The ancient theatre is the major attraction of Aspendos, luring visitors to the ancient Turkey’s most exquisite instance of such construction. A column gallery covers the top portion of the auditorium. Through the galleries on either side of the stage the public gets to the top. During the time of Roman emperor Marcus Aurelius, architect Zeno the son of Theodoros erected the ancient theatre (161-180 AD). In the Hellenic and Latin engravings on both sides of the stage, it is written that the theatre in Aspoenos Antalya was given to the gods and to the residence of the emperor.
Possibly the main city in Pamphylia in ancient times was Aspendos. During the Roman era, when business and trade flourished here, this splendid town reached its era. The city was traditionally built about 1000 BC by the well-known divine Greeks Mopsos and from the Hittite era (800 BC) onward archaeologists found evidence of a town. Similar to Perge and Side, the final decrease of the city was attributable to the shelter of the port and the Byzantine Empire’s centralizing policy. During Selyuk rule over the Turkish side, the former grand theatre of Aspendos served only as a caravanserai.
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Things to See in Aspoenos Antalya
While you are in Aspoenos Antalya, don’t forget to give a visit to the forth-mentioned wonderful places.
Although most people are merely there to attend the theatre, there are much more to do if you have time to do the sightseeing. The acropolis hill of 40 metres rises right over the lower town of Aspendos. The nymphhaeum, formerly a magnificent edifice articulated by double columns, now represented by just a 32-meter long wall, with ten niches for images, lies beyond the remnants of a small temple and agora. The foundation is next to this on the north, perhaps to a bouleuterion or chamber of the council.
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Aspendos theater, one of the biggest ever Roman theatre in minor Asia, is presently one of Roman theatre architecture’s best surviving examples. The theatre was constructed in the 2nd century AD under the reign of Marcus Aurelius in the lowest part of the town on the site. A crowd between 15,000 and 20,000 may meet the huge seating layout. It’s now being utilised for music and theatrical festivals such as the famed Aspendos Opera Festival in Turkey. The semi-circular, halfway up a wide passageway, divides into two portions with 20 floors, with 10 lower-half staircases and 19 floors with 21 upper-part steps. A barrel waved colonnade goes around the top.
At each end of the stage, the orchestra is accessed by vaulted tunnels. The two-story wall of the stage was articulated by slender double columns with lower ionic capitals and upper Corinthian capitals. A fractured pediment was prevalent in the double column flanked by the central entrance of the stage. There was a wooden roof on the stage itself suspended with ropes, and perhaps an awning protected the auditorium too.
Just north of the Acropolis mountain in the Aspendos, are the ruins of a beautiful old aqueduct and two connected water towers.
How to Get to Aspoenos Antalya
The Aspendos Theater is situated about 25 kilometres east of Antalya, Turkey, in the old town of Aspendos. Aspendos Antalya is frequently visited on a tour from Antalya and Side, comprising theatre and other surrounding ancient facilities.