Alanya: imagine yourself as a pirate or Cleopatra!
Imagine a place with heavenly beaches, warm climate, beautiful scenery, where pirates “nested” and took a bath one of the most famous Queens in the world. It may seem that it exists on the pages of some adventure book or fantasy novel. But no, this place is real. His name is Alania. This city is the pearl of the Turkish Mediterranean Riviera. I like to listen to fascinating stories, and Alanya has a lot of them… We got to Alanya by accident and got to it late at night when only local dogs did not sleep. Traveling by car along the coast of the Gulf of Antalya from Finike to Anamur, not tied to any time or to any specific route, we decided on the way to call in Alanya. And not a bit sorry about it. On the trip we were accompanied by a local Ashik (folk poet-musician, something like our kobzars) Murat, who in the city was a lot of relatives, hospitably sheltered us. I do not know how glad they were to see us on their doorstep at three in the morning, but their faces looked, though sleepy, but sincerely welcoming. Murat turned out to be a real maniac-patriot of his beautiful homeland: after pushing us apart at five in the morning, dragged us into the car, saying: “get Up, get up, you will not regret it! Get some sleep!”. In the car he asked us to close our eyes, which we gladly did, taking the opportunity to sleep a little more. When Murat woke us again, the faint rays of the morning sun were breaking through the car Windows, and the engine was silent. Rubbing sleepy faces, we got out of the car. The view that opened before us was worth nedostanu hours! This is probably the most beautiful Cape in all the Mediterranean Turkish coast. We stood at an altitude of 250 meters, level with the seagulls shaving over the waves, and with bated breath, met the dawn, looking at the world from the height of the Alanian fortress… For the day spent in this interesting history and beautiful city, we heard a lot of interesting stories (both plausible and not so) from our talkative guide-amator Murat, which I want to tell you. There was once a rook there Is a legend that once upon a time, a long time ago, a group of immigrants from one southern province of Anatolia asked the Oracle, who prophesied the share: “Tell us, what is the best city for the settlement we choose?”. And the Oracle said, “Find the rook’s nest. The name of his Korakesion. Wherever the bird flies, follow it without stopping.” For a long time the settlers followed the rook, several pairs of shoes trampled. And now, when they were quite desperate, and the bird was exhausted, she finally flew to the nest. Travelers breathed a sigh of relief and, looking around, saw, that are worth on Peninsula, with which is a marvelous kind of on entire constituency. This is a legend… But in fact the city “walked on the hands” for centuries and, as a consequence, not once changed its name. Scientists say that the ancient name of Alanya (Korakesion), under which she first appeared in the annals, came from Livenskogo of Korakas, which means “the city, he/outstanding”. In the period of Byzantium, with Christianity, the settlement received new name — Colonies, translated as “beautiful mountain”. Under the Seljuks it was renamed Alayya — in honor of the Seljuk Sultan Alaeddin keikubad Who took it by storm. And finally, the city became Alanya in the days of the Republic. It was renamed personally by the first President of the Republic of Turkey Mustafa Kemal Ataturk. There is a version that it happened accidentally because of an error when sending a telegram when Ataturk wrote Alanya in 1933 instead of Alaiye. Our Murat, however, said that the story about the mistake in the telegram — shaped lies, and the truth is that Ataturk just did not like the name of Alae, so he took and renamed the city. Tortuga pirate of the Mediterranean A lot, of course, seen the Saga “pirates of the Caribbean” and remember that the film not often mentioned, and shows the island of Tortuga — a Pirate Republic. Something like the Caribbean Tortuga existed in the Turkish Mediterranean for a long time. In a little over 100 years BC in the port taverns of Syria, a young man from a noble family led a strange negotiations with suspicious people. His fine clothes were not appropriate for their violent language and excessive weather-beaten and tanned faces. Regulars port taverns saw his face and recognized the name: Trifon — “luxurious living.” His friends called him a Diodotus — “the gift of God.” In 142 BC Tryphon Diodotus Mithridates with the support of pirates usurped the Syrian throne. His strong point he made the now Turkish Coracesium (Korakesion). The pirates willingly helped him to turn Coracesium in an impregnable fortress, and after his death made it their Central base. It for years found shelter and protection of the corsairs of the coast. All this area, then called Cilicia Trachea (“rough, rocky”), was as if purposely created for robbery. She became a magnet, attracting all the dregs of society. It