Cities of Turkey: Silifke


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City of Silifke aerial view.

Night city of Silifke.

On one of the streets of Silifke.

Byzantine castle, Silifke.

Silifke, Turkey, Mediterranean Sea.

Silif Facts

The city of Silifke was founded in the 3rd century. BC e., one of the commanders of Alexander the Great - Seleucus, who later founded the Syrian kingdom of the Seleucids.

Then the city was one of the most important in Cilicia. In the future, the city entered the Roman era, which became for him a period of prosperity and wealth.

In the VI century. the city was already called Seleucia of Isauria. In 359, the second meeting of the Arimino-Seleucian Cathedral was held there.

The decline of the city came in the Byzantine period, due to the devastating raids of the Arabs. In the XII century. the city became an object of struggle between the Cilician Armenians, Byzantines, Crusaders and Seljuks.

As a result, the city remained with the Seljuks. So, the leader of the Crusaders and the German Emperor Frederick I Barbarossa fell from his horse and drowned in the river, just near the town of Silifke.


Byzantine castle dominates the city, and on the way to it you can find an old tank - the so-called Tekir Barn ("Striped warehouse"), ruins temple of jupiter (2nd century A.D.) at Inonu Caddesi, Archaeological Museum (open from Thursday to Sunday from 8.00 to 12.00 and from 13.00 to 17.00, entrance - 2 TRY) with a large collection of finds from the excavations of the temple of the IV century BC. e. in Meidanjikal.

Around the city

About 9 km north of the city, on the banks of the Goksu River, stands plaque to the emperor of the Holy Roman Empire Frederick Barbarossawhich, during the Third Crusade in 1189, when crossing a river, fell from a horse and drowned.

5 km north-west of the city lies the early Christian settlement Ayia Thekla (open daily all daylight hours, entrance - 2 TRY) with an underground chapel.

7 km north is the village of Demircili, known in ancient times as Imbriogon (now only a few burials have been preserved here).

In the mountains north of Silifke, near the village Uzunchaburge, is an abandoned antique city Olbia, or Diocesarea, one of the most extensive and ancient in the region. The main part of the settlement founded by the Hittites (always open, entrance - 2 TRY) is inferior in size to Perge or Aspend, but retained many interesting objects, especially the Roman theater, monumental gates and the colonnade of the main street, nymphs, ruins of the temple of Zeus (III century BC A.D. is one of the earliest examples of the Corinthian style in the region), the Tiche temple (the goddess of chance in ancient mythology, the 1st century A.D.) and the large 3-arched city gate (the fifth century A.D.). A little to the north you can find a high (22 m) five-story tower of the 1st-3rd centuries AD, which used to be part of the city wall and gave the name to the modern village (Uzuncaburc means “High Tower”). Nearby lies an ancient cemetery, and 500 meters west of the main road is an ancient mausoleum with a pyramidal roof.

5 km to the east, near the village of Ura, you can see another ancient ruins - the ancient city Alba, which in the III century BC. e. was the capital of a kind of temple state, ruled by a powerful caste of priests, and subsequently merged with Olbia.

East of Silifke begins göksu delta - One of the twelve most significant environmental areas of Turkey. This is one of the largest deltas in the country, formed by sediments of the Göksu River. Over the centuries, it has washed in place of a small bay, in the depths of which the port of Seleucid was located, an extensive (14,500 hectares) sandy plain, rugged by the branches and elders of the river. The southern part of the delta today is given over to the bird lagoon reserve Akgol (Akgol) and Paradeniz (Paradeniz), famous for its huge variety of flora and fauna.

About 110 km northwest of Silifke, on the road to Konya (Highway 715), there is a well-preserved monastery complex Alahan (Alabanda). On the slope of a beautiful mountain here rise two basilicas of the 5th-6th centuries and the baptistery of the 4th century e. with a pool in the shape of a cross. According to some researchers, this complex is considered one of the earliest examples of cross-domed Byzantine temples in Asia with the best preserved early Christian mosaics in the region.

Silifke on a map of Turkey

Silifke is located on the D400 highway near the shores of the Mediterranean Sea between the cities of Mersin (85 km) and Anamur. And about 30 minutes drive from Kyzkalesi. Silifke Port - Tashuju (in Northern Cyprus) is 8 km

Distance from Silifke to some cities in Turkey:

Antalya - 397 km

Gaziantep - - 381 km

Silifke Map

open larger map of Silifke

How to get to Silifke

The easiest way to get to Silifke is by bus. The nearest airport and train station are in other cities and quite far away. The nearest airport to Silifke is in Adana. There is no railway in Silifka either. You can get to Silifke by train through the same Adana or Mersin. Next you have to get by bus.

Bus station (otogar) Silifke (1) is a 10-minute walk from the center at İnönü cad.

