Hadrian’s Gate - History and Facts | History Hit

Hadrian’s Gate

Antalya, Mediterranean Region, Turkey

Hadrian’s Gate is an Ancient Roman monument in Antalya built in honour of the Emperor Hadrian.

Antara Bate

24 Nov 2020
Image Credit: Shutterstock

About Hadrian’s Gate

Hadrian’s Gate is an Ancient Roman monument in Antalya built in honour of the Emperor Hadrian.

Hadrian was one of the most famous and important Roman Emperors and ruled from 117 – 138 AD. He famously travelled far and wide across his empire and spent far more time in the provinces than most of his predecessors.

Comprised of three arches, Hadrian’s Gate probably dates back to around 130AD, when the emperor himself visited Antalya.

Hadrian’s Gate history

Hadrian’s Gate, commonly known as Üçkapılar, meaning ‘Three Gates’ was erected for the Roman emperor’s visit to Antalya in AD 130. Constructed using marble and granite, the gate originally had a second story that made it double the height that it is today.

The gate was part of the city’s outer walls and became an important gateway after its completion, forming the principal entrance to Kaleiçi from the east of the city.

The two towers on either side of the gate come from different periods of history. The southern tower is from the Roman era yet was most likely built independently from the gate. The northern tower was rebuilt during the reign of the Seljuk sultan Alaeddin Keykubat I in the first half of the thirteenth century AD. There is also an inscription on this tower, written in Old Turkish language in Arabic script.

Hadrian’s Gate became known to the western world in 1817 when Francis Beaufort published a description of it in his writing about his travels along the southern coast of Asia Minor. This account mentioned the second storey of the gate which according to later texts seems to have been gone by the end of the 19th century.

The total exposure and renovation of Hadrian’s Gate took place in the 1950s.

Hadrian’s Gate today

Hadrian’s Gate is a famous tourist landmark and stands out between two towers of the city walls.

The gate presents a collage of artefacts from the different civilisations that existed through the ages. Visitors can see the three gates and two towers that make up the distinctive features of Hadrian’s gate.

Around the gate is a busy area with restaurants, shops and park benches.

Getting to Hadrian’s Gate

The gate is located right on Atatürk Boulevard in Antalya’s city centre and is one of the main entrance’s to Kaleiçi, the city’s beautiful historic quarter.

Hadrian’s Gate stands by the Atatürk Boulevard, in the centre of Antalya. It can be reached on foot, during a walk through by Kaleiçi historical district, or by tram. The tram line (called Nostalji tramvay) runs to the monument and the stop is called Hadrian.