The Antalya Region, offering all the mysticism of past in our day, is now called the "Turkish Riviera" due to its archaeological and natural beauties. Antalya is the place where sea, sun, history, and nature constitute a perfect harmony, and which also includes the most beautiful and clearest coast along the Mediterranean. The city still preserves its importance as a center throughout history in the south coast of the country, in addition to its wonderful natural beauties. The mythological city which housed the Gods and Goddesses now exhibits all its secrets and marvels to mankind.
Antalya is in the west of the Mediterranean region. In ancient times it covered all Pamphylia which means "the land of all tribes". The land really deserves the name since it has witnessed many successive civilizations throughout history. In 1st century BC the Pergamum king Attalus ordered his men to find the most beautiful piece of land on earth; he wanted them to find "heaven on earth". After a long search all over the world, they discovered this land and said, "This must be 'Heaven' " and King Attalus founded the city giving it the name "Attaleia". From then on, many nations kept their eyes on the city. When the Romans took over the Pergamene Kingdom, Attaleia became an outstanding Roman city which the great Roman Emperor Hadrian visited in 130 AD; an arch was built in his honor which is now worth seeing. Then came the Byzantines, after which the Seljuk Turks took over the city in 1207 and gave it a different name, Adalya, and built the Yivli Minaret. The Ottomans followed the Seljuks and finally within the Turkish Republic it became a Turkish city and an important port. Antalya has been growing rapidly since 1960 and its population is 1,146,109 according to the 1990 census.
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