The Museum of Side, which resembles Olympus, the home of the gods and goddesses
The Museum of Side, with the statues and figurines of gods and goddesses on display> seems like Olympus, the home of the gods and goddesses. Here the gods and goddesses of Olympus compete with each other to vvhisper myth and legend in the ear of visitors. Zeus, Aphrodite, Ares, Nike, Hygeia, Asclepius, Apollo, Hermes, Dionysus, Heracles, Tyche and Athena – the heroes and heroines of the legends that they narrate themselve in the Museum of Side.
The Museum of Side with its historical building and carefully displayed artefacts telis the story of the Roman Period of Side, and each section of the Roman Bathhouse has been arranged as a separate gallery.
The gardens of the museum, used to be the part of the Gymnasium, houses the permanent display of Seljuk Era grave stones, along with inscription tablets, friezes, and sarcophagi, parts of floor mosaics, column bases, busts and sculpture from the Roman Period. The most celebrated statue at the museum garden is the statue of Nike, the goddess of victory that salutes visitors at the end of their journey through time.
Upon entering the courtyard of the Museum, should you turn right instead of proceeding to the garden, you will find the exhibition halis right in front of you. The first space is an open air exhibition containing reliefs of arms and a basalt capital from the Late Hittite Period, as well as a splendid pond. The niches of the pond vvere believed to house the statues of emperors, gods and goddesses. The centrepiece of the pond is a Roman sundial.
The closed exhibition galleries of the Museum display glassvvare, coins, oil lamps, figurines, jevvellery, decorative objects, sarcophagi and statues.
Besides the beautiful statues of gods and goddesses, the Museum of Side is renovvned for the sarcophagi decorated with reliefs of multiple Eros figurines, vvhich are depicted vvalking in procession, shoulder to shoulder around the flat sides of the sarcophagi, and each figüre playing a musical instrument, carrying fruit or drinking wine. Garlands of fruit and roses, Nike figurines carrying vvreaths and dates, and the heads of lions and bulls combined to make these sarcophagi utterly unforgettable.
The 2nd century AD Statue of the Three Graces, depicting beauty, elegance, and fertility, is among the most precious of the museum’s holdings. The Three Graces are identified as Hera, Aphrodite and Athena who bedazzle the gallery with their elegance and might.