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Time Travel in Turkey: Unveil Aspendos' Ancient Wonders

Jan 3

As you began your journey to explore the ancient city of Aspendos, you were filled with anticipation. You couldn't wait to discover the rich history of this magnificent city and all the stories it held within its walls.

Discovering Aspendos and its history

As you arrived at Aspendos, you were immediately struck by the grandeur of the ancient city. The well-preserved ruins of the Aspendos theatre and the aqueducts left you amazed. Walking through the vast site, you imagine what life must have been like for those who lived here centuries ago.

You discovered that Aspendos was once the ancient world's major trade and cultural centre. The city was also known for its skilled artisans who produced intricate mosaics, sculptures, and ceramics. As you explored the city, you discovered fascinating artefacts and structures, such as the Great Bath, the Agora, and the Temple of Apollo.

The allure of time travel

The allure of time travel was irresistible as you immersed yourself in the history of Aspendos. You could almost feel the past come alive as you explored each city section. The architecture, art, and culture of the people who once lived here fascinated you and left you with a deep appreciation for their ingenuity.

You couldn't help but feel grateful for the opportunity to witness firsthand the wonder of this ancient city. Your visit to Aspendos was not just a sightseeing excursion but a journey back in time to discover a rich history that continues to inspire us today.


What is Aspendos?

As you arrived at Aspendos, you discovered the impressive ruins of an ancient city that was once a major trade and cultural centre. You were enthusiastic as you walked through the well-preserved structures, imagining the people who lived in the city centuries ago.

Overview of Aspendos

Aspendos was a city founded by the Greeks in the 5th century BC and later conquered by the Romans in the 2nd century BC. The city was famous for its talented artisans who created beautiful mosaics, sculptures, and ceramics. Aspendos was also known for its theatre and is considered one of the world's best-preserved examples of Roman theatre architecture.

Location and Geography

Aspendos is located in the Antalya province of Turkey and on the banks of the Eurymedon River. The city's strategic location made it an important centre for trade and commerce in its time. Aspendos was surrounded by fertile lands and had access to a reliable water supply, making it an ideal place for agriculture.

The history of Aspendos comes alive

Exploring Aspendos was like taking a trip back in time. The ancient structures and artefacts brought the city's history to life, making it easier to imagine what it was like to inhabit the city during its heyday. The city's theatre was particularly impressive, with its well-preserved architecture providing insight into the ingenuity of the ancient engineers and builders.

As you explored the city, you were amazed by the well-preserved ruins of the Great Bath, the Agora, and the Temple of Apollo. These structures provided a glimpse into the daily lives of those who once called Aspendos home.

Overall, your journey to Aspendos was a phenomenal experience. Witnessing firsthand the wonders of this ancient city left you with a deep appreciation for the ingenuity and creativity of the people who inhabited it centuries ago.


Aspendos Theater

History of Aspendos Theater

Aspendos Theater was built during the reign of Marcus Aurelius in 161 A.D. It has an estimated capacity of between 15,000 to 20,000 spectators. This theatre has stood the test of time and has escaped the destruction that has befallen many ancient structures.

Architectural design and features

The theatre is designed to provide perfect acoustics, testifying to the ancient builders' remarkable architectural and engineering skills. The theatre's acoustic properties are so exceptional that you could hear a pin drop from the top seat, even many meters away from the performing stage. The theatre is adorned with lavishly designed friezes and stage backdrops, displaying ancient themes and cultural motifs.

Aspendos Theater is known for being one of the best-preserved theatres globally, and a visit to Aspendos without seeing the theatre is like going on a date and not looking your best. The seating is configured so that everyone can see the stage and enjoy the performance without the need for ear strain or visual discomfort. The theatre's unique design is also angled to maximize the available natural light penetrating the stage, making the actors' performances more illuminating and engaging.

Aspendos Theater is a testament to the architectural, engineering, and intellectual brilliance of ancient Roman builders. A trip to Aspendos allows you to witness a well-preserved example of ancient Roman architectural heritage.


Aspendos Aqueduct

You made your way to another ancient wonder in Aspendos - the Aqueduct. This impeccable piece of engineering left you in awe and admiration for the minds that devised such an ingenious idea.

Explanation of Aspendos Aqueduct

The Aspendos Aqueduct was a system that enabled water to flow from the mountains to the city of Aspendos. It was a vital part of the city's infrastructure, and without it, the city would not have been able to flourish to its fullest potential. The aqueduct consists of 2 tiers where the top tier is designed to carry the water, and the bottom tier provides structural support.

Construction history

The Aspendos Aqueduct was built in the 2nd century AD, and the construction process took approximately 20 years to complete. It stands at an impressive height of 15 meters, with a total length of around 15 kilometres. Strikes of earthquakes caused damage to the aqueduct in the past, but thanks to the restoration work carried out, it remains intact to this day.

The construction of the Aspendos Aqueduct showcases the intelligence of the ancient Roman engineers, architects, and labourers. The hard work and dedication put into building such a system is admirable.

Wrapping up your visit to the Aspendos Aqueduct, you were delighted to have learned about the incredible efforts involved in its making. It's truly remarkable to witness such a marvel and a testament to the great minds of ancient times.


