Aspendos Ancient City

Discover Antalya and visit ancient Aspendos

Ancient City of Aspendos

Situated in Serik town of Antalya province, Aspendos impresses visitors with its elegant amphitheatre and other ancient remains. The theatre of Aspendos is one of the most magnificent and well preserved buildings in the world built by the Romans.

Aspendos Theatre

The antique theatre is the main feature of Aspendos, attracting visitors who come here to see the most magnificent example of such architecture still remaining in Turkey from ancient times.

Aspendos was founded by colonists coming from Argos, under the sovereignty of Mopsos. Aspendos flourished even more in the Roman era. The ruins visible today belong to this era. The antique theatre of Aspendos, which is in an excellent condition and is currently used for concerts and similar activities, can hold circ a 12.000 people. It is a splendid example of the work of Roman architects, who managed to combine the auditorium and the stage in a harmonious manner.

The uppermost section of the auditorium is covered with a gallery of columns. The audience reaches the upper rows by climbing through the galleries on either sides of the stage. The antique theatre was built by the architect Zeno, Theodorous' son, during the reign of the Roman Emperor Marcus Aurelius (161-180 AD). In the Hellenic and Latin engravings etched on the entrances on either side of the stage building, it is written that the theatre had been offered to the gods and the house of the emperor.

Ancient Ruins of Aspendos

Near the antique theatre of Aspendos there is a basilica, an agora and the ruins of Anatolia's longest aqueduct.

Acropolis and Basilica: The 60 m tall acropolis is accessed from the eastern gate, one of the three gates of the city. The well preserved structure that you see is the part of the basilica from which the city's affairs were managed. Only the southern foundations of the basilica survive.

Monumental Fountain: At the right of the basilica structures, there is a monumental fountain of which only the facade remains.

Aqueducts: On the plateau towards the north of the acropolis, you can see the aqueducts that were used to bring water to the city. The well preserved remnants that still stand are the best examples of such structures in the area, and are extremely impressive.

Gymnasium and Baths: The remains of the building seen near the Koprucay River from the road before reaching the theatre are those of a gymnasium and its baths.

UNESCO Tentative List

The Theatre and Aqueducts of the Ancient City of Aspendos, which is included on the UNESCO Tentative List in 2015, is one of the outstanding universal values of Turkey.

  • Official Name: Theatre and Aqueducts of the Ancient City of Aspendos
  • Architectural Type: Ancient City
  • Date of Submission: 2015
  • Category: Cultural
  • Reference: 6036
  • Location: Antalya, Turkey
Aspendos Ancient Theatre, Antalya
Ancient Aqueduct, Aspendos, Antalya