In the south of Turkey, very near Antalya, lies Aspendos, the best preserved Greco-Roman Theater in the world. With capacity for up to 15,000 spectators, it’s every bit as impressive as Rome’s Coliseum. It was built during the reign of Marcus Aurelius, around 155 AD, by the Greek architect Zenon. The Greek and Latin inscriptions at the stage entrances suggest that the theater was a gift from two brothers, Curtius Crispinus and Curtius Auspicatus, dedicated to “the gods of the land and the Imperial House”.
The theater’s interior is almost as well preserved as the exterior. The only things missing are the columns and other architectural features that decorated the inner facade of the stage. The stadium is located beneath the east flank of the acropolis, to the north of the theater. This immense structure is 30 meters wide and 215 meters long, and its contours are perfectly discernible despite being covered in grass. There are two excavated tombs in the rock next to the stadium. The most impressive of these is the one on the eastern side. Behind the tombs can be seen a series of sarcophagi, all of which belong to the Aspendos necropolis. The southern gate is the best spot for viewing the great Roman aqueduct.
Aspendos is located 750km east of Istanbul and is a must-see destination for anyone visiting Turkey. Spring is the ideal time to visit as it is the perfect temperature, and if you go in June be sure to attend one of the operas that are performed there. An experience that will take you back in time.
“IBEROSTAR Hotels & Resorts Group has a 5-starhotel in the area of Antalya. The IBEROSTAR Bellis, which offers an All Inclusive accommodation package, is located in a privileged area facing the sea and is sheltered by a lush forest. Its facilities are unbeatable: several swimming pools, restaurants and bars, discotheque, theatre, cinema, spa, children’s play areas, supermarket and much, much more, so that nothing is lacking during your Turkish vacation.“