mediaeval Seljuk builder whose name has long
since been forgotten climbed the ninetieth step,
and from a height of 38 metres looked around
him. The Mediterranean, that most beautiful
of seas, had taken refuge in the tiny harbour
below, the last rays of the sun playing on its
surface as it set over the Bey Mountains. The
shadows of houses leaning shoulder to shoulder
darkened the narrow streets winding downhill.
A light evening breeze was blowing, carrying
the cool scent of oranges from the stone paved
courtyards. Wiping the last drop of sweat from
his brow with his sleeve, he began to descend
the flight of steps winding down inside the
minaret, the oil lamp in his hand lighting his
way. The Seljuks had arrived in Adalya, as they
called Antalya, in 1207, many centuries after
King Attalos II of Pergamum had given his name
to the city that he described as heaven on earth.
Now Sultan Alaeddin I Keykubad (1219-1236) was
on the throne, and embellishing the city with
the first Islamic works of art.