Take a Look Back at The Antique Theatre of Antalya on a Tour of Aspendos

Aspendos has big fame with its spectacular Roman theatre which is not only the best-preserved theatre in Turkey but also in the Mediterranean countries. Aspendos was founded on two hills and became one of the wealthiest cities in the region in antiquity. Today it is a stop for visitors who want to tour Aspendos ancient theatre to see the splendid Roman theatre preserved in better conditions and the many festivals that are held in this beautiful theatre either by art associations or Turkish government as international activities. According to Greek legend, the city was founded by Argive colonists who came to Pamphylia in the leadership of hero Mopsos from Athens after the Trojan War.  Read More...

Take a Look Back at The Antique Theatre of Antalya on a Tour of Aspendos

Aspendos was a settlement in the Lycian period, and the Persians occupied it in 546 BC. The military commander Cimon and the statesman demolished the Persian navy and their fleet of 200 ships by an attack based at the mouth of the river Köprüçay in 467 BC. Later the city was seized again and was used as a base by the Persians. After the death of Alexander the Great, Aspendos came under the control of the Seleucids and Ptolemies before falling into the hands of the Pergamum Kingdom in 133 BC. When the Roman empire was split into two sections, Aspendos was considered as Byzantine town, and it lost its importance. After the Arab raids in the 10th and 11th centuries AD, Turks began to rule the whole area and was then refounded in 1923 when Aspendos was added to Antalya city as a small town and now offers daily tours of Aspendos.

When visitors come on a private tour to Aspendos, they are in awe at the Roman theatre due to its beauty and is the most complete Roman theatre ever built. Today visitors on a guided tour to Aspendos enter the structure through the door which was built during the Roman period. The spectator's seat is semi-circular and has twenty-one rows of seats above that were for the poor and twenty rows below for the rich. The arched galleries were made in a later date from one end to the other of the upper cave. The women usually sat in the top rows under the galleries. The theatre has a seating capacity of 20,000 spectators, and the most striking element of the theatre is the stage building which is a two-storey stone masonry building with five doors giving the debut of the artist under the lower floor.

The small doors at orchestra level were opened to long corridors where the many wild animals were kept. Aspendos theatre is very famous for its astounding acoustics where even the slightest sound created at the centre of the orchestra can be heard easily from the upper galleries. We know that Aspendos theatre was built in 165AD during the rule of Emperor Marcus Aurelius and by the architect Zeno Theodoros from an article in the southern parados. One of the most important historical buildings you will see on an Aspendos tour is the Roman aqueduct several arches that expose the magnificent feat of the engineering that was used to bring in water to the city from the northern mountains and are one of the rare surviving examples of ancient times. The water was collected in the towers that stand at 30 meters high and filtered by using pebbles and coals then was distributed to all parts of the city by earthenware-pipes. An inscription found in Aspendos tells us Tiberius Claudius Italicus built the aqueduct as a gift to the city in 2nd century AD.

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