The Broken Minaret (Kesik Minare) is a set of ruins on a religious site with broad cultural uses over its long history: a Roman temple, a Byzantine church and a mosque. It survives as an important archaeological site that was the spiritual home of many ruling dynasties and faiths. Stroll through the intriguing surroundings and picture the diverse sets of worshippers that came here thousands of years ago. Its rich history attracts visitors of all creeds from across the globe.
The minaret stems from a former Roman temple that dates back to about A.D. 100. The Byzantine people dedicated a church to the Virgin Mary on the site before it was converted to a mosque in the 13th century. After changing hands two more times, it is a testament to the fascinatingly diverse history of Turkey.
You can see the large remaining walls of the ancient structure with their many arched windows and entrances. Walk along the grassy area inside the former mosque and imagine how it would have seemed after each religious makeover during the past two millennia. Certain parts of the site still have a roof and provide cool shade on hot Turkish afternoons. Note that you are unlikely to be permitted access to the interior of the mosque.
Plaques outside the site explain the intriguing past of the building to visitors. It was badly damaged in the 19th century, although work has been done to restore the structure. Many cafés, bars and restaurants line the charming streets of the Old Town in the vicinity. See rows of the old Ottoman-style houses on quaint alleys. Stay at one of the nearby hotels and spend your days ambling through the historic area.
The Broken Minaret is in the Old Town district near the center of the city among many of Antalya’s greatest attractions. Buses stop just a short walk from the famous site.