Also known as Old Antalya, the small historic section called Kaleiçi (KAH-leh-ee-chee) at the center of the sprawling modern city of Antalya (map) was the Romantown, then the Byzantine, then the Seljuk Turkish, and finally the Ottoman Turkish town.
The huge, modern city of Antalya didn’t really start to appear until after World War II.
Until then, Kaleiçi was Antalya, with its massive stone walls, meandering streets, and picturesque old houses built so close they often overshadow the narrow lanes.
|The landmark stone tower atKalekapısı,
the very center of Antalya.
Kaleiçi is where I always stay when I visit Antalya. Its many charming small boutique hotels, inns and pensions offer comfortable, even luxurious accommodations and fine dining in an old-time atmosphere. I much prefer them to the large beach hotels that populate Konyaalti and Larabeaches.
Kaleiçi surrounded and protected the old Roman harbor, which was Antalya’s reason for being: even in Romantimes, this was the outlet for the produce of the rich alluvial plain that stretches east from the city beneath the southern slopes of the Taurus Mountains.
Today Kaleiçi is a protected district, with preservation of historic buildings required, and strict regulations on any new building. You will see some fairly ugly modern buildings in Kaleiçi, but they are being eliminated as the possibilities arise.
|What to See & Do|