Not to be
confused with Attalia in Lydia, this city near the mouth of the Cataractes River
(modern Aksu) was the chief port of Pamphylia. After a temporary peace was
established in 188 BCE at Apameia, western Pamphylia came under the control of
Pergamon. Because the port at Side was still outside the boundary of his Kingdom,
Attalus II, King of Pergamon (159-138 BCE) founded the new Mediterranean port at
Attalia (and apparently named it after himself). Upon his death it was passed to
his son Attalus III, who willed to Rome when he died. The Roman grip on the city
was from time to time challenged by Pirates.
The city today bears the ruins of antiquity in a modest museum. A tower over the harbor (Hidirlik Kulesi) bears evidence of a lighthouse that existed on that location since the C2 CE, probably built over the mausoleum of a hero that stood at the time of Paulís visit. Also from that century is the three-arched Hadrianic gate built about 135 CE. The city became the seat of the Bishop from the rise of Christianity in the Empire until 1084, when the city was elevated again to the seat of the Archbishopric. It has Ottoman period walls, and two prominent mosques: the C16th CE Murat Pasa Mosque and the C18th CE Tekeli Mehmet Pasa Mosque.