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Ruins Of Side

The Walls: Although largely in ruins, the walls show Hellenistic. Roman and Byzantine features. Those sections which are towards the land are almost intact, while those along the sea have lost much of their original character owing to many repairs that they have undergone through the centuries. The land walls which are built of conglomerate stone were fortified with equally spaced square and round towers and fortresses (a). When threatened with war and invasion in the lllrd century the city felt the necessity of having Its defences improved, and new walls were built. Some additions were also made to the existing walls at that time.

The Main Gate of the City: The main gate of the city which was unearthed during- recent excavations, is. between two towers rounded on the outside, in front of a semi-circular courtyard, through which there is a door leading to the city. The Gate was built during the first half of the lllrd century, a memorial with marble covered walls with niches for statues in them. Statues discovered in excavations made here show that the gate was once very richly decorated. These statues can now be seen In the Side Museum.

The Mam streets: Going through the Main Gate one reaches a spacious square paved with flot stones. This Is the starting point of the city’s two main streets. Street (C) extends In a southwesterly direction and passes by the Theater. It is 880 metres long. The second street (D) which is 350 meters long extends towards the south. These two streets have a middle section 9-11 metres wide and porticoed galleries on both sides, The columns here have Corinthian capitals Subterranean canals pass under these streets.

The Fountain-Nymphaeum: Outside the city walls and facing the Main Gate is the most impressive fountain (Nymphaeum) of Anatolia. There were three large niches with statues In the niches down to the pool. Pieces of sculpture seen in and around the pool belong to the ornamental decorations of the facade. There were tops in the frontpart or the pool, and reliefs illustrating incidents in the lives of the gods.

The Dwellings: Walking along the track which follows what was once street C you will come to two private dwellings on the left which hove been unearthed during recent excavations. Separated by a narrow paved street they have a courtyard in the middle and □ number of rooms surrounding it. The courtyards of these houses are poved with marble blocks. There is a cistern and a weli in the courtyard of each of these houses. The floors of some of the rooms of these houses are covered with mosaics with geometric designs. Partly of Hellenistic origin, these houses must have undergone considerable alterations through the centuries. As they stand now, they resemble buildings of the Vth century A.D.

The Agora: Continuing along the street, after visiting the dwellings, we reach, through an entrance, the Agora, which is the city’s market place. The Agora which is surrounded by porticoes, has shops on three sides. In the center of the Agora are the remains of a round marble building which wos a temple dedicated to the worship of the Goddess Tykhe. This building consisted of a cello, a gallery supported by 12 columns in the corinthion style, and a twelve-sided pyramidal dome.

There is a monument in the north-western corner of the Agora. This monument which has o large semicircular niche oh the facade was an exedra for certain statues,. Beside the exedra are several shops, the facades of which were covered with marble at a later period. At the south-western corner of the Agora, which is behind the Theater, there is a large building with marble covered walls, a fountain on the facade, and a semi-circular gallery within. This building is believed to be a public lavatory.

The State Agora: Following the street to the south of the Agora, and passing the cross-roads further on, one comes to a lorge courtyard surrounded with porticoes on four sides, and a building located in the eastern part of this courtyard. Consisting of three sections, only two sections of this building have so far been unearthed. The central section was very richly decorated; many statues were placed in niches in the walls and between columns standing in front of them. The statue of a Nemesis can be seen in its original place, while statues of Zeus, Ares, Heracles, Aesculapius, Hygisla, and Nike, which were the leading deities of the city have been moved to the ioca! museum. In the south part of the hall, there are large cells with arched roofs and two rows of columns in the middle.

The building is believed to hove been a State Agora, with a central hall reserved for imperial worship, and side rooms used for archives. A staute of an emperor clad in ormour was found in the central hall.

The Second City Gate: Turning towards the market place and following the main street towards the south there is a monumental % archway, which once supported the statue of an emperor standing in a carriage drawn by four horses. This archway was built during the Roman period. Through this triumphal arch, there Is a Byzantine fountain on the right, and the Theater on the left, which is the largest building in Side.

The Theater:  The Side Theater differs from other pamphylian theatres such as those of Termessos, Eylleum, Perge and Aspendos, in that it was not built on a slope of a hill, but on a ievel ground. Consisting of seats, an orchestra, and a stage building, this Is the largest of the Pamphylian theaters. The tiers of seats which are divided into two by a wide horizontal passage, rest on arches. In the lower section there are 29 steps, In the upper section which Is reached by means of stairs going through the walls, there are 28 steps. This theater was capable of holding 30,000 spectators.

The stage building which is at present In a ruined condition, Is bjlieved, from pieces fallen in the debris, to hove been richiy ornamented like that of Aspendos. The Theater was divided into two by a wall which was probably built through the stage-building at a time when the city was under invasion during the IV th century.

The Temple: After visiting the theater, continue along the street going towards the sea, to a temple with a semicircular cella, in a small square. Resting on’a foundation 13 meters X 3 meters (a podium), this building has stairs leading to an ornamental gallery on the top As the statue of the goddess to whom it belonged was lost during the Byzantine period, we do not know to which deity it had originally belonged. The general characteristics of its decorative styles, however, indicate that it may have been a llnd century A.D. building. Originally built on the shore, it is today some short distance from the sea owing to the accumulation of sand.

The Temples of Athena and Apollo: There are two Roman temples found side by side in an excavation made about 100 meters to the west of the above-mentioned temple. It is likely that one of these is dedicated to the worship of Athena, the chief deity of the city of Side, and the other to Apollo. Rectangular in general layout they have six Corinthian columns on each shorter side, and eleven on each longer side. Among the fallen architectural pieces are friezes with Medusa heads, and cymatia with lion-head designs.

Aqueducts: Side’s water supply is, from the source of the Manavgat stream where there is a 30 kms. long system of canals carrying water to the city over hills and rocky slopes. There are, in this water-carrying system, about ten aqueducts, some being two-storied. The largest of these aqueducts, which has 40 arches, is near the village of Homa. We do not know by whom this water system was built. We do, however, know that it was repaired in the lllrd century by Bryanianus Lollianus, and Ouirinia Patra.

The Mausoleum: There are spacious cemeteries outside the walls surrounding Side, These were called ‘necropolis1 by the Greeks. A large mausoleum has been discovered during excavations at the Western Necropolis, about 1,5 kms. from the city. This building which is worth seeing is reached by following the beach to the west of the city. This mausoleum is built on a podium reached by stairs, and is surrounded on three sides with a courtyard with porticoes once covered with domes. The interior and exterior of the walls are covered with marble. There were also sarcophagi in arched niches. This mausoleum was built in the lllrd century A;D. as a burial place for a rich family. The fact that it was buiit in the form of a tempte (Heroon) suggests that it was the center of a cuit. The building has suffered considerable damage through centuries, particularly at the hands of the Byzantines.

The Museum: Most of the finds in various excavations carried out in Side are put in the museum in the village. There are two large sarcophagi decorated with various figures and designs in the middle of the hall. These were probably made in Athens in the iind and lifrd centuries. The round funerary altar between the sarcophagi Is a 1st century A.D. work, and the head on it dates from the lilrd century A.D. Most of the statues along the walls have been found in the State Agora, and in the courtyard of the City Gate, and they are Roman copies of. Greek originals. The head of a young man on the walls is particularly interesting.

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