Silifke is a riverside country town with a long history. A striking castle towers above the mineral-rich blue-green Göksu River, dubbed the Calycadnus in ancient times. In the vicinity are other archaeological and natural sights that deserve a visit.
Seleucia ad Calycadnum, as Silifke was once known, was founded by Seleucus I Nicator in the 3rd century BC. He was one of Alexander the Great's most able generals and founder of the Seleucid dynasty that ruled Syria after Alexander's death.
The town's other claim to fame is that Emperor Frederick Barbarossa (r 1152–90) drowned in the river near here while leading his troops on the Third Crusade. It was apparently the weight of his armour that brought him down.