Historical Ruins of Alanya: Uncover the Traces of the Past

Historical Ruins of Alanya: Uncover the Traces of the Past

  1. Alanya Castle: Discover the rich history, architectural features, and strategic importance of Alanya Castle, an iconic landmark that offers panoramic views of the city and the Mediterranean Sea.

  2. Red Tower: Learn about the construction techniques, purpose, and legends associated with the Red Tower, a distinctive defensive structure that guards the harbor and stands as a symbol of Alanya.

  3. Alanya Shipyard: Explore the ancient shipyard and delve into the maritime history of Alanya, where ships were built and repaired during the Seljuk and Ottoman periods.

  4. Alara Fortress: Venture outside the city to visit the imposing Alara Fortress, known for its impressive walls, towers, and breathtaking views. Discover the fortress’s military significance and its role in protecting the region.

  5. Syedra Ancient City: Step into the hidden gem of Syedra Ancient City, nestled among pine forests, and explore its well-preserved ruins, including Roman baths, a theater, and ancient streets.

  6. Selinus Ancient City: Uncover the layers of history in Selinus Ancient City, from its Roman origins to later Byzantine and Ottoman influences. Explore its temples, agora, and theater, and appreciate the architectural remnants of past civilizations.

  7. Lesser-Known Ruins: Discover the lesser-known ruins scattered throughout Alanya, such as Ehmedek Ruins and Tersane Ruins. These sites offer unique insights into the city’s history and provide a quieter, off-the-beaten-path experience.


Alanya Castle

Perched atop a rocky peninsula, the Alanya Castle stands as a magnificent sentinel overlooking the city and the azure waters of the Mediterranean Sea. This iconic fortress, a harmonious blend of human artistry and natural beauty, carries within its walls tales of historical grandeur and strategic mastery. Let us journey into the heart of Alanya’s history and unravel the magic that is Alanya Castle.

Historical Tapestry

The roots of Alanya Castle trace back to the Hellenistic period, but it was during the 13th century, under the Seljuk Sultanate, that the castle experienced significant expansion and fortification. The castle’s design merges military, domestic, and religious structures, offering a unique glimpse into the lives and practices of its past inhabitants.

Architectural Marvel

The castle, encompassing an area of 6.5 hectares, boasts an impressive structure with 140 towers punctuating its 6.5 km-long defensive walls. The octagonal Red Tower, standing 33 meters tall, is the castle’s most notable architectural feature. Constructed in 1226, the Red Tower served as the castle’s stronghold, providing an unobstructed view of the harbor and sea, crucial for defense.

Inside the castle’s protective embrace, one can find the remnants of numerous churches, a Byzantine monastery, baths, cisterns, and the palace of Alaeddin Keykubad, each echoing the aesthetic and functional aspects of the era’s architecture.

Strategic Importance

Alanya Castle’s strategic position, coupled with its robust fortification, made it a crucial naval base during the Seljuk era, controlling the trade routes in the eastern Mediterranean. The castle’s high vantage point offered a strategic advantage, enabling the detection of approaching enemy ships and providing a first line of defense for the city of Alanya.

A Spectacular Vista

Today, Alanya Castle serves as an open-air museum, offering visitors an immersive historical experience and a panoramic view of the city, the Mediterranean Sea, and the Taurus mountains. As the sun sets and the city lights twinkle below, the castle presents a breathtaking spectacle, captivating visitors and locals alike.


Alanya Castle is more than a mere historical monument. It is a testament to Alanya’s rich historical tapestry, its strategic importance, and architectural prowess. As you traverse its ancient walls and admire the stunning vistas, you’re taken on a journey – a journey that intertwines the past with the present, the man-made with the natural, creating an experience that is uniquely Alanya.


Red Tower or Kızıl Kule

Overlooking the tranquil harbor of Alanya, the Red Tower or Kızıl Kule, an octagonal marvel of Seljuk architecture, has been standing guard for nearly eight centuries. This distinct crimson-hued edifice is not merely a defensive structure but a symbol of Alanya’s historical richness. Come, let’s delve into the construction techniques, the purposes it served, and the captivating legends associated with the Red Tower.

Architectural Ingenuity

Constructed in 1226 by the Seljuk Sultan, Alaeddin Keykubad I, the Red Tower gets its characteristic color from the red bricks used in its outer facade. This five-story structure reaches a height of 33 meters, with each floor distinguished by a distinctive architectural design.

The building techniques utilized in its construction demonstrate a fascinating blend of Byzantine and Seljuk architectural styles. One of the highlights includes the intricate archways and the decorative inscriptions in Arabic, which beautifully decorate the tower’s interior.

Guarding the Harbor

The primary purpose of the Red Tower was to safeguard the harbor and the shipyard, serving as a watchtower against potential threats from the sea. Its strategic location provided an unobstructed view of the surrounding sea, and its high vantage point ensured any approaching naval force could be spotted in time. Over the centuries, the tower’s protective presence played a vital role in Alanya’s maritime security.

The Legends of the Red Tower

Beyond its architectural grandeur and strategic function, the Red Tower is wrapped in intriguing legends that add to its allure. One such legend speaks of a jealous Sultan who locked his beloved daughter in the tower to keep her away from prying eyes. Another tale describes the tower as a haven for pirates and their looted treasures.

