The Roman Theatre in Aspendos was built in the second century after christ, it is more than 1700 years old! With the short lifespan of everything around us, it’s always astonishing to me to see buildings and handwork that lasted for over a few hundred years, or even more than a thousand years. Located in the backcountry of the Turkish riviera Aspendos is about 5 km east of the Town of Serik and 40 km east Antalya. The ‘open air museum’ can be reached with an own (rental) car or during an organised Trip. I visited it with a Vianobilis Tour (click to visit their facebook page.
The Theatre of Aspendos is the best preserved ancient theatre in Asia Minor and the most magnificent roman building of the province of Pamphylia as well. It was initially built during the reign of the Roman emperor Marcus Aurelius, between 161-180 A.D. The inscription on the western entrance wall records that the architect was Zenon, son of Theodorus. The theatre was the gift to the city of two rich brothers, A.Curtius Crispinus Arruntianus and A.Curtius Crispinus. The two-storied stage building has (had) a capacity for up to 8.500 people. More details can be found on the Unesco Website.
A very nice anecdote is that Aspendos was on the route of many transport ways like the Silk Route, and many stopped thereby to rest for a day or two. The hospitality, including water for the horses and a place to sleep, was free of charge. Like a Motel nowadays, in such a historic building – crazy! Nowadays there are regular events taking place in the newly built “Gloria Aspendos Arena” close to the ancient one, you can find tickets here.
Adress: Roman Theatre near Antalya