Located east of Antalya and between two small hills, the ancient city of Aspendos is a sight not to be missed. It is famous for its well-preserved ancient amphitheatre that was built in the second century AD during Marcus Aurelius’ reign. The city was previously known as Pamphylia, the largest port city in the Ancient Times that traded salt, oil and wool. The population of Aspendos also made great wealth from rosewood ornaments, wine and horse-trading. Curiously, during 500 BC it was also one of the first cities in Turkey to mint coins. The city’s main attraction is the amphitheatre. It has a diameter of 96 metres, a capacity for 15,000 people and is used to this day for performances and festivals. Its galleries, stage décor and acoustics are all well planned by its architect, Xeno.
During the summer months of mid-June to mid-August, people travel here to enjoy the Aspendos Opera & Ballet Festival. Close to the stage area, there is a small room that is now a museum where you can view ancient masks and clay tickets. While above the theatre there is an acropolis with a great view of the river and other ruins of the city.
From Aspendos you might want to journey to other intriguing ancient cities in Turkey, all showing different civilizations that have long gone. Travellers will make their destination either Alara Castle, Perge Ancient City or Selge Ancient City.