Some directions where you can get from Silifke. For details, see the websites of specific Turkish carriers:

MERSİN VİF TURİZM: Aksaray, Ankara, Adapazarı, İzmit, İstanbul, Eskişehir, Bursa - İnegöl, Konya, Ankara, Eskişehir, Bursa

ADIYAMAN GÜLARAS TURİZM: Mersin- Tarsus, Adana, Osmaniye, Adıyaman

GÜNEY AKDENİZ SEYAHAT: Erdemli- Mersin- Tarsus, Adana, Hatay- Dörtyol-İskenderun, Aydıncık- Bozyazı- Anamur, Gazipaşa- Alanya- Manavgat- Antalya

İNCİ TURİZM: Erdemli- Mersin- Tarsus, Niğde, Kayseri

KAHTA PETROL TURİZM: Erdemli- Mersin- Tarsus Kahta

KONTUR TURİZM: Mut, Karaman, Konya- Kadınhanı- Ilgın- Akşehir- K.Bahçe, Afyon, Uşak, İzmir, Ankara, İstanbul, Isparta, Denizli, Aydın- Kuşadası, Kütahya, Bozüyalülik,

ÖZLEM DİYARBAKIR SEYAHAT: Tarsus, Adana- Ceyhan, Osmaniye, Gaziantep, Şanlıurfa- Siverek, Diyarbakır



From the same bus station you can leave in some local directions. Including to Tasuju. If you need to get to the coastal villages and towns on the Silifke - Mersin (Kyzkalesi, Ayash, Atakent, Narlykuyu, Erdemli, etc.) segment, then it is easier to use the local Silifke - Mersin or Taşucu - Erdemli bus than long-distance intercity.

To get to Uzunjaburch, you must use another parking lot. Dolmushi in Uzunjaburch depart from a street in the Atatürk bulvarı area (2). More about this will be in the article about Uzunjaburch.

Silifke is also an important transportation point to get from Turkey to Northern Cyprus. From the port of Silifke - Tashuju, which is 8 km away, high-speed boats leave daily for Northern Cyprus (the port of Girne). The schedule, ticket prices can be found on the carrier’s website.

History of Silifke

Seleucia - the current Silifke, was one of the cities founded by the commander of Alexander the Great Seleucus. The city was founded in the 3rd century. BC. Seleucia immediately became an important commercial, cultural and religious center. In the period from the 7th to the 14th century, the city constantly changed hands. Arabs, Seljuks, Armenians, Crusaders, Byzantines - those few who owned the city at that time. In 1471, Seleucia became part of the Ottoman Empire.

Old Silifke Mansions (5)

Old Ottoman houses have remained in places in Silifka. Their greatest concentration is in the area of ​​the bazaar and Alaaddin mosque. Some restored. These are private houses and office buildings. Including in one of them is the Atatürk House Museum

One of the old houses - Süleyman Hacı Kız Evi

There are many abandoned houses

Alaaddin Mosque and the Sultan's Tomb (6)

Alaaddin Mosque was built in 1226 under the Seljuks. Hence its simple modest appearance.

Nearby is the tomb of the Seljuk Sultan Tevekkül Sultan Türbesi

Silifke kale Fortress (7)

Next, you will climb to the fortress Silifke. The fortress was closed for many years to visit. Now it is undergoing intensive restoration work, but you can enter the territory. Admission is currently free (2013). The fortress is located on a high hill at an altitude of 184 meters. And it is clearly visible from many points of the city

Near the entrance to the fortress there is a cafe and an observation deck, from where beautiful views of Silifke and the surrounding area open.

The fortress was built by the Byzantines. Powerful walls are well preserved today. Nevertheless, this place has not been empty since the Hittite times. The first fortress was built around the 13th century. BC. But Hellenistic and Roman times used this place as a temple.

In the 7th century the Byzantines built a fortress here to defend against the Arabs. But in the 12th century, it was rebuilt anew according to a new plan. The fortress has dimensions 350x100 meters. When the fortress had 23 towers, today there are only 10 of them.

On the territory of the fortress some rooms and foundations of buildings - residential buildings, arsenals, a tank - have been preserved. Excavations and restoration on the territory of the fortress have been carried out since 2011 under the leadership of Ali Boran.

Tekir Anbar's Tanker (8)

From the fortress you can clearly see another attraction of Silifke - the Tekir Anbar tank.

You can go to the tank itself, admission is free.

The cistern served to supply ancient Seleucia with fresh water.

Göksu River and Stone Bridge in Silica (9)

Further from the tank you can walk to the Göksu River - Blue Water. The name is consistent. There is a bridge across the river - Tash köprü (Taş köprü), i.e. A stone bridge. It was built during the time of Vespasian in the 1st century. Although, for obvious reasons, since then it has been rebuilt several times.

