Hıdırlık Kulesi, Antalya, Turkey

Antalya‘s Hıdırlık Kulesi is a landmark tower of tawny stone where Kaleiçi (Old Antalya) meets Karaalioğlu Parkı(map).

The 14-meter-high tower, set in a small park, overlooks the falez (cliffs) of Antalya, and the Roman (Yacht) Harbor. Its foundations are said to date from the 1st or 2nd century AD/CE.

Its purpose is something of a mystery. The common belief is that it was built as a tomb for a great leader. Bits of fresco within encourage this conjecture. To the left and right of the portal are 12 axe-like motifs cut into the stone (six on each side), which indicate the importance of the person entombed.

Hıdırlık Kulesi Portal, Antalya, Turkey

But its situation is perfect to serve as a lighthouse or signal tower or lookout for ships in Antalya’s ever-important harbor, and apparently the Romans used it for that purpose. It may also have been a church for a time.

Its purpose today is to stand there, where it has for two millennia, and look picturesque, anchoring the western extremity of Karaalioğlu Park, and providing a goal for strollers and fine views—especially at sunset—over the Gulf of Antalya.

Hıdırlık Kulesi, Antalya, Turkey

This is a fine place to stop for a drink, a snack or a meal.

A number of Kaleiçi‘s small pensions and boutique hotels/inns are just a few steps from the Hıdırlık Kulesialong the southern end of Hesapçı Sokak (map).

—by Tom Brosnahan


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