Artistic Antalya – Exploring City Centre Sculptures

People who go to the Southern Turkish city of Antalya inevitably come away with memories of wandering around and getting lost in the old city of Kaleiçi, passing through the castle walls via Hadrian’s Gate (Üç Kapı) and enjoying views of Antalya harbour from above.

Antalya Monument

There’s a lot of art around Antalya city centre

We did all those things and have written about them in previous posts and, while they were all perfectly pleasant ways of passing the time (I’ve been waiting to take photos of these sights for three years), none of them stand out as our favourite memory of Antalya.

When we were in the city four years ago, we were with other friends and maybe you don’t notice your surroundings as much as when you’re alone. All of our memories from that visit were of the sights mentioned above.

Peacocks Antalya

Colourful peacock water feature

We went back to Antalya in March to take part in Runtalya 2011 and to get the photos I really wanted. But we both found ourselves much more interested in the previously unnoticed artwork dotted about all over the city.

Our old memories of Antalya were that, away from areas of historical interest, it was all main roads and apartment blocks.

Well, the main roads and apartment blocks are definitely there but someone, in their wisdom, has commissioned artists to make these areas of the city interesting in their own right.

This time, instead of us walking along the busy roads as quickly as possible just to get from A to B, we found we were constantly stopped in our tracks by random statues and sculptures.

Artwork Antalya

Look out for these sculptures around the city

It’s really easy to walk past these little guys without even noticing them but aren’t they great? Each one made me smile. If you’re staying in Kaleiçi and choose to walk to the Archaeological Museum in Antalya instead of taking the tram, keep your eyes open for them as they’re placed all along the tram line on the main road. Each ‘person’ is carrying out a different activity.

Antalya Sculptures

These guys can be found in Karaalioğlu Park

Everywhere we walked, we came across statues and sculptures. These two statues are along the sea walls in the city’s Karaalioğlu Park.

There isn’t any information accompanying these works and, although it would be nice to know more about them, it didn’t seem to matter too much. You can make up your own stories about them. I was very intrigued by the lonely soldier on the left.

But the absolute best works we saw were when we going to register for Runatolia. At the time, registration was in the 5M Migros shopping centre. We decided to walk there just so we could get our bearings. We had been walking for about an hour and were trudging along a very busy, wide, noisy ring road. I was regretting opting for the walk and then these lifted the spirits…

Sculptures In Antalya

At the film set

We realised we were passing some sort of centre for film studies and these metal sculptures marked the entrance. They were spaced out all along the grass verge and each one depicts the filming of different scenes. We loved it!

Whenever we go another city, we try to look into the public transport. This time, we were in Antalya mainly for the run and getting around to explore wasn’t a priority. If we did have more time, we would have gone off to see other sites and I suspect we would have missed all this understated artwork again. Sometimes, it pays to stick around and explore on foot.

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  1. hello,
    just a note to tell you how much I am enjoying your news from Istanbul. I will be visiting there in a couple of days, and your blog has been just the thing for me to read up and fill up my list of things to do … photography and eating are the two main events.

    thanks for all and will continue to enjoy your site.


  2. Those are incredible! I had to do a doublet take on some of them!

  3. @ Partager Paris: Glad the blog has been of some help to you! Thanks for reading. Photography and eating are usually top of my list, too! 🙂

    @ Belinda: There’s not loads to see in the centre of Antalya but these really stood out for us.

  4. My favourite is the one with the wheel. I can’t tell if it’s a child or an adult but it depicts fun to me. The film making statues remind me of something similar I’ve seen in an outdoor sculpture event in Sydney. I can see why you have find memories of these!

  5. I like the last set of creatures. Reminds me of the movie ‘District Nine’ for some reason… 🙂

  6. @ Corinne: I love the one with the wheel, too. I’m thinking it’s a child. There were loads of them in different areas of the city centre.

  7. Those are pretty weird sculptures, must have been a good fun taking pictures 🙂

  8. @ manonthelam: Never seen that film but we’ll believe you. 🙂

    @ Angela: There were so many of them, too. Always fun taking pictures.

  9. Can’t belive how much Antalya has changed, since I lived there with a Turkish family. But of course – it was 25 years’ ago.

  10. @ Mette: Turkey changes on a daily basis. 🙂 Antalya’s a fast growing city these days. Bet you wouldn’t recognise it.

  11. I love public art! It’s always nice to see it outside for everyone to enjoy! Nice post 🙂

  12. @ Michael: Thanks. It was really lovely to see it all in Antalya. You’re right – everyone should be able to enjoy it by seeing it outside. 🙂

  13. Christy @ Technosyncratic says

    I love sculptures – they’re probably one of my favorite art mediums. 🙂 This seems like a really neat place.

  14. @ Christy: They make the city centre a much more pleasant place to walk around. 🙂

  15. Tom @ HeadingThere says

    I love posts like this that find the sort of cool things that you can easily miss in a destination. Sounds great, I really want to come to Antalya now!

  16. @ Tom: All the sculptures are easily missable. They’re a happy memory for us. 🙂

  17. Don’t remember those sculptures. But then it’s been more than 10 years since I was in Antalya. It was a happening city then. Looks like it still is.

  18. Very cool sculptures. I love when they have a few of together seemingly interacting.

  19. @ Sophie: Yes, I’m thinking they’re quite new because we don’t remember them from four years ago. There’s a decent art scene there, definitely.

    @ Matt: I think that’s why we liked them. They made you stop and look to work out what the scene was.

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