Aspendos Overview

Aspendos is an ancient city in Turkey, known for its well-preserved Roman theater. It's a fascinating historical site that dates back to the 5th century BC. The theater, with its impressive architecture, could seat around 15,000 spectators and is still used today for various performances and events. Aspendos offers a unique opportunity to step back in time and experience the grandeur of ancient Roman civilization.

Aspendus, an ancient city of Pamphylia, is located 44 kms away from Antalya city center amidst the Eurymedon River in southern Turkey. This magnificent city is famous for its spectacular and one of the best preserved Roman Theater in the world. Explore the historical wonders of Aspendus as part of your Turkey holiday packages, where the ancient allure seamlessly intertwines with the scenic beauty and cultural richness of southern Turkey.

The glorious Roman Theater was built during the golden age of Aspendos, during the reign of Emperor Marcus Aurelius (161–80 AD), and was used during the 13th century as a caravanserai by the Seljuks.Today, after several restoration, this theater has become a venue again and hosts operas, various concerts, events like the Antalya Film Festival and the annual Aspendos Opera and Ballet Film Festival.

The atmosphere around the ancient relics and ruins of roman era with the sounds of acoustics is totally surreal and attracts hundreds of tourists every year. Apart from the famous Roman Theater, there are a lot of structures and ruins worth visiting.

When you arrive at Aspendos City, take the marble street to the right of the entrance to the theatre. It continues to the East Aspendos Gate, beyond the remains of the Stadium. The marble street passes under an archway, and the ingenious drainage scheme of Aspendos is still evident at some points.

Apart from the intriguing aqueducts, a portion of the basilica, the Nymphaeum, the ruins of the market hall and the Bouleuterion are the largest still standing buildings in Aspendos.

How To Reach

Credits:- Image by Dominiquecufi from Pixabay

There are basically three ways by which you can reach Aspendos from Antalya Airport. You can reach here from Antalya airport by public transport, but it is advised to hire a taxi or car for hassle free travel.

By Bus
Aspendos Theater is at a distance of 38 kms from Antalya airport. Indirect buses run from Antalya Airport to Aspendos via Serick, to Termessos.

By Car/Taxi
It is the best way to reach aspendos from Antalya airport. Take the route D400 and you’ll reach Aspendos in approx 45 minutes.

Best Time To Visit

Credits:- Image by Ben_Kerckx from Pixabay

Best time to visit Aspendos is in Summers during the month of March- June. Although the theater is open all year round, most tourists prefer to come in June during the most famous Annual International Opera and Ballet festival. 

Aspendos opens at 8AM daily and closes at 5PM during winters and at 7PM in summers. The best time to visit during a day is early in the morning  when you can escape the maddening summer crowd and midday heat. 

Other Essential Information

Credits:- Image by Ben_Kerckx from Pixabay

Aspendos is located 40kms east of the modern city of Antalya in Turkey.

Distance from Antalya Airport
The distance between Antalya Airport and Aspendos is 40 kms which takes approx 48 minutes to reach by road.

History of Aspendos 

Credits:- Image by Ben_Kerckx from Pixabay

When talking about political history, Aspendos was considered to be the most crucial city for the Pamphylia region. However, during the Roman period, this small city gained huge glory and the main reason for this glory was trade and commerce. During this era, only trade and commerce flourished in Aspendos and people were given the opportunity to thrive. In around 1000 BC, Greek diviner Mopsos founded this ancient city and this is all that is written in history. 

Moreover, the evidence is found by the archaeologist that around 800 BC or the Hittite era, people used to live around this city. 
This city was turned into ashes due to the process of silting up of the harbor. Even the centralization policies of the Byzantine Empire too are the cause of the decline of this historic town. Moreover, when Seljuk was ruling this part of the beautiful country Turkey then the theatre of Aspendos was used for the caravanserai purpose. 

