33. Alanya: A City of History, Culture, and Natural Beauty

Alanya City History

Nestled on the southern coast of Turkey, Alanya stands as a captivating city that seamlessly weaves together a rich tapestry of history, culture, and natural beauty. This coastal gem has witnessed the ebb and flow of civilizations, leaving behind a legacy that beckons visitors to explore its diverse heritage.

Ancient Roots:

Alanya’s history dates back thousands of years, with evidence of human habitation as far back as the Paleolithic era. The city’s strategic location along the Mediterranean coast made it a prized possession for various ancient civilizations, including the Hittites, Phoenicians, and Persians. However, it was the Seleucids who founded the city and named it “Coracesium.”

Roman and Byzantine Periods:

The Romans conquered Coracesium in the 2nd century BCE, marking the beginning of a new era for the city. Under Roman rule, it flourished as a bustling port town, contributing to trade and commerce in the region. The city’s prominence continued during the Byzantine Empire, which left its mark on it through the construction of impressive fortifications.

Seljuk Sultanate:

In the 13th century, the city gained prominence under the Seljuk Sultanate of Rum. The iconic Red Tower, a symbol of Alanya city, was built during this period as part of the city’s fortifications. The Seljuks’ influence on the architecture and culture of Alanya city is still visible today, as the city boasts a unique blend of Seljuk and Byzantine elements.

Cleopatra’s Beach:

One of Alanya’s most famous attractions is Cleopatra’s Beach, a stretch of golden sand that whispers tales of a romantic past. According to legend, the Egyptian queen Cleopatra and her lover Mark Antony enjoyed this pristine beach during their time together. Whether myth or reality, Cleopatra’s Beach captivates visitors with its crystal-clear waters and breathtaking views, inviting them to relax in the footsteps of ancient royalty.

Alanya Castle:

Perched on a rocky promontory overlooking the city and the Mediterranean Sea, Alanya Castle is a testament to the city’s strategic importance throughout history. The castle’s construction began during the Seljuk period, and it was later expanded and fortified by the Ottomans. The castle complex includes impressive towers, walls, and a majestic keep. Exploring the castle offers panoramic views of Alanya and the surrounding coastline, providing a glimpse into the city’s past.

The Age of Pirates:

The city became a notorious haunt for pirates during the 14th and 15th centuries. The city’s strategic location and well-fortified castle made it an attractive base for marauders looking to control trade routes. The most famous pirate associated with Alanya is Kızıl Kule (Redbeard), who used the city as a base for his maritime exploits.

Ottoman Empire:

The Ottoman Empire eventually seized control of this city in the late 15th century, and the city became an integral part of the Ottoman realm for centuries. The Ottomans continued to enhance the city’s fortifications, contributing to Alanya’s enduring legacy as a stronghold along the Mediterranean.

Modern Era:

This city witnessed various changes during the 20th century, as Turkey underwent a transformation into a modern republic. The city’s economy diversified, with tourism emerging as a key driver. Today, this city attracts visitors and tourists with its pristine beaches, vibrant nightlife, and a fascinating blend of historical sites.


Alanya’s history is a captivating journey through the ages, where each civilization has left its mark on the city’s landscape and culture. As visitors explore its ancient fortifications, wander through the cobbled streets, relax on Cleopatra’s Beach, and marvel at the panoramic views from Alanya Castle, they become part of the ongoing story of Alanya—a city that embraces its past while looking towards a promising future.