In our “Ancient Cities in Alanya” blogpost, we have explained in detail the early settlements in Alanya. However, there are many more settlements from the Roman and Seljuk Periods among the historical sites of Alanya. In this blogpost, we have compiled the historical places that should be visited in Alanya for you and emphasized their best features. Let's take a quick look!
Alanya Castle is undoubtedly one of the places to visit in Alanya. Even if you have never been to Alanya, we are sure that you have heard of its name. Wondering what makes Alanya Castle so famous?
Alanya Castle was built in the 13th century by the Seljuk Emperor Alaeddin Keykubat I. This huge structure, which was built on an area of approximately 10 hectares, was built to protect the peninsula from sea attacks. That’s why its walls cover almost the whole Alanya.
Parts of Alanya Castle that still survive today:
Part of the city walls
Tophane (armory part)
We recommend that you visit Alanya Castle, as it is one of the important structures of Anatolian Turkish and Ottoman history, and experience watching the sunset from its walls. You can also consider visiting the traditional weaving looms around the castle, which is also very close to Hotel Villa Turka, and buying a few souvenirs for your loved ones.
For more information about the history of the castle, you can read the blogpost called Alanya Castle: The History and Features.
Alara Han (Caravanserai)
Another important structure built by the Anatolian Seljuk emperor Alaeddin Keykubad I is the Alara Han, one of the important caravanserais of the period. This magnificent work, built in the 13th century, was the first accommodation place on the Alanya-Konya caravan route of that period. The caravanserai, which was built on a total area of 2000 m2, stands out especially with its architectural features.
Alara Han, which also has the distinction of being the largest caravanserai in the region, was built entirely with big traditional stones and its craftsmanship remains fascinating. If you visit Alara Han, we are sure that you will be surprised by the fact that its interior structures and façade remain intact until today.
We recommend that you visit the Alara Han before or after your Alanya Castle tour because it is only 800 meters away from the castle.
Alanya Shipyard and Tophane (Armory)
Alanya shipyard has a special importance for the Seljuk State because Alaeddin Keykubat I, who had the Sinop shipyard built before, acquired the title of "Sultan of the two seas" after this structure. Alanya shipyard and the 5 arches of the structure, completed in 1229, clearly demonstrates the architectural understanding of the period.
The structure, which was built for defense purposes just above the shipyard, is also one of the tourist attractions known as Alanya Tophane today. Tophane, which was used to mold cannons for ships in its period, is frequently visited today because of its fascinating scenery.
However, if you want to visit Alanya Shipyard and Tophane, we definitely recommend that you swim from the small beach around the corner to the shipyard in the evening and take a look at the view from there. The local people of Alanya know that the most magnificent view of Alanya Shipyard is the one you see from the sea, what we mean is when you look face to face. Don't forget to add this experience to your What to Do in Alanya list.
Alanya Archeology Museum
At a list about Alanya historical places, Alanya Archeology Museum should be mentioned because the museum is getting richer day by day due to the intense archeology studies in the region.
Alanya Archeology Museum does not only contain artifacts from the Islamic period. It is home to a wide range of works from the first ages to the Roman-Byzantine Period and the Ottoman Empire. The museum consists of 3 sections:
stone artifacts belonging to the Roman-Byzantine period in the garden
century-old artifacts collected in the ancient cities in the archeology section
a collection exhibiting the historical and cultural structure of Alanya in the ethnography section
PS: The most striking work of the museum, the famous statue of Herakles (2nd AD century) is exhibited in the archeology section.
We have already mentioned that it is possible to come across iconic works from many periods of history in Alanya. One of the biggest examples of this fact is the Alanya Lighthouse. A 20th century French structure in Alanya surrounded by Roman-Byzantine ruins and Islamic influences!
The lighthouse was built according to the European architectural understanding of the period. Today, it is the view that attracts thousands of visitors. If you wish, you can also take a short break at Alanya Lighthouse to take photos or have a cold drink while watching the famous scenery.
Alanya Sinek Castle
Although it did not get the fame it deserves, there is another historically important castle in Alanya: Sinek Castle. Sinek Castle, which is generally known by photographers in Alanya and does not attract many tourists, is actually a structure that has become the subject of legends because it is gifted by Roman General Antonius to Cleopatra as a wedding gift.
The giant walls of the magnificent building, where you can trace the influences of the Hellenistic Period, have also survived to the present day. If you are interested in photography and nature walks as well as history, you should dedicate a whole day to Sinek Castle because we are sure that you won't be bored.
If you feel full of culture with Alanya historical tours and a bit overwhelmed by the heat, you should definitely take a look at our The Best Alanya Beaches blogpost. We hope that you will definitely discover the lesser-known beaches and a quiet place to relax.