sometimes result in rainbows. The height of the mountains creates a beautiful scene as snow can be seen on them, often even on hot days.
History of Alanya
Alanya has been a local stronghold for many Mediterranean based empires. Alanya’s greatest political importance came in the Middle Ages with the Seljuk Sultanate of Rûm under the rule of ‘Ala’ ad-Din Kay-Qubad.
Before being conquered by Alexander the Great, the castle rock was inhabited by the Hittites and the Persian Empire. artifacts dating from the Paleolithic era (20,000 B.C.) have been found in the area. During Ptolemy’s reign (4th century bc) the area became a popular spot for Mediterranean pirates.
After thefall of the Roman Empire the city came under Byzantine influence. Muslims began arriving in the 7th century, and The area fell from Byzantine control of tribes of Seljuk Turks, then was returned Alexios I Komnenos in 1097 during the First Crusade.
Following the Crusades, the Armenian Kingdom of Cilicia held the port, but Muslims took control in 1221 when the Seljuk Sultan ‘Ala’ ad-Din Kay-Qubad took it in exchange for the city of Aksehir. Seljuk rule was the golden age of the city. The twin citadel, the city walls, the arsenal, and the Red Tower were built during this time. Kay-Qubad’salso gardens and pavilions can still be seen in the city.
Alanya was then invaded by the Mongols from the East, the Anatolian Turkish Beyliks, and the Lusignans from Cyprus. The city was sold in 1427 to the Mamluks of Egypt, and in 1571 was incorporated into the Ottoman Empire. In 1868 it became part of Antalya, as it is today.
After World War I Alanya was partitioned to Italy, and Like most of the region, the city suffered greatly in the war and the population exchanges of 1923.
On the peninsula stands Alanya Kale (Castle), a Seljuk citadel from 1226. Most landmarks in the city are inside and around the castle. The castle was built over existing fortifications and served the double purpose, as a palace for local government and as a defensive structure in case of attack. Inside the castle is the Süleymaniye mosque and caravanserai, built by Suleiman the Magnificent.
The old city walls surround much of the eastern peninsula. Inside the walls are numerous historic villas, well preserved examples of the classical period of Ottoman architecture in the early 19th century.
The Kızıl Kule (Red Tower) is another famousbuilding in Alanya.
The 33 meter high brick building contains the municipal ethnographic museum.
The last of Alanya Castle’s 83 towers, the octagonal structure protected the Tersane (arsenal) and remains one of the finest examples of medieval military architecture.
The tourist industry here is worth 1.1 billion Euros.
Many tourists, especially from Northern Europe and Russia, now regularly holiday in Alanya.
Activities available include wind-surfing, parasailing, banana-boating and Turkey’s largest go-kart track. [Kleopatra Beach]
Beginning in 2003, the housing market has become highly profitable with several private homes and condominiums built for European and Asian part-time residents.
Height restrictions keep high rise hotels to the east and west of the city, preserving the skyline.