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The ancient city of Aspendos


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Aspendos - another ruins of an ancient city on the territory of Turkey. It was located 16 km from the coast (for strategic purposes) at the river Eurimedon (now Kepryu). Founded Aspendos, according to legend, the clairvoyant Mops. The first to settle here are the tribes of the Achaeans after the Trojan War. The city entered the naval Confederacy of the Delians until 425 BC. The Persians put their ships here before the battles against the Delos confederation.

Aspendos was a great river trading port. He entered the list of territories captured by Alexander the Great, it happened in 333 BC. Residents of Aspendos wanted to pay off the invaders, offering the commander a thousand horses and 50 gold talents. Their promises were not fulfilled, the Macedonian occupied the city. Local residents after that were to annually give to Alexander 4 thousand of the best horses and several tons of gold. Here is the price of an unfulfilled promise.

Rules in the city and the Seleucid dynasty. There was a city and part of the Pergamon kingdom. The Battle of Sipil (190 BC) decided the fate of Aspendos - it became part of the Roman Empire and reached its highest degree of prosperity, as indicated by its honorable third place among the major cities of Pamphylia. At this time, buildings were created, the ruins of which are observed in our time.

The development of the city was facilitated by a mild climate and geographical location. The merchant and port Aspendos grew olives, grapes, corn, sold wine, horses and ornaments. Silver coins were minted here. Stay under the rule of Byzantium led to impoverishment of local residents, Arab raids in the 7th century destroyed crops and created cultural values. The beginning of the 13th century was marked by the conquest of Aspendos by the Seljuks. Gradually, the city is in decline, and then completely turns into a desert place.

Famous ruins of the city

Fame Aspendos brought the amphitheater. Just imagine that you built it in the second century. The inscriptions on the stones of the building indicate that the theater was erected in honor of the family of Emperor Marcus Aurelius. The money for the construction was given by the brothers Curtius Crispin and Aviscapat.

The size of the building is impressive: about 17 thousand seats, 500 people - the capacity of the orchestra pit. At 96 meters stretched 39 rows of steps. The arch above the stands provided the spectators with a shadow.

Above the lodge on the right, where there were apartments of the emperor, nowadays a small museum is organized: its exhibits are masks, coins, which were admission tickets. The rectangular room opposite the amphitheater served as a room for disguising actors (dressing rooms).

Designed theater, the architect Zenon has calculated everything to the smallest detail: the acoustics in it is such that a whisper on the stage is heard on the last row. Microphones do not need to be used even today. You will ask, how could the building that has been through so many centuries survive? The Seljuks fortified the northern wing with brickwork, and the local calcareous stone is quite strong. In the era of the Romans, the building was decorated with marble, relief patterns, sculptures.

Discovered amphitheater in 1871 traveling company Count Landskonsky. The theater was the most striking construction of the Anatolian peninsula in the 1950s after a thorough reconstruction.

On the stage of the amphitheater, concerts of classical music, opera and ballet art are held nowadays. Since the beginning of June and the whole tourist season, those who wish to enjoy the ancient acoustics and beauty of the building are on buses to Aspendos. Since mid-June, the Opera and Ballet Festival has been held here: one can hear the singing of venerable foreign and Russian performers. A ticket costs 20 liras. From Antalya, from the Archaeological Museum, a bus departs to take everyone to the festival. The charges are about half past six.

Only a kilometer separates from the theater the Roman aqueduct. In the old days, he supplied the city with water. Spread the aqueduct for 20 km.

A beautiful legend shrouded the history of the erection of the theater and aqueduct. By Semiramis (according to some sources the princess was called Belkiz), the daughter of King Aspende, two architects flared with passion. In order to make a fair choice in favor of one of them, the ruler suggests that they create a structure equal to which there is no and there was not. The winner of the competition in architectural craftsmanship will get a daughter as wife.

Simultaneously, the construction is completed one - the theater, the other - the aqueduct. The king could not choose: buildings were so good. He suggested that his rivals divide Semiramis in half, so that no one was hurt. Then the creator of the theater renounced his beloved, saving her life. So the king learned who loves his daughter for real, and he gives her to his wife.

Aspende found a talented and loving son-in-law (it was Zeno), and we are the buildings that glorify Aspendos and give the opportunity to admire its beauty for centuries.

Walking along the ruins of the city, you will see a well-preserved stadium. It is located on the north side of the amphitheater. It was here that the jumps of thoroughbred horses passed. The path between the stadium and the amphitheater leads to the Acropolis. Entrance to it is possible through the eastern gate (all in Aspendos three gates).

From the basilica can only see the foundation. Not far from it is located the preserved part of the fountain. Massive remains of buildings in the distance are fragments of baths and gymnasium.

The Seljuk bridge, built in the 13th century across the river, is now a vivid and spectacular landmark of far away times.

Note to the tourists planning a trip to Aspendos

Go to the ruins of Aspendos can be every day from 8 am to 7 pm. Admission is free, you will have to pay only for a ticket to the amphitheater. Since there is no place to hide in the ancient city, and even in the theater there is no roof, we advise you to come here in April - June, September, October, when the sun is not so hot. There are no hotels here either.

Passing through the bridge across the river, you will get several cafes, but there are many visitors in them, and there is always crowded. On the very territory of ancient Aspendos there are only souvenir shops.

You can come to Aspendos with a tourist bus from Antalya, Side and Belek.

In order not to worry about transport, guide, snack, book an excursion from the nearest resorts. There are no direct bus services to Aspendos. There is a bus from Antalya to Manavgat, then following to Alanya. The driver will drop you off at a stop, from which else you will go to the city for 4 km by taxi (the trip will cost about 15 lire). You can take a taxi all the way from Antalya to Aspendos - about 100 lire per hour on the road.

On your own transport, take the D400 (from Antalya and Belek) to Alanya. Drive through the village Serik. After seeing the sign "Belkis Aspendos" after 7 km, turn right. Orienting by the signs, you reach the car park near the city. For it will have to lay out 5 lire.

Take with you water, light snack. Shoes and clothes should be comfortable for long walks. Count on an average spend about 3-4 hours of your time to inspect all the sights of the city (the guide will not hurt, but, on the contrary, help to understand the ruins).

Let the meeting with the beautiful and admirable past be remembered for a long time.



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