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. 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.
Perge, a magnificent ancient city amidst the rivers Catarrhactes and Cestrus, is located 15kms east of the beautiful Antalya, Turkey. Dating as far back as the Bronze Age, it is believed that the city was originally settled by Hittites around 1500 B.C. Invaded by Alexander the Great, Perge`s glorious and splendid architecture is a living proof of Hellenistic Period. Soon after, it was followed by Roman Imperial Period for the first three centuries A.D. Ancient Perge is known for the fact that Saint Paul preached his first sermon here in 46 A.D. before embarking on his journeys. That is why it became an important city for the expansion Christians and Christianity during Byzantine period. All the remains of these ancient eras can be seen in the city. The Greco-Roman Theater with fine marble reliefs and Stadium of Perge that could seat over 12000 people were excavated in 1946, are some of Perge’s best preserved sites. A Hellenistic-Roman gate-towers flanked by ruined towers are also most photographed and visited sites in perge because of their unique appearance and historic importance. You can pass between the massive antique gates and stroll down the ruins of colonnaded boulevard to a nymphaeum to explore the ancient glory of Perge. Explore the history and beauty of perge and experience this archaeological paradise along the routes followed by Alexander the Great.
The Yivli Minaret mosque is eight-centuries old and is the symbol of Antalya, the tourism capital of southern Turkey. Many foreign architecture enthusiasts and local tourists visit this grooved minaret as it epitomizes Turkish Anatolian architectural design like no other. Built by Anatolian Seljuk Sultan Kayqubad I, the mosque is one of the most visited historical monuments in Antalya province. The mosque is known for its grooved minaret representing a specific type of Anatolian Turkish Architecture. One of the best examples of the domed mosque culture of Anatolia, the mosque was equipped with an excellent cooling and heating system built according to conditions back then. This particular system of heating and cooling is distinctive mainly because it preserves the heat inside the wall of the window. Water flowing under the Minare, through the tunnels provides warmth in winter and coolness in the summers. The Yivli Minare Mosque attracts massive attention from the people also because it is used as the city’s logo and Antalyaspor’s (football team) emblem. Besides Yivli Minare being a well-known world symbol, it is known to have an extraordinary atmosphere that influences people to convert into Islam. Although travelers may read up an inscription at the Minaret’s entrance that illustrates how Mehmet Bey built the mosque in 1373. But, originally the mosque was built in the year 1230. It was built putting an old church’s ruined walls into use. The Sultan of the Seljuks, ruling between 1220 -1237, named Alaaddin Kykubad ordered the construction of this mosque. Later, The General Directorate of Museums and Cultural Heritage ordered restoration works on the minaret during 1953 and 1961, while the spire got renovated in 1973.