36.93888888888931.172222222222Koordinaten: 36 ° 56 'N, 31 ° 10' O

Aspendos (Greek Ἄσπενδος ) was an ancient city in Pamphylia in Asia Minor on the south coast is now Turkey, close to the village Balkesu or Belkıs. The great theater of the Roman period is one of the best preserved ancient times. It is still used for performances. The city of Aspendos is not excavated. All towering buildings date from the Roman heyday of the 2nd and 3rd century AD, when Aspendos was an important trading center pamphylisches. The location is situated 46 km east of Antalya on the road to Alanya.


Aspendos to have been founded around the 12th century BC by settlers from the Peloponnesian Argos, according to Greek tradition. The legendary seer Mopsos, who was revered by cities such as Perge city father, was one of the founders.

The coins of Aspendos from the 5th to the 3rd century BC show the name Estwediiys (Greek ΕΣΤFΕΔIIΥΣ ), probably refers to a Hittite originally founded, since it can be assumed that it was the local, Pamphylian name of the place. In the letter F is the digamma ( δίγαμμα ), which was originally the sixth letter of the Greek alphabet and the phonetic value [ w] had. The Digamma went in the Attic - Ionic dialect already lost early on and is among the Greek letters, as they are taught in school no longer exists.

The city had a very checkered history and was in the course of 800 years under Lydian, Persian, Greek, Ptolemaic, Seleucid, Roman, Byzantine and Seljuk rule. In the Byzantine period, the city was for a time called Primoupolis. Little is known from its Greek history - Excavations in the future can certainly bring more knowledge about the pre-Roman era.

Literary occupied is the battle at the Eurymedon. As a port city of Aspendos was formerly by the river Eurymedon (now Köprü Çayı ) connected to the sea, and thereby come to lasting prosperity. In the final battle of the Persian Wars there suggested the Athenian general and admiral Kimon 466 BC the Persians in a double battle on land and water. Since then, the Eurymedon marked the political separation of spheres between the eastern Persian sphere of influence and the Greek Asia Minor in the west. Under Alexander the Great Aspendos was tributary, after some initial resistance. In Roman times, the city was able to a predominantly good relationship with Rome to build and came as a major trading center of the region to their greatest prosperity. In particular, the export of wine, oil, salt and horses brought Aspendos wealth and prosperity. Aspendos was the seat of a bishop; to the diocese goes back the titular Aspendus the Roman Catholic Church.


The theater of Aspendos is part of the ancient city of Aspendos. It is very well preserved and is still used for opera and ballet festival. Thus arose under other Luciano Pavarotti and José Carreras. Also here was in 2005 an open air broadcast of Wetten, dass. ? instead.

Alternatively, one has near the ancient theater in Aspendos built the " Gloria Aspendos Arena " because the ancient theater is no longer called for security for such screenings. The damage that the ancient theater participated in the building fabric in the past by the vibrations of the loud music, has not been more responsible of experts and the local museum management, so that you decided to take this step.

The theater is a Roman structure, whose stage house has been preserved in full height. The inside of the earlier eight -meter-wide wooden stage was decorated with rich columnar jewelry, timbers, friezes, rosettes and ornaments, which give today still remains a good impression. The central gable in the middle of the wall is obtained and shows a relief of Dionysus. Below the crest is still visible the submissions on which a sloping wooden structure rested, which spanned the stage and made for an even better acoustics.

There is a written in Greek and Latin font inside on the outside of the stage area. It quotes the construction period, the time of Emperor Marcus Aurelius ( 161-180 ), as architect Zenon and as the founder of the theater, the brothers Curtius. The cavea has 41 rows of seats through an intermediate gear ( diazoma ) to be shared, and can accommodate up to 20,000 spectators. Since the Seljuk Turks took advantage of the theater in the Middle Ages as a caravanserai, it has been continually repaired and resurfaced after earthquakes. This explains the good state of preservation compared to the surrounding buildings.

The theater is one of the public buildings of the lower city. Further south lie the remains of the baths and the sports facilities, the gymnasium. To the northeast lies the stadium less well preserved. To the west of the theater is the Acropolis ( engl Castle Hill ) with the upper city of Aspendos. She was backed up with its own wall, a gate is still preserved. In addition to numerous cisterns, the water supply was ensured by an aqueduct still well preserved today, which leads from the northern plain to the city.

Other city remains

The still largely towering Roman building remains on the Acropolis hill are grouped on three sides around a rectangular space. On the long sides to the west and east it is bounded by long-drawn covered markets. The eastern building is 142 meters long, closes at the south end off with an exedra and ends in the north with a powerful, towering 15 meters square building. On the north side of the square dominated by the two-story facade of a Nymphaions, which was probably fed by the aqueduct. Niches for sculptures and upstream cornice for columns and gables show for initially splendid facilities. The building behind it on the northwest corner probably served as bouleuterion ( engl Council Chamber ). The upper town is developed in part only with rocky dirt tracks through the bushes and a few signs and otherwise largely left to itself, so that the area is lushly vegetated.

The first silver coins show on the one hand armed hoplites as a symbol of the military, on the other hand triskeles (row 1, 460-420 BC). As letters Ε, ΕΣ, ΕΣΤ, ΕΣΤFΕ, ΕΣΤFΕΔIIΥ occur. The latter means in German mutatis mutandis coin from ΕΣΤFΕΔΥΣ. Later coins have one side of two wrestlers, on the other hand, a slinger and the known triskeles on ( series 2-4, 400-250 BC). Still later, the goddess Athena, Heracles, Zeus and Alexander the Great are mapped ( series 5, 200-150 BC). Here also appears the first time on AΣ for AΣΠΕNΔOΣ. The coins of the Roman period bear the symbols of the respective Caesar and the inscription AΣΠΕNΔION ( series 6, 200-300 AD).

Other attractions in the area

Nearby is the almost 260 meters long Eurymedonbrücke ( Köprüpazar Köprüsü ) crosses the river of the same name. The Seljuk in its present form ogival edifice rests on Roman foundations.