was hard to dream of better conditions for the creation of a pirate state. The abundance of ship timber have contributed to shipbuilding. Countless coves, harbors, skerries served as excellent shelters for ships, and the mountains — magnificent fortifications and shelters. Clever and cunning politician DIDOT created a vast Empire, competing at that time with Rome. Using pirates to conquer coastal States, he declared them his allies and legalized the existence of a pirate state centered in Cilicia. Pirates believed Mithridates and loved it. But in the year 65 BC, having existed for nearly a century, pirate Concession fell beneath the furious onslaught of the Roman forces under the command of General Pompey. Cave of the virgins and the treasures In Cilicia rampant pirates, changed the authorities and the rulers, and the local civilians needed a place to hide from the attacks, shift modes, or simply hide all their belongings back-breaking labor from the insatiable robbers. So, in the vicinity of the current Alanya for this there are several wonderful caves. There is something to see (stalactites, stalagmites and other cave decor), and at the same time you can imagine yourself a resident of ancient Cilicia, seeking refuge here. The caves of Dim and damlatas (the temperature in them ranges from 22-23°C, and humidity reaches 90-98%, which creates favorable conditions for the treatment of asthma and respiratory diseases) are accessible from the land. But to the sea: Phosphoric with glowing stones, the cave of Lovers and the cave of Girls — you can go on a yacht. By the way, the pirates got to it. After all, the cave Girls, the way they made prisoner the stolen virgins. There are legends that pirates also hid their treasures in sea caves. Perhaps they are hidden there to this day, and not found greedy treasure hunters and curious archaeologists. There is also a cave of Pirates, accessible only from the water, where, according to legends, an underground staircase was built, connecting this place with the fortress. When the young Queen of Egypt Cleopatra met with the commander of the Sicilian region mark Antony, the future Emperor of Rome, she immediately surrendered to the arms of love. Their romance was stormy and led to the fact that, according to one of the existing versions, the couple decided to get married, and not anywhere else, namely in the beautiful Alanya. Here the newly-made couple spent their honeymoon. And the town itself, this nest of love, mark Anthony presented as a gift to his beloved. Cleopatra also appreciated this place not only because of the romantic memories associated with it, but also because of the fact that in its vicinity grew thick cedar forests, while used for the construction of warships. To this day, the name of Cleopatra is a small charming Cove in which, according to legend, bathed the Queen herself and which is said to be connected with the fortress tunnel. Even her name is a beautiful sandy beach West of the castle hill. As goats took the fortress Fortress on the cliff, reminiscent of the Great wall of China, was laid by the leader of the pirates Diodotus Trifon in the II century BC to store the loot and slave trade, and more extensively completed already under the Byzantines. Perhaps that is why it is often called the Byzantine fortress. The citadel, finally rebuilt and enlarged during the reign of Sultan Kaiqubad, preserved to this day and is one of the most striking sights of the city. When Sultan Alaeddin of Keikobad, had already glorified his name with a string of high-profile military victories, in 1222 approached the walls of the fortress, he met unexpectedly strong resistance. The rock was unyielding and unapproachable. The illustrious warlord, exasperated by this state of Affairs, decided at all costs to take the fortress and went to the exquisite trick. He ordered a hundred wild goats to be caught in the vicinity and a pair of lighted candles to be tied to their horns. When it was dark, he ordered his troops to resume the assault, letting in the vanguard of his soldiers a herd of goats. The defenders of the city, when he saw so many coming, I decided that this time they do not resist and immediately surrendered. In General, today the fortress on mount ICH-Kale — like a shell of a nut, from it there were mostly only walls, and all the internal buildings have not survived to this day. Only a tiny Byzantine Church has survived. But, nevertheless, to climb to such a height makes sense. At least for the sake of an incomparable panorama opening from here. By the way, here is a place called Adam Itajai. As Murat told us, it was from here that the convicts were thrown into the sea. Weird, to be honest. However, the condemned poor fellows had one chance to escape: they were allowed to throw a stone. If he reached the sea — the lucky one spared. I tried and was glad that we are not in the middle Ages, because, if I was sentenced, I would fly off a cliff, and the distance from the site to the edge of the cliff fair.