Hadrian's Gate is a historical arch not unlike that of Arc de Triomphe. However, instead of being built to commemorate the soldiers who fought in the Napoleonic war and the French Revolutionary war, Hadrian's Gate was built to commemorate one Emperor Hadrian's visit to the land that is now called Turkey. While it once stood grand, the gate is now a shadow of its former self. Still the gate stood tall, resisting the call of time and the hands of humanity.
Hadrian's Gate Tour: What You Should Know about Hadrian's Gate and its Attractions
1. The Gate's Southern Tower
This tower is one of the two towers around the gate. You might wonder how towers can get interesting, but there is something that is needed to be said: this tower is pretty much a good place to get your daily dose of history. The Southern Tower, being one of the two towers, has a rich history to it. This tower was built somewhere around the time when the Romans were still here. This tower is a proof of Roman's presence in the city. It tells of an interesting story for those curious about Eastern Rome, and it might shed some light on why the Turks and the Byzantines fought over the slab of land that would be Turkey. The tower also got a nickname, which is the Tower of Julia Sancta. The name is definitely a proof of the tower's Roman origin.
2. The Gate's Northern Tower
While the Gate's southern tower was built by the Eastern Romans, the northern tower was built by the Turks during the reign of Sultan Alaeddin Keykubat the first. This tower, obviously, is much more Islamic in origin. It got inscriptions that are written in Arabic, so one might not understand what is written on it. One thing that can be said is that this tower was built as a proof of Turkish authority over Antalya. It was probably built to rival the Eastern Romans' southern tower, a show of power by the Turks, indicating that they would not submit to the more Catholic Romans. Religious power-showing was much more common in the past, after all.
3. The Town of Kaleici
The town got its own Turkish name and pronunciation, but it is internationally known as the town of Kaleici. Between the two, you will find buildings of many origins. Filled with history, you can find buildings dating from the era of the Romans, the Byzantines, the Ottomans, and even buildings from the Turkish Republic. While it is technically not something that you can find in Hadrian's Gate, it is only a stone throw from it. In fact, the Gate was built as the entrance to the city, meaning you will immediately be thrown into the city's vicinity when you see the gate. Located in the eastern part of the city, the city sits along the coast that houses the yacht harbour.
4. The Yacht Harbour
Speaking of the Yacht Harbour, the place is also a good place for you to visit. It may look like any harbour you can find in the world, but what makes this harbour interesting is its construction date. The harbour is not just any ordinary harbour because it has stood since the Romans ruled the place. There is history to be uncovered within the harbour, and those with a thirst for it will surely have said thirst quenched.
5. The Gate's Entablature
The term entablature might not be very common in the ears of a commoner, but historians will certainly know of them. Hadrian's Gate entablature, while they may speak of nonsense to those who are ignorant of history, can tell many stories for those with an ear for history. Spanning both sides of the gate, the entablature is a proof of why Roman architecture was hailed as the best architecture back then.
6. The Barrel Vault
Barrel vaults are like the bread of butter of Roman's architecture, and you can certainly find something like it in a travel itinerary made by travel agencies who conduct a Hadrian's Gate tour. Emblazoned by floral motifs, the vault is definitely a sight for sore eyes.
How to Get Tickets?
There are no entrance fees whatsoever, so you can travel to this place with a light wallet. Unless you count toilet keepers fee as an entrance fee, then you do not need to pay for anything.
How To Get Around?
On foot. The gate and its adjacent attractions are all designed for foot travel. By walking, you can also enjoy the sights that the gate and Kaleici have.
What Should I Wear?
While Turkey is a country with Islam as the biggest religion, the people of Turkey are a bit more secular than many other Islamic countries. Wear whatever suits a travel, but do not be obnoxious with the clothing if you do not want eyes on you.
Best Time to Visit
There is no definite best time for you to visit, but if you do not want to be surrounded by a crowd, visit the place when it is not a holiday season. The gate also does not have any closing and opening times because it serves as an entrance to Kaleici.
Will I Need a Guide?
No, there is no reason why you should get a guide. There are guides available for a fee, but those guides are not on official duty, meaning they are an unofficial guide of some sort.
How To Get There?
Antalya got its own airports that serve flights from Istanbul, one is Antalya airport and the second the Gazipasa airport. From Antalya Airport, the ride will last for 10 kilometres long to the city. In the city, getting to the gate is as easy as riding a tram. If you do not want to ride the tram, there are buses to be taken. The buses are definitely a better choice if you want to reach remote places, but if Hadrian's gate is your main destination, then the tram is the best ride.
If you bring a map, do not brandish it around the Gate if you do not want 'guides' to swarm you and offer their services. Antalya is a tourist spot, and those unofficial guides are abundant in number. Be sure to keep the map away if you do not want to be registered on an accidental Hadrian's Gate tour.