Someone shouted “Balkız (Princess) must be mine” and his voice echoed. Eyes searched for the owner of the voice and could not find it. Magnificent acoustics fascinated everyone. This huge chunk of stone had suddenly turned into an instrument. Aspendos Theater continues to enchant people in the same way with its acoustics today, even after all these years.
Aspendos theater fascinates those who see it with its outside view, even before they go inside. As soon as you step in, you will be astonished by its flawless architecture. Even if you feel like you are in a dream, what you see is real. You will be amazed by the work of the architect who built it and the slaves who piled the stones here.
Where is the Aspendos Theater
This wonderful theater is located in the Aspendos neighborhood in the Serik district of Antalya.
One of the 3 Best Preserved Ancient Theaters in the World
Aspendos ancient city is visited by thousands of people every year because of its magnificent theater. It is one of the 3 best preserved ancient theaters in the world. The richly decorated stage building and seating rows of the theater, with a capacity of 12000 spectators, preserved its Roman period characteristics with little change. Aspendos theater is a wonderful architectural masterpiece with its originality that takes you back to the ancient Roman period without a time machine.
History of Aspendos Theater
Theater was built in between 160 and 180 AD during the time of Emperor Marcus Aurelius. It is written that the architect is the son of Theodorus, Zenon, and is a gift from two wealthy brothers, A. Curtius Crispinus Arruntianus and A. Curtius Crispinus in the inscription at the entrance of the Aspendos theatre.
The Legend of Aspendos Theater
This theater which was built the architect Zenon and has been the subject of a story which has been listened by whoever comes here with curiosity.
The king of Aspendos had a very beautiful daughter named Balkız (referred to as Semiramis in some sources), to whom everyone wanted to marry. King said: “Whoever does the most useful thing for our city, I will give my daughter to him.” One of the architects built the aqueducts, bringing water to the city from very distant roads, and the other built the theater with a perfect acoustics, where the sound is heard even from the upper rows when coin is thrown on the floor in the middle of the stage.
After seeing the aqueducts, the king wanted to give his daughter to the aqueduct maker. Then Zenon, the architect of the theater, stood on the stage. “The king should give his daughter to me,” he whispered. The king heard this whisper as he wanders at the top of the theater. The king who admires the acoustics couldn’t decide. He can not return from his promise and divides his daughter into two with a big sword and gives it to the brothers.
Aspendos Theater Today
Aspendos Ancient Theater and aqueducts, which are the subject of this story, are on the UNESCO World Heritage candidate list today. You can visit the world’s best preserved, 12000-seated ancient Aspendos theater during the day, watch the opera and ballet festivals, and listen to the magnificent acoustics just like a Roman citizen two thousand years ago.
Tips For the Visitors to the Aspendos Theater
- