Cornucopia’s travel guide

Side


FROM CORNUCOPIA 23

Side, a favourite hangout for Cleopatra and Antony, means pomegranate in an ancient Anatolian dialect (see Berrin Torolsan's article in Cornucopia 5). It was founded in the 7th century BC because its colonists were attracted by the good defensive potential of the rocky cape. Today's colonists are attracted by its beaches and discos, because Side is swamped by mass tourism. But fortunately this has not smothered the grandeur of its monuments and buildings. From the city gate a colonnaded street runs down to the agora, the site of Side's 2nd-century slave market. Opposite the agora is the site of the Roman baths, now home to a museum. It has a very pleasing cross-section of locally unearthed objects, Roman statuary, reliefs and sarcophagi. Most of the statues are headless, decapitated in an outbreak of religious zeal during the early days of Christianity.

From notes by Jacqueline de Gier for her article 'A spectacular point of view', Cornucopia 23

 

A package-holiday favourite 75km east of Antalya on the sea side of Manavgat, Side has beaches to left and right of the old town, which was built around the Greco-Roman city that sticks out like a thumb and ends in a harbour with remains of ancient jetties. A stroll around this former pirates' and slave-trading port overlooking the Gulf of Antalya can take in temples to Athena and Apollo, a large theatre, agora and Roman baths, which were all recorded by Francis Beaufort in his epic 1812 survey (Cornucopia 27). The city walls were entered through a monumental arch built for Emperor Vespasian and there are the remains of Roman shops in its colonnaded main street. A small museum has a collection of sculpture.

A 30km aqueduct leads towards a waterfall on the Manavgat river, upstream of the town of the same name: boat trips go all the way and there is always trout on the restaurant menus.

What you will see

Side, a favourite hangout for Cleopatra and Antony, means pomegranate in an ancient Anatolian dialect. It was founded in the 7th century BC because its colonists were attracted by the good defensive potential of the rocky cape. Today’s colonists are attracted by its beaches and discos, because Side is swamped by mass tourism. But fortunately this has not smothered the grandeur of its monuments and buildings. From the city gate a colonnaded street runs down to the agora, the site of Side’s 2nd-century slave market. Opposite the agora is the site of the Roman baths, now home to a museum. It has a very pleasing cross-section of locally unearthed objects, Roman statuary, reliefs and sarcophagi. Most of the statues are headless, decapitated in an outbreak of religious zeal during the early days of Christianity.

*From notes by Jacqueline de Gier for her article ‘A spectacular point of view’, Cornucopia 23