Who could have guessed that the Alanya area abounds in ruins of ancient cities? Most of the people who come here are vacationers who rarely step out of the hotel and have no idea how many ancient treasures are hidden nearby. Sometimes, to see them, you have to take a major effort - rent a car, drive deep into the Taurus mountains, overgrown with lush vegetation to find the remains of ancient buildings. However, the case of the ancient city of Naula is different - one just needs to get out of a hotel or a rented apartment in the popular beach resort called Mahmutlar and an unusual sight stretches before your eyes. In the center of Mahmutlar, surrounded by high-rise buildings, there is an undeveloped quarter, and on its premises stand the remains of the old city walls and Byzantine churches.
Little is known about the history of Naula and the sources that mention this city are extremely scarce. The preserved ruins of the buildings date back to the Byzantine period. It is believed that at that time Naula served as a port for Leartes - a city located further away from the coast.
Within the Naula quarter in Mahmutlar there are fragments of ancient walls, a theater, a colonnaded street, two fountains and other, smaller buildings. Most of these structures are very poorly preserved.
The most interesting buildings in Naula are the remains of four early Christian churches, which were marked by the researchers with letters from A to D. From church A only the apse wall has been preserved, where you can see the traces of paintings. Church B is in a better state, because it still has southern and northern walls and an apse. This building originally was about 20 meters long. The walls are plastered and some fragments of frescoes are also visible. There is a niche by the apse which, most probably, once served as a prothesis i.e. a place where the donations made to the parish were stored. The remains of a two-storied building, with visible window openings in the walls, stand next to this church.
Church C is located a little further, in a garden that belongs to a private house. Not much of this building has survived, as the matter of fact only its apse is visible. Church D stands in the yard of another house, just off a banana plantation.
The apse with a double window and part of the north wall from this building remain to the present times. There are also fragments of mosaic floor, in the form of small, finely finished, square pieces of stones. The researchers speculate that there is at least one other church, not yet identified, in Naula.
From the same, Byzantine, period are the stretches of city walls, built from slate stones and bricks. Especially their watchtowers attract attention, now rising to a height of two stories.
The entrance to the ruins of Naula is free of charge, and the area is not fenced off. Judging by the state of disrepair and the rubbish on the ground, many people treat Naula as a place suitable for social events connected with the consumption of alcoholic beverages, neglecting the historical significance of this ancient city.