Side

Side is an ancient Greek city on the southern Mediterranean coast of Turkey, a resort town and one of the best-known classical sites in the country. It lies near Manavgat and the village of Selimiye, 78 km from Antalya in the province of Antalya.

The great ruins are among the most notable in Asia Minor. They cover a large promontory where a wall and a moat separate it from the mainland.There are colossal ruins of a theatre complex, the largest of Pamphylia, built much like a Roman amphitheatre that relies on arches to support the sheer verticals. The theatre is less preserved than the theatre at Aspendos, but it is almost as large. With time and the shifting of the earth, the scena wall has collapsed over the stage and the proscenium is in a cataract of loose blocks. It was converted into an open-air sanctuary with two chapels during Byzantine times (5th or 6th century).

The well-preserved city walls provide an entrance to the site through the main gate of the ancient city, although this gate from the 2nd century BC is badly damaged. Next comes the colonnaded street, whose marble columns are no longer extant; all that remains are a few broken stubs near the old Roman baths. The street leads to the a public bath, restored as a museum displaying statues and sarcophagi from the Roman period. Next is the square agora with the remains of the round Tyche and Fortuna temple, a periptery with twelve columns, in the middle. In later times it was used as a trading centre where pirates sold slaves. The remains of the theatre, which was used for gladiator fights and later as a church, and the monumental gate date back to the 2nd century. The early Roman Temple of Dionysus is near the theatre. The fountain gracing the entrance is restored. At the left side are the remains of a Byzantine Basilica, a public bath has also been restored.The remaining ruins of Side include three temples, an aqueduct, and a nymphaeum. Side's nymphaeum – a grotto with a natural water supply dedicated to the nymphs – was an artificial grotto or fountain building of elaborate design.

There is also a virtually unknown, but expansive site, up in the Taurus foothills several miles inland, known locally as Seleucia. Virtually unknown to the outside world and not represented on the internet at all, it is the Roman garrison, built by Marc Anthony, to support the city of Side. It covers at least a couple of square miles and is almost completely unexcavated. The site was finally abandoned in the 7th century. Many of the buildings are in remarkably good shape. Turkish archaeologists have been excavating Side since 1947 and intermittently continue to do so.

Today, Side has become a popular holiday destination and experiences a new revival.