When you turn South at the 75th km. of Antalya - Alanya main road a nice avenue winding through hotels and houses for about 3 km will lead you to Side, the furthest city in the east of historical Pamphylia. Situated on a peninsula about 1000 m long and 400 m. wide, it fulfilled its duty as a commercial port. Naturally, Side used to be one of the most important trade centers in the antiquity and now it is one of the most popular holiday resorts in Turkey.
According to Strabon the ancient geographer, side was first established in the 7th cent. B.C. as a trade colony of the Aegean city Kyme near Smyrna but the merchants took up the local language, Side tan the name "Side" meant pomegranate, the fruit symbolizing abundance and fertility.
Like the other Pamphylian cities in general, Side was ruled by Lydia in the sixth cent. B.C. and Persia after 547 B.C. The coins minted in here prove that Side had at least an internal independence.
Alexander the Great conquered Side in the first year of the great campaign on Asia in 334 B.C. and was introduced to Hellenistic culture. After his death the empire was shared by generals. The Southern Turkey, including Side changed hands quite often, especially between the Ptolemaic dynasty of Egypt (3 rd cent B.C) and the Seleucid dynasty of Syria (2nd cent B.C) after the Apameia peace agreement between the Romans and the defeated Syrian kingdom, but Pergamo could not gain a complete control over Side. King Attalos of Pergamo founded a new city, Attaleia (Antalya) as a commercial rival to Side and others on the South coast. At the turn of century Side was a slave-trade center in the hands of Pirates. It was only the Romans who stopped piracy on the eastern Mediterranean and let the southern Anatolian cities in (Cilicia, Pamphylia and Lycia) prosper again in peace and safety 78 B.C.
Pamphylia was attached to the province of Galatia by Emperor Augustus in 25 B.C. when all the provinces in the Roman Empire were re-organized. Side lived its second birth and wealthy period until 3rt cent especially its active role in the slave trade enabled this semi-independent city to gain wealth and most of the structures in ruins at present were built during this period of time. Side felt the necessity of repairing the defensive walls in the second half of 3rd cent. A.D because of the successive attacks by the highlanders from the north. Furthermore, they built an inner wall right through the city in 4th cent A.D. Unfortunately these precautions were not enough to secure those great days again and Side started declining.