Even Alexander the Great captured the city of Aspendos in 333 BC after capturing the city of Perge. Aspendians people and Alexander together came into agreement however, later Aspendians people failed to follow the terms of the agreement and thought of defending themselves. But their courage was burnt down to ashes by Alexander, as he again came back and captured the city. 
The city's decrease began toward the finish of the Roman time and this stage persevered during the Byzantine time.

The city's decay was exacerbated by the seventh and eleventh century AD Arab attacks. The town was vanquished by the Seljuks in the thirteenth century. All through this time the Roman auditorium in Aspendos was reestablished by the sets of Sultan Ala promotion Din Kayqubad I. The venue building was enlivened with earthenware tiles and geometric works of art. Aspendos turned into a piece of the Ottoman Empire in the fifteenth Century AD.

Greek and Roman Structures

Credits:- Image by Turkeyplusyou0 from Pixabay

This ancient archaeological site has the best-preserved Amphitheatre. All the construction has been made according to the design used in all Greek and Roman structures. This theatre is about 315 ft in diameter and offers seating of approx. 12000 people. 

The Greek architecture Zenon built this theatre and later all these sites were periodically maintained by Seljuqs who used this place as the place where travelers used to take rest after the long journey. Moreover, in the 13th century, this place was converted into the palace, where the Seljuks of Rum used to stay.
To maintain the integrity of Hellenistic tradition, the small portion of this theatre was created in such a way that it is leaning the hill where Citadel is standing.

The remaining theatre was built on the vaulted arches and high stages were in such height that it can be used to isolate the audience from the rest of the people around the world. This theatre has 58 masts that are used to provide shade to the audience by pulling the mast that is supported on the velarium.

These theatres were carved out of common materials hydraulic settings and it provided enormous people to view the event happening in the Empire in one place. If you are someone who loves archaeology and is a history lover then you can see lots of delicate and breathtaking Greek and Roman designs.

Aspendos Theatre 

Credits: Image by Ddouk from Pixabay

This artistic ancient city has many magnificent Roman architects and theatres well-preserved. The Expendables theatre was built by native architect Janon. It was built to honor the great Roman emperor Marcus Aurelius in 2nd century A.D. and was dedicated to the gods of this country and imperial house by two brothers cucutis Crispinus and Curtus Auspicatus. 

Built in classic Roman semi circle architecture, this theatre covers an area of about 315 feet and can accomodate 12000 to 20000 people at a time. This theatre was built of calcareous stone and all its extensions were made up of brick later. The theatre building has a stage in the middle which has 5 doorways for entry to the front of the stage.

The scene is well designed and styled from inside which is elevated. There are many beautiful levels of the building like the big 17 windows divided as buttresses and a portal. All the Opera, Ballet festival and many performances are arranged here by the Turkish government or by art galleries of the city for the visitors and these are all houseful shows as tickets are sold much before the actual performance.

Acropolis and Aqueduct

Credits:- Image by Team-rag from Pixabay

People visit Aspendos mostly to see the theatres however, there are lots of places and views that are worth visiting. One such place is Acropolis hill, the town that is 40 km from Aspendos. While walking around this town, you can see small temples and the agora that is standing on the shrine of the mountain. 

The most famous are Numphaeum and Bouleuterion, both inaccessible from the theater below. 
While moving north of this city you can witness the beauty of nature in the form Aqueducts and the two water Towers that are linked together. These aqueducts are one of best preserved Roman Aqueducts in Turkey.

These water towers were considered as the source of water in the city and this water was filtered by using coals and pebbles. And later it was distributed all over the city through earthen-ware pipes.

Tips on visiting Aspendos

Credits:- Image by Ben_Kerckx from Pixabay

1. Make sure to wear comfortable shoes for walking and loose clothing as weather in Aspendos is mostly hot and humid.

Try to start early in the day so you can visit the nearby attractions, Perge and Manavgat Waterfalls.

Ensure to carry enough water bottles and sunscreen.

Aspendos closes at 5PM in winters and 7PM in summers, so plan your trip accordingly.

Plan your visit during summers if you want to attend the Aspendos Opera and Ballet festival.
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