Side is an ancient port which was founded in the 7C BC by Eolians colonists who had come from the north of Smyrna. The name Side, which means "pomegranate", is thought to have been the symbol of the city because it was represented on the local coins. Before and after the Hellenistic period, taking advantage of the natural location of their city built on a long peninsula, the inhabitants of Side were indulged in the practices of piracy which were more remunerative than shipbuilding activities. The place was long reputed as a slave market. In the 3C BC, Side came under the domination of the Ptolemy of Egypt and Seleucids of Syria. From the 2C and 1C BC, due to its good relations with Rome, Side, now devoted to trade, enjoyed a first period of prosperity. After the establishment of the "Pax Romana" (Roman Peace), between the 2-3C AD Side reached its peak, as can be seen through the numerous monuments built at that period. In the 4C, the city declined altogether with the Empire. However, in the 5C under the Byzantines, it prospered again as a bishopric. Later ruined by earthquakes and raids, the site was completely abandoned. A massive settlement took place in 1895 when Turkish immigrants from Crete settled here.
Today Side has become a charming holiday resort, thanks to the picturesque village of fishermen located among the archaeoligical remains, to the beautiful sandbeaches and holiday resorts of Sorgun and Titriyen Göl located in the east of Side, and also to the villages of Kumköy and Kamelya in the west.

The archaeological site includes:

The city walls and the main gate from where two colonnaded streets led to the agora and to the south of the city.

The Byzantine basilica

The baths of the agora
where the very interesting museum is displaid.

The agora
, center of cultural and commercial activities. Here the prisoners captured by the pirates were sold as

The theatre
with the sea for background, is the most imposing monument of Side. It had a seating capacity of 15,000 spectators who were protected by a 1.50m / 5 feet wall when gladiator and wild animal fights took place in the late Roman period. The theatre was converted into an open-air church in the 5C and 6C.

The monumental gate and the fountain at the entrance of the theatre.

The Temple of Dyonisos

The Temples of Athena and Apollo