Aspendos Bridge

Overview of Aspendos Bridge

The Aspendos Bridge was built in the 2nd century AD during the Roman Empire. It spans over the Eurymedon River, connecting the west and east banks of the river. The bridge measures approximately 259 meters long, with a width of about 9 meters. It is made of large stone blocks and features 14 arches.

Walking along the bridge, you notice the intricate details of the masonry work and the beautiful arches that serve as a pathway for the river below. You pause to marvel at the engineering and architectural genius that allowed such a structure to stand for centuries.

Connection to Aspendos Theater

The Aspendos Bridge is an architectural marvel and has a fascinating connection to the Aspendos Theater. Historians believe the bridge was crucial in transporting materials such as marble used in the theatre's construction.

The bridge's strategic location near the Aspendos Theater made it the perfect route for transporting materials from the quarries on the other side of the river. Perhaps this logistic advantage helped the theatre's construction to be completed precisely and in record time.

Wrapping up your visit to the Aspendos Bridge, you leave with a newfound appreciation for the ancient Roman engineers and their exceptional engineering abilities. The bridge stands as a testament to their ingenuity and serves as a reminder of the advancement of ancient civilizations.


Aspendos Basilica

History and Significance of Aspendos Basilica

The Aspendos Basilica was built during the 5th century AD, during the Byzantine era. It was believed to have been constructed on an earlier Roman basilica site. The purpose of the basilica is still not fully known, but it is believed to have served as a courthouse and a religious building.

The significance of the Aspendos Basilica lies not only in its historical significance but also in its remarkable architectural design. As you walk around the basilica, you can see the intricate details of the columns decorated with carvings and the beautiful arches forming the nave and aisles.

Function and architectural design

The Aspendos Basilica has a unique cruciform plan, originally featuring a dome at the centre of the cross. However, the dome has since collapsed. The basilica has a length of around 99 meters and a width of approximately 86 meters, making it one of the largest in Asia Minor.

The architectural design is also unique, combining Roman and Byzantine elements. The columns, for example, are in the Corinthian style, while the arches blend Roman and Byzantine designs.

Wrapping up your visit to the Aspendos Basilica, you leave with a newfound appreciation for the architectural prowess of the Byzantine Empire. The basilica stands as a testament to their ingenuity and serves as a reminder of the advancement of ancient civilizations.


Aspendos City Walls

If you're a history buff, visiting the Aspendos City Walls is a must-see attraction. These ancient walls served not only as a symbol of the prosperity and power of the city but also as a vital defensive structure to ward off potential attacks.

Overview of Aspendos City Walls

The Aspendos City Walls are a series of stone fortifications built around Aspendos during the early Roman period. The walls stretch for several kilometres and encircle the entire city, providing a sense of grandeur and security.

Even today, the walls remain well-preserved, and it is easy to imagine what it was like to walk along their ramparts nearly two thousand years ago.

Protection and construction

The Aspendos City Walls served as a form of protection against attacks from hostile neighbouring tribes and empires. The walls were said to have been constructed by the order of the Roman Emperor Varus, who recognized the city's strategic importance.

The construction of the walls took several years and was carried out by thousands of skilled labourers, using advanced techniques that are still impressive even by today's standards.

As you stroll along the walls, you'll be impressed by the sheer ingenuity of their construction. The walls were designed with slits for archers to shoot through, and they also featured watchtowers and gates that could be locked to prevent invaders from entering.

If you're interested in history or architecture, visiting the Aspendos City Walls will not disappoint. Not only will you get to marvel at the impressive construction techniques of the Roman era, but you'll also get a glimpse into the strategic importance of Aspendos during ancient times.


Travelling to Aspendos

If you're planning a trip to Aspendos, you should know a few things. This guide will give you a brief overview of how to get to Aspendos and offer some tips to help make your visit more enjoyable.

Transportation options

Aspendos is located in the Antalya Province of Turkey, so the easiest way to get there is by flying into Antalya International Airport. You can take a taxi or rent a car to get to Aspendos from the airport. The drive takes about an hour, and it's a scenic route that passes through picturesque villages and towns.

You can take a bus from Antalya to Aspendos if you prefer public transportation. The journey takes around 90 minutes, and buses leave regularly throughout the day.

Tips and advice for travellers

When visiting Aspendos, it's important to bring comfortable walking shoes, as the ancient city walls span several kilometres. The walls themselves are well-preserved, and it's possible to walk along the ramparts and understand what it was like to defend the city thousands of years ago.

If you're travelling during the summer, bring sunscreen and a hat as Aspendos can get quite hot and sunny. You might also want to bring a bottle of water, as there may not be any refreshment stands nearby.

Finally, be sure to bring a camera to capture the impressive construction of the Aspendos City Walls. With their archer slits, watchtowers, and gates, they were a testament to the ingenuity of the Roman Empire more than two thousand years ago.

Overall, Aspendos City Walls are a great place for anyone interested in history or architecture. Whether you're arriving by car, bus, or taxi, the beauty and grandeur of the walls are sure to impress. Plan your trip to Aspendos today for an unforgettable experience.