What today reminds us of the brilliance and glory of the ancient Roman city of Aspendos is the same- titled Theatre, which is one of the best preserved similar structures in the world. The Ancient Theatre Aspendos is located on the southern Turkish coast of the Mediterranean province of Anatalya. Aspendos is located about 47 km east of the modern resort of Anatalya. The closest location to Aspendos is town Serik, which is 7 km away.
Aspendos is the ancient city of region Pamphylia, which borders Side - another ancient settlement in this part of Turkey. It is assumed that the original settlement at the site of the Roman Aspendos was founded around 1000 BC by the colonialists coming from Argos.
The city was one of the few creators of their own silver coins. In the 5th century BC, Aspendos was the most important city in Pamphylia. This is largely due to the adjacent river Eurymedon, which at that time was navigable and made it a key settlement in the trade of salt, butter and wool.
In 333 BC Aspendos was captured by Alexander the Great, and in 190 BC the city was already under the control of the Romans. The magnificent amphitheater was built in the 2nd century during the reign of Marcus Aurelius (161-180). In its place there was already a similar structure, but it was completely removed and replaced by the current theater of Aspendos .
Architect of the amphitheater is Zenon, whose statue today can be seen on the southern front entrance. The statue is accompanied by a caption of gratitude by the people of Aspendos to the master and states that he had been given land next to the theater to do his job.
Construction of the theater is financed by the rich brothers Curtius Crespinus and Curtius Auspicatus, who devote enormous the structure to the "Gods of the country and the royal court."
Theatre Aspendos has a capacity of 15 000 people and is still used today for various shows and festivals. It’s galleries, decorations and especially the excellent acoustics attest to the great skill of Zeno.
According to the Hellenistic traditions of a small theater, Aspendos was built leaning against the hill of the Acropolis and the rest is built on vaulted arches. Near the stage there is a small room used as a small museum where one can see some antiquities.
Over theater Aspendos, remains the Acropolis, the ancient basilica, the agora, the Nymphaeum, and the council called Bouleuterion, which are now entirely in ruins, but still very interesting. About 15 km from the theater Aspendos we can see a well-preserved Roman aqueduct, which is one of the largest in Anatalya.