Gateway to the masterpieces of antiquity
Ancient Side welcomes its visitors through the Main Gate, set betvveen two tovvers of the insurmountable city vvalls, standing directly across from the monumental fountaîn. The Main Gate dates to the 2nd century, and together with the horse shoe shaped, colonnaded courtyard it was also used for ceremonial processions. The monumental fountain across from the gate had three wide arches and a basin, and it was also built in the 2nd century. It is the largest ancient fountain of Anatolia. Originally the structure had three levels and it was decorated with marble cladding and reliefs, hovvever at present only a single level is standing and a fevv decorations of the pool can be seen. Manavgat River used to provide vvater to the fountain through aqueducts, splendid examples of human ingenuity vvorking in tandem vvith the gifts of nature. Sections of the aqueducts are stili visible.
Passing through the Main Gate and courtyard the re are two roads originally lined with corinthian columns: the main road that continues straight ahead, and another leading off to the left. The main road, vvhich channelled the social and cultural life of ancient Side, is lined with porticoes providing sheltered access to the shops and houses, and passes through the agora and city centre vvhere a bathhouse, a theatre, and fountains once stood. The road eventually reaches the tip of the peninsula, site of the harbour and temples, symbols of commerce and religion.