- Places to Explore
- Travel Tips
- Fodor's Choice
Pay your admission to the main site at what was once the actors' entrance to the theater. Although there are many Roman theatres none are quite as perfect as this one built by a local architect called Xenon during the reign of Emperor Marcus Aurelius (AD 161–180). Much of its preservations owes to it being reused by Seljuk Turks as a royal palace in the 13th century; traces of the distinctive Seljuk red-and-yellow paint work are still visible. The theatre is striking for the broad curve of seats, perfectly proportioned porticoes, and rich decoration. The Greeks liked open vistas behind their stages, but the Romans preferred enclosed spaces. The stage building you see today was once covered by an elaborate screen of marble columns, and its niches were filled with statues. The only extant relief onsite depicts Dionysus (Bacchus) watching over the theater. The acoustics are fine, and the theater continues to be used—for concerts and for the Antalya International Opera and Ballet Festival, held every June and July, rather than for wild-animal and gladiator spectacles as in Roman times. Note the stone brackets on the outside, these once held a vast awning which shaded the audience.
Aspendos was a city, dating back to the Hittite times, but most visitors just see the theater. The rest is up a short zigzagging trail behind it. The rewards are a tall Nymphaion (a sanctuary to the nymphs built around a fountain decorated with a marble dolphin) and the remains of a Byzantine basilica and market hall. You can also see, below in the plain, the stadium and the aqueduct which used an ingenious syphon system.
- Address: 49 km (31 mi) east of Antalya,
- Cost: 15 TL
- Hours: Daily 9–7
- Location: Aspendos
Fodor's Trip Planning Ideas
- Fodor's Go List 2014: Where we are going in 2014
- World Cup Fever: Start planning your trip to Brazil!
- Fodor's 100 Hotel Awards: Check out the winners of 2013
- Weekend Getaways: Fodor's Recommends the Best Weekend Escapes in the US
- Great American Vacation: Find Your Next U.S. Trip with Fodor's
- 80 Degrees: Fodor's Helps You Find Your Best Beach Vacation Spots
- Best of Europe: Fodor's Picks the Best Places to Visit in Europe
We decided last night to make use of the unseasonably warm weather in this part of the world and hit the road from Nicea to travel 315 kilometers to Usak, starting early this morning.
The concept of "early" Read more
We got back from Turkey a couple weeks ago, and all I can is…wow! Read more
We will be arriving in SELCUK, by bus, FAIRLY LATE IN THE EVENING, from Pammukale.
We would like to take a TAXI to our hotel: The Amazon Petit Hotel.
Will there likely be taxis available outside the Read more
· News & Features
Wine connoisseurs take note: Norwegian Cruise Line has partnered with the Michael Mondavi Family Estate ... Read more
Got cabin fever?... Read more
Finding an affordable, stylish hotel in Manhattan is a challenge.... Read more