Turkey’s Aegean Coast is simply full of history and holds many remnants from the ancient civilisations who have called this part of Turkey home throughout the ages. When you holiday in Marmaris you not only get to enjoy the great beaches and vibrant nightlife, but you can learn about the culture and history of the town too through its historical attractions. First, a little on the history of Marmaris…
A Short History of Marmaris
Marmaris is an ancient city and although it’s not known exactly when the town was first established historians believe there has been a castle here since 3000BC. Marmaris is best known from the 6th century BC though, when it was known by its original name, Physkos, and was part of the Carian Empire.
A couple of hundred years after the Carians took control, the old castle at Marmaris was besieged by Alexander the Great, then in 138BC the town was ceded to the Romans.
Marmaris came to light again in 1425AD when it became part of the mighty Ottoman Empire, and in 1521 the Sultan Suleyman the Magnificent ordered that a new castle be built. He changed the name of the town from Physkos to Mimaras, and this later changed to the current form of Marmaris.
The castle that was rebuilt by Suleyman the Magnificent in 1522 is still standing here in the town today and it’s one of the top attractions for tourists on holiday in Marmaris. Obviously the castle had suffered over the hundreds of years since it was built, but since the late 1970s it’s been undergoing restoration to bring it back to all its original glory. The castle now houses a museum where you can find out more about the history of the castle and the town.
As well as the castle you shouldn’t miss the Bazaar when on holiday in Marmaris. Though much of the town is now more modern, the area around the bazaar retains its charming old feel with narrow streets and merchants selling all their wares from tiny shops. As you wander around this historical part of the town you’ll feel as though you’ve been whisked back in time!
Within the streets of the Bazaar make sure you seek out the historical caravanserai. This was built by Suleyman’s mother at the same time as the castle. It served as a place for travellers to rest, so we could argue that this was the start of the tourism industry in Marmaris! Though the caravanserai still stands, visitors to the town today can enjoy the comforts of the many modern hotels in Marmaris!