Last Updated on August 10, 2023 by Aydoğan Aknar
The ancient city of Syedra. Discover Alanya’s rich history and breath-taking landmarks.
If you’re an avid history enthusiast or simply love exploring ancient ruins, then Syedra should undoubtedly be on your bucket list. Tucked away in the serene village of Seki, just 23 km east of Alanya, lies the captivating ancient city of Syedra. That is offering a glimpse into the rich tapestry of Roman civilization.
Syedra boasts an awe-inspiring heritage that spans millennia. Its origins trace back to the 7th century BC, and the city thrived until the 13th century AD. The zenith of Syedra’s glory was witnessed during the 2nd and 3rd centuries, when it flourished with a vibrant population of over 4,000 inhabitants.
As you wander through the remnants of this remarkable Roman settlement, you’ll be transported back in time. The site is adorned with numerous well-preserved ruins, each echoing a story of its own. The most prominent among them are the grand rows of plastered cisterns, ingeniously supplied by a natural water source. An enchanting baptismal cave and the remains of a splendid bath with mosaic flooring exude echoes of the city’s past opulence.
The vestiges of a gymnasium, a colonnaded street with shops, a temple, and a theater. All this evoke the vibrant social life that once thrived in Syedra. Furthermore, the presence of churches, administrative buildings, an acropolis, and a necropolis illustrates the depth of the city’s cultural and religious significance.
One of the highlights of Syedra is the imposing monumental gate that still stands proudly.
Archaeological excavations, initiated in 1994 under the Alanya Museum’s guidance, have unearthed a treasure trove of historical wonders. The main street in the upper part of the city was revealed, and various structures, including a temple, a theater, shops, baths, city walls, and cisterns, have been brought to light. In a remarkable discovery, underwater research conducted by archaeologists in 2011 revealed relics dating back to the Bronze Age, nearly 5,000 years ago.
Getting to Syedra is a delightful journey in itself.
By car, you can follow the Alanya-Mersin highway and turn towards Seki Village after passing Kargıcak. For those who prefer public transportation, taking the Alanya-Gazipaşa bus and alighting at Seki Village is a convenient option.
Syedra warmly welcomes visitors every day, except Mondays, with varying visiting hours according to the season.
During summer, you can explore the site from 08:30 AM to 07:00 PM. While in winter, the site is open from 08:30 AM to 05:30 PM. The best part is that there’s no entrance fee, making it an accessible and enriching experience for all history enthusiasts.
In conclusion, Syedra stands as a remarkable testament to the grandeur of ancient Roman civilization. It invites travellers to immerse themselves in its captivating history. As you wander through the remnants of this bygone era, you’ll be captivated by the stories etched into each stone. So, whether you’re an explorer at heart or a history aficionado. Syedra promises an unforgettable journe, leaving you in awe of the enduring legacy of this ancient city.