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Hadrian's Gate

From The Marmara Antalya
18 min
58 min

Barbaros, Hadrian Kale Kapısı, 07100 Muratpaşa/Antalya

Open Hours

Open 24 Hours



Walk through Hadrian’s Gate and experience the transition from the ancient world into the modern one. What was once the protective outer wall is now a must-see stop on your exploration of the oldest parts of the city. Take a moment to appreciate the sheer massive size of the gate, its carvings, and the evidence of daily use during ancient times.  

History of Hadrian’s Gate  

The original Hadrian’s Gate was built in 130 AD to commemorate Roman Emperor Hadrian’s visit to Attaleia. The ancient name for Antalya was Attaleia. At that time, a large protective wall surrounded the city. The gate was built as a grand entrance to the city.  

The gate became known to the rest of the world when Irish-British hydrographer Rear Admiral Sir Francis Beaufort discovered Hadrian’s Gate while traveling. In 1817 he published his travel diary that included a detailed description of the gate.  During Sir Francis Beaufort’s time, the gate had a second upper level that sat above the gate. It is also believed that a statue of Emperor Hadrian once stood on top of the gate.  


However, it was until the 1950s that the gate gained interest for its historical significance, and protective restoration began. At one point in history, the gate was enclosed behind protective walls to secure the large wall that enclosed the city. However, it wasn’t until the 1950s, when those outer walls collapsed, that the gate was rediscovered.  This was when the true beauty of the craftsmanship began to be appreciated.  


The first step in restoring the gate to its former glory was carefully removing the collapsing outer walls. Next, the concrete covering the original Roman stone pavers was removed. Finally, a dozen bronze letters found at the foot of the gate were carefully removed for display in museums worldwide.  

Legend of Hadrian’s Gate  

In addition to the historical and factual history of the gate, there is also a legend told of the gate. It was believed that during ancient times, the Queen of Sheba would pass through the middle arch of the gate to visit Aspensos so that she could spend time with King Solomon.  

Hadrian’s Gate Structure Today  

When you visit Hadrian’s Gate today, you can experience firsthand the glory and magnitude of ancient buildings and construction. This impressive structure has stood for almost 2,000 years. While it may not have the original second story, what is left is impressive enough.    

Hadrian’s Gate is made up of three arches that are the same width and height. It is about 26.2 feet tall. On either side of the gate stand two large towers. These towers were built at different times from each other and the original gate. The Southern Tower is from the Roman Era and is known as the Tower of Julia Sancta. The Northern Tower is from the 13th century AD when Seljuk sultan Alaeddin Keykubat I had it built.  

When looking at the gate, you can easily admire the white marble and granite facade. You will see elegant adornments with a floral motif and carved lion heads throughout the gate’s design. Finally, glance down and admire the deep ruts worn into the ancient stone from carts passing through the gate.  

What To Do  

Visiting Hadrian’s Gate can easily be a part of your day’s city exploration. Surrounding the gate are cafes, restaurants, and souvenir shops. You can also wander the ancient streets and admire the historical Kaleiçi houses. 

How to Visit  

The gate is a part of the original outer city wall, but today, it is located in the middle of Antalya. If you want to visit Hadrian’s Gate, you only have to walk around Antalya. It is located just off Atatürk Boulevard in the historical Kaleiçi district. There are no tickets required, and there are no operational hours. You can walk around both sides and through the gate.  

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