There are embankments on both sides of the Geksu River, you can make a promenade. But to admire the blue waters of the river is not always possible. The vegetation is too lush in places. Also in the center area on the banks of the Geksu River there is a park and several cafes.

Hotels and pensions Silifke

Silifke cannot be called a tourist place. But to stop it is very convenient. In Silifka there are several hotels and guest houses. One is located next to the bus station - Ayatekla. A little further along the Inyonu boulevard - Arisan hotel. Near the Stone Bridge there is also a hotel - Göksu hotel. Silifke hotels and guest houses can also be viewed through the hotel search form above the article. Do not forget to set the sorting by price, to immediately see the best deals.

10 responses to “Silifke”

And also the district of Silifke is famous for its strawberry fields stretching for tens of kilometers. If you arrive in April-May, you will be surprised how delicious Turkish strawberries are and how different they are from those that get to Moscow. The price in the season is 3-5 Turkish lira per kg, but farmers sell mainly boxes of 2 or 4 kg. And the local peasants begin to harvest the first crop in mid-January. This year we managed to taste the January berries, which we bought directly on the Mersin-Alanya highway, which runs along the strawberry fields. The price was 10 lire per kg. For Turkey it is expensive, but the smell is magic. I highly recommend this region of Turkey, there are a lot of interesting and real things.

What about the beaches in Silifka? Or is it better to focus on Kyzkalesi?

I believe that beaches are better than Kyzkalesi you will not find in this area. If I am mistaken, let Elena correct me.

Alexei, only not in Silifka, but in Tashuja. Silifke from the sea a few kilometers.
It is difficult for you to advise something if you have not voiced your criteria and desires for a vacation spot.
Kyzkalesi - it is interesting that the sights are already right in it. The route passes through the village, it is easy to get to a lot without unnecessary gestures. Tourism infrastructure is well developed. But in July-August, especially on weekends, there is simply killing on the number of people. For me, for example, it will immediately cross out all the advantages if you are going there at this time.

Tashuju is many times quieter, fewer people. But there is no such tourist infrastructure. In addition, there is a port where boats and ferries leave for Northern Cyprus. Of course, there are not many such vehicles per day, but still ... So see for yourself

Silifke seemed to us a very cozy and nice town.
He was not far from Kyzkalesi, about half an hour, by bus, and we drove there sometimes after breakfast, while the sea was warm in the morning)) We rushed to fame,) There are plenty of shops, including network Turkish. And just sitting on the promenade of Göksu is nice to sit and drink coffee!
We also came upon — I don’t know what to call — a kind of collective farm market-public catering)). At the river where the center street goes into the bridge. There are tables under the awnings, and tents where the men immediately cook traditional food. Women sit separately and sell home-made cakes, dolma, which is already packaged in boxes (we took away – tasteful !!)), and even home-made cakes are cut and sold in pieces (I tried the cake, yum!). And interestingly, as waiters, school-aged boys. It seems that pioneer duty in the dining room))
Silifke is also well located for transport.
From it there is a road to Konya, and further even to Izmir, even to Istanbul. We from Kyzkalesi had to get to Istanbul, and OZ KAYMAK took us directly from Kyzkalesi with the Adana-Istanbul flight. (In Konya, only the bus and crew were changed).
The road from Silifke to Konya goes through the Taurus Mountains, along the Göksu River. More precisely, the river is far below, a green snake, and the road along the top of the canyon. Very, very beautiful, but also scary, because sooo high. You go, and part of the mountains below.
Another interesting thing is that having driven off not far from Silifke, we saw a monument by the road: as the guide says, in 1190 here Frederick I Barbarossa drowned in Göksu.

“We also came across there - I don’t know what to call –– a kind of collective farm market, catering)). . At the river where the center street goes into the bridge. ”

Is it just on the way to the dolmushe parking in Uzunjaburch? By the way, yes, a good place to eat. Last year I had a healthy plate of khashlama, a portion of izmir köfte and tea cost 10 lira

Lena, probably ... because. I don’t know where the dolmush parking is in Uzunjaburch))
We were incredibly lucky with him: we became friends with the family of the owners of the hotel in Kyzkalesi (as always, we didn’t book in advance; we found on the spot the Hotel Alba, on the street that goes from the bus stop to the square with the Atatürk monument and immediately to the beach, respectively ), and the son-in-law of the head of the family drove us to Uzunjaburch, to Olba, and to the caves by car ..
And this market is a public catering in Silifka: we went out at the bus stop (they told us we needed a center)) near the hastan (hospital). There is a bus stop around the bend, and we went right along this street with shops, and there is a small square in front of the bridge, and this market is on the left. Perhaps we are talking about the same thing, because there the prices are really very nice))

Thanks. I hope that I will still be in the car and have time to inspect everything 🙂