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   Aspendos

Pamfilya city, Aspendos is 48 km. east of Antalya. Aspendos can be reached with an asphalt separated from Antalya - Manavgat road. City is 8 km. east of Serik Province, at the place where Kopru Stream reaches plains from mountainous region, and is found on two hills, one is big and other is small, and one of the richest cities. Its first name is Estvadiiy as can be seen on the coins printed. Most powerful money in antic world is Aspendos coins.

City, which is founded at the beginning of 7th century B. C., had met with reigns of Persia, Antic Delos Marine Union, Alexander the Great, Byzantium, Seljukians and Ottomans. Aspendos, which is famous as an important harbor and commercial city with its position at the entrance of Evrimedon Stream, is famous with corn, rose tree made souvenirs, wine, salt and horse purchase. City is also famous with breeding the best horses of antic world.

Pieces of arts in Aspendos, had separated into two as Lower City Structures and Upper City Structures. There are agora, basilica meeting structure, nymphaeum and exedra between Upper City Structures. Theater, stadion, hamams, aqueduct, temple and necropolis can be mentioned between Lower City Structures. It is known that Aspendos ramparts are constructed within Hellenistic Period, and then repaired during Late Roman and Byzantium Periods.

Main structure that makes Aspendos artistic center, is theater. Aspendos Theater is the most undamaged theater, which came today from antic world. Architecture of the theater, which is established at the foot of a small hill, is Zenon, son of Thedoros of Aspendos. Its capacity is 15.000 persons. Its most important characteristic is its great acoustic. Theater is used as caravanserai during Seljukians period. Zig zag motifs on white desks, seen on some parts of stage building are belonging to Seljukian Period.

Cavea part of the theater is semi circle planned, and is separated into two with a wide diasoma. A wide gallery, composed of 59 arches, surrounds all along the rear of upper cavea. Special lodges over the entrances at both sides of cavea are reserved for emperor's family and society priestesses. First one of the sitting desks from orchestra belongs to senator, judge and foreign ambassadors, and second one belongs to the notables of the city.

Women were generally sit on the upper desks, within part under gallery. Remaining parts is open for all natives of the city. Stage is the most impressive part of the theater.

There are five doors, maintaining actors to step into stage at the lower floor of two layered fasad, constructed from conglomerate blocks. Small doors at orchestra level were belong to vestibules where wild animals were closed. At the middle of the side architecture with columns at upper floor a wine god Dionysos relief, who is the establisher and protector of theaters, is decorated.

 

 
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