Exploring the Ancient City of Aspendos: A Visitor’s Guide

Photos of the ancient city of Aspendos

 

The ancient city of Aspendos in Antalya with pristine and spectacular beaches

 

The ancient city of Aspendos It is one of the historical attractions near Antalya, Turkey, which is famous for the existence of the oldest usable amphitheater in the world.

 

The ancient city of Aspendos One of the historical attractions of Turkey is four kilometers away from Antalya. One of the oldest and largest amphitheaters in the world was located in this ancient city. The excellent acoustics and sound construction of this ancient amphitheater have made it still in use today, hosting numerous concerts during the Aspendos Opera and Ballet Festival every summer.

 

Historical studies show that Aspendos was one of the first cities in the world where coinage became common.

 

The most prosperous period of this city dates back to the 2nd-3rd century AD, and the architectural masterpieces of that historical period can still be seen in the city.

 

In the past, this city had a beautiful nature, lush forests and vast and fertile plains.

 

The people of this city used trees to make statues and sofas and decorated their curtains with gold and silver.

 

The source of income for most of the residents of this city has been horse breeding and salt extraction from the lakes.

 

The large and open amphitheater of Aspendos Antalya is built on a steep hill, the building of which has been left since the 2nd century AD, and its atmosphere takes you back to the days of the ancient Romans.

 

On the north side of Aspendos, you can see the remains of the water supply aqueducts of this city.

 

In 2015, the amphitheater and the aqueduct of the ancient city of Aspendos were registered in the UNESCO World Heritage List.

 

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The ancient city of Aspendos from above

 

Where is the ancient city of Aspendos?

 

This ancient city is located 50 kilometers east of Antalya in Serik district, Belkis village.

 

There are many tourist tours from the center of Antalya and Side to Aspendos that you can join.

 

If you want to visit this city in person, you should take a bus to Serig and then go to Aspendos.

 

Although using a taxi is more convenient, it will cost you a lot.

 

Address: Turkey, Antalya Province, Serig District, Belig Village

 

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History of the ancient city of Aspendos

 

History of the ancient city of Aspendos

 

According to archaeologists, Aspendos was probably the most important city in Pamphylia. This city was founded 1000 years before Christ and archaeologists have found evidence of the Hittite period of 800 years before Christ in this area.

 

The prosperity of Aspendos continued until the Seljuk and Ottoman eras, and like the city of Side, it fell into disrepair due to the sinking of the port and the central policies of the Byzantine Empire.

 

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Pictures of the ancient city of Aspendos

The story of the construction of the Aspendos amphitheater

 

This amphitheater is known as one of the largest Roman theaters built in Asia Minor, which is currently considered to be one of the best examples of the mysteries of Roman amphitheatres. The construction of this building dates back to the second century AD and at the same time as the reign of Marcus Olius. This building has a capacity of 15-20 thousand people. Currently, the amphitheater building is completely renovated and used.

 

The architects who were responsible for building the amphitheater and aqueducts of the city all started building these buildings with the aim of getting the royal award, and this award was nothing but marrying the king’s daughter.

 

After the completion of the construction of the aqueduct and the amphitheater, because Padshan liked both works, he announced that he would divide his daughter in half so that each half would marry one of the architects.

 

The architect of the amphitheater sacrificed himself and did not accept this offer, but this sacrifice made the king choose him as his son-in-law.

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Amphitheater of the ancient city of Aspendos

 

Aspendos amphitheater architectural style

 

The building of the amphitheater has a semi-open, which is divided by two corridors with stairs and a slope. These staircases were designed for audience seating and, like most remaining amphitheatres from Roman times, a special place was reserved for the emperor and his family.

 

59 arches can be seen in the building of this hall.

 

 

The front rows were reserved for senators and judges, and the famous people of the city were placed in the second row. The two semicircular parts of the building include 20 rows of seats, 10 stairs in the lower half, 19 seats and 21 stairs in the upper half.

 

The columns on both sides of the entrance have broken centaur architecture.

 

Probably, the platform had a wooden roof that was hung with a canopy and shaded the theater area. During the Seljuk period, this building was used as a caravanserai, and the Seljuk sultans stayed there, and the reason why the building remained intact was due to its protection and restoration during the Seljuk period. In the period of Mustafa Kemal Atatürk in 1930, this building was restored and reused.

 

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Architecture of the ancient city of Aspendos

 

Acropolis hill

 

Acropolis Hill with a height of 40 meters is located in the center of the city, on which you can see the remains of a small temple, a market and a memorial structure of the Nymphaeum, which was built with two-part columns.

 

Currently, only a 32-meter wall with 10 recesses, which was the place to display the sculptures, remains from this monument. Other building foundations can be seen in this place, which probably belonged to the council building.

 

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Aqueduct of the ancient city of Aspendos

 

Aspendos aqueduct

 

In the north of the Acropolis hill and the west of the amphitheater, there are the remains of an ancient aqueduct and two water towers connected to each other, which provided water to the people of the city. This aqueduct was built in the 2nd or 3rd century AD and it is estimated that it was about 19 kilometers long.

 

Apparently, this aqueduct has only been used for 150 years and has been out of reach due to earthquake damage. The Aspendos aqueduct system is one of the best preserved examples of ancient waterways.

 

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Visit the ancient city of Aspendos

 

Necessary tips for visiting the ancient city of Aspendos

 

Visiting hours of the city are from April to October 1st (April 12 – October 9) from 8:00 – 19:00 and from October to April 1 (October 9 – April 12) from 8:30 – 17:30.

 

The price of the ticket to visit the city in 20200 is 75 lira.

 

Visiting the city of Aspendos is not included in most Iranian tour programs, and those who are interested should visit this city at their own expense and by public transportation.

 

Climbing the hills of the ancient city requires comfortable walking shoes.

 

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Posted by Ashkion