While these legends add a dash of mystery and romance to the Red Tower, its actual historical and architectural significance far surpasses the realm of folklore.


The Red Tower, with its crimson silhouette against the azure backdrop of the Mediterranean, serves as a vivid reminder of Alanya’s historical narrative. It represents an era of architectural innovation, strategic foresight, and cultural richness. As you explore its age-old arches, gaze at the endless sea from its height, or simply admire its


Alanya Shipyard: An Anchor to the Maritime History of the Seljuk and Ottoman Era

Resting in the shadow of the towering Red Tower, the Alanya Shipyard, or ‘Tersane’ in Turkish, offers a fascinating insight into the city’s maritime past. One of the oldest shipyards in the world, it remains a significant anchor to the shipbuilding and repair traditions during the Seljuk and Ottoman periods.

The Historical Edifice

Established in 1228 under the reign of Seljuk Sultan Alaaddin Keykubad I, the Alanya Shipyard was a critical component of the city’s naval strength. Spanning nearly 56.5 meters, the shipyard consisted of five docks where ship construction and repair work took place.

An inscription above the entrance portal provides crucial historical information, while the numerous rooms adjoining the docks served as storage spaces for materials and naval supplies. Its strategic location, adjacent to the Red Tower, meant the shipyard was always under protective watch, adding to the city’s overall maritime defense strategy.

The Maritime Legacy

The Alanya Shipyard wasn’t merely a site of industrial activity; it was a testament to the advanced maritime technology of the Seljuk and later Ottoman era. Here, naval engineers and shipbuilders worked diligently, constructing vessels capable of voyaging across the Mediterranean. These ships, ranging from trade galleys to warships, significantly contributed to the expansion and defense of the Seljuk and Ottoman territories.

The shipyard also played a vital role in facilitating trade and fostering connections with other regions around the Mediterranean, thus propelling Alanya’s economic and cultural growth.

The Shipyard Today

Today, the Alanya Shipyard stands as an open-air museum, inviting visitors to explore its ancient docks, witness the Seljuk inscriptions, and imagine the bustling activity of the past. Standing within the shipyard’s stone archways, one can almost hear the echo of hammer on wood, feel the industrious spirit, and appreciate the seafaring legacy that has shaped Alanya’s history.


The Alanya Shipyard is an enduring symbol of Alanya’s rich maritime past. It stands as a testament to the city’s strategic importance during the Seljuk and Ottoman periods, its technological advancements in shipbuilding, and its robust naval defense system. As you walk through its ancient archways, remember, you are tracing the footsteps of shipbuilders and sailors who once stood at the heart of Alanya’s maritime history.


Story of alanya 🙂

There is a well-known story of Mevlana, the esteemed Persian poet, and Islamic scholar. Mevlana was once walking through the marketplace when he heard the rhythmic hammering of the goldbeaters. The rhythm reminded him of the phrase, “There is no god but Allah”, and he began to spin in a circle, in a spiritual trance. His spinning dance inspired what we now know as the Sema ceremony of the Whirling Dervishes, a spiritual journey aiming for a state of perfection, a union with the divine.

The town of Alanya, nestled on the southern coast of Turkey, is like a whirling dervish. It has spun gracefully through time, balancing the rhythm of the past with the beats of the present, turning its gaze inward to its historical core while spreading its arms wide to embrace the vibrant winds of modernity.

Alanya was once a bastion of the Seljuk Sultanate, a stronghold against invading crusaders, and a beacon of Islamic scholarship. It was during this era that the Seljuks built the iconic Red Tower and Alanya Castle, solidifying the town’s importance and demonstrating their architectural prowess. These structures, like the steady rhythm of the goldbeaters’ hammer, symbolized Alanya’s steadfast commitment to its heritage and faith.

As time spun on, Alanya did not resist the pull of modernity. Just like a whirling dervish continuously spinning yet remaining in control, Alanya began to transform. It embraced tourism, developed infrastructure, and welcomed visitors from around the globe. The town’s pristine beaches, crystal-clear waters, and warm climate made it a coveted Mediterranean destination. Yet, amidst this whirlwind of development, Alanya never lost its grip on its historical and cultural roots.

Today, Alanya is a town that offers a captivating performance, a dance between the traditional and the contemporary. It spins harmoniously, balancing the rhythmic beats of its historic past with the pulsating rhythm of the present. Walking through the narrow streets of the old town, one can hear echoes of the past reverberating off the ancient stone walls. Yet, a short stroll away, modern restaurants, boutiques, and lively beach clubs reflect the town’s dynamic present.

Mevlana’s Whirling Dervishes teach us about spiritual enlightenment through a harmonious dance, a balance between earthly existence and divine love. Alanya, in a similar vein, presents a beautiful spectacle of balance – a dance between preserving its rich history and embracing the new beats of the present, between maintaining its unique identity and welcoming global influences.

Just like the Whirling Dervishes, Alanya continues to spin, evolve, and grow – remaining a vibrant town that expertly weaves together the threads of tradition and modernity. As Mevlana once said, “In the blackest of your moments, wait with no fear”, and indeed, Alanya has shown that through resilience and balance, it can gracefully whirl through time, celebrating both its past and present with an unwavering spirit.



Alanya – mediterranean region


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