Silifke is a small province town and capital of the like-named province in the Mediterranean Region of Turkey.
History of Silifke
Like most places in Turkey, Silifke has roots that go back far in history. It was founded in the 3rd century BCE by Seleucus I Nicator, one of the generals of Alexander the Great and called after him Seleucia ad Calycadnum. Calycadnum was at that time the name of the Göksu river that runs through the city. It was near Silifke that Frederick Barbarossa, the Emperor of the Holy Roman Empire met his end during the Third Crusade by drowning in the Göksu River.
Sights and Photos of Silifke
The most prominent ruin in Silifke is that of the Temple of Jupiter-Zeus (Jupiter Tapınağı) which dates from the 2nd or 3rd century CE. Of the three Roman temples that once existed in Seleucia, the Temple of Jupiter is the only one which has survived to the present. The temple which is of the peripteros plan stands on a podium. The fluted columns and the column bases in the south are in situ. The temple dates from the 2nd century CE but was transformed into a Christian basilica in the 5th century. The presence of storks on the single remaining column is the reason why locals call it also the Temple of Storks.
As we visited Silifke in 2004 only between buses, we didn't have time to pay a visit to the hilltop castle (Silefke Kalesi) that dominates the town.
On the road between Kızkalesi and Silifke, above the village of Narlıkuyu are the Chasms of Heaven and Hell (Cennet ve Cehennem Çökükleri) of which Cennet (Heaven) is the most impressive. To reach the cave inside the chasm itself, you need to descend the 452 hefty steps. About 300 m to the west of Heaven is the Wishing and Asthma Cave (Astım - Dilek Mağarası).
Silifke is about half an hour by dolmuş from Kızkalesi.