Aspendos Theater History, Story and Features

aspendos theater history and features
Photo: wikipedia

Aspendos or Belkıs is an ancient city famous for its ancient theater located in the village of Belkıs in the Serik district of Antalya province. It is one of the richest cities of Pamfilya.


Aspendos, 8 kilometers east of Serik district, where it reaches the plain from the mountainous region of Köprüçayı. It was founded by the Achaeans in the 10th century and is one of the rich cities of the ancient period. The theater here was built by the Romans in the 2nd century AD. The city was built on two hills, one large and one small.

Geographer Strabon and Pamponrus Mela write that the city was founded by the Agrus. Greek immigration to the region after 1200 BC, whereas the source of the name Aspendos is the native Anatolian language before the Greeks. Aspendos was among the cities that were wanted to be seized in every age, as it is on an important trade route and is connected to the port with Köprüçay River.

The most important structure of Aspendos is its theater. It is an open-air theater that has been preserved in the best way among ancient theaters. This theater is the oldest and strongest example of Roman Theaters in Anatolia that can survive with its stage. Its architect is Zenon, the son of Theodorus of Aspendos. It was started in the time of Antonius Piu and completed in the time of Marcus Aurelius (138-164). The theater was presented to the emperor family with the city's native gods.

Thousands of local and foreign tourists visit Aspendos every year. The ancient theater is also used for concerts, events.

There is also a small story of Aspendos Ancient Theater. The king of Aspendos once had a very beautiful daughter that everyone wanted to marry. Since the king does not know who to give his daughter to, he announces to the people, "Whoever does the most useful thing for our people, our city, I will give my daughter to him." On top of that, two twin brothers make two big structures. One of them is far from the city, the aqueducts that bring water through complex roads by passing many difficulties; In the middle of the other, when the coin is thrown to the ground, it is the acoustically best theater in the world where even the top lines are heard. After seeing the aqueducts, the king would like to give his daughter to the maker of the aqueducts. Thereupon, the architect of the theater Zenon plays a game to the king. The king hears a whisper as he walks up the theater, "The king should give his daughter to me." The king, who admires the acoustics, splits his daughter in half with a large sword and gives it to the brothers.


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