The ancient Pamphylian city of Side is situated 75 kms to the east of Antalya. According to famous geographer Strabon, the foundation of the city goes back to 7th century B.C. It is indicated in his writings that the Ionian colonists settled here during the great migration wave, from Ionia to the southeast Anatolia.
The suitability of the natural port of the peninsula, on which the city of Side was located, for sea-trading caused the city to earn an important trading city label very quickly.
During the 2nd and 3rd centuries (B.C.), Side became a central meeting place for Mediterranean pirates. It was also one of the biggest slave markets in southwest Anatolia. The city attracted many slave traders for a long time.
Due to its good relations with Rome, Side had a secure and prosper period between 2nd and 1st centuries (B.C.).The most glorious architectural buildings and monuments were built during this period.