History of Alanya: BC and Middle Ages
The trading city of Korakesion, founded by Greek colonists on a small peninsula at the foot of the Taurus Mountains, in the 4th century BC conquered by Alexander of Macedon and fortified with fortifications. Removed from the main possessions, the city quickly comes from under the authority of the heirs of the Macedonian king. And for several centuries it turned into an impregnable base of formidable Cilician pirates who controlled most of the Mediterranean.
Only in 67 BC. a huge fleet and 120 thousand army under the command of the Roman commander Gnea Pompey the Great were able to defeat the fleet of pirates. The main battle took place under the walls of Coracescion, behind which families of pirates were hiding and the stolen treasures were hidden.
According to legend, in 32 BC. in Corakesion (renamed by the Romans to Coracesium), the ruler of Rome, Mark Antony and Egyptian queen Cleopatra VII, officially married. And the Roman in love presented Cleopatra with the beautiful sandy beach she liked at the foot of the fortress, and at the same time the city of Coracesium itself.
In 395, the city became part of the Byzantine Empire and was named Kolonoros (Greek: αλόν Ὄρος, which means “Beautiful Mountain”). So for centuries navigators called it, as it was most often marked on nautical charts of that time.
The highest flourishing of the city falls on the XIII century, the reign of Sultan Ala ad-Din Kay-Kubad I, the ruler of the Koni (Seljuk) Sultanate, who renamed the city in his honor - Alay (Ἀλάγια).
Almost all of the fortifications, the Red Tower, the shipyard on the orders of the Sultan were built in just 12 years. At that time it was a completely impregnable citadel. The high walls of more than 6.5 km, fortified by 140 towers and powerful bastions, surrounded the whole mountain in several rows. At the top of the cliff inside the fortress, the Sultan's Winter Palace was equipped and a complex system of reservoirs - cisterns - was created. A convenient port and a unique shipyard at that time ensured commercial and military dominance in the Mediterranean.
The city-fortress of Alay has exceeded its significance by Antalya for several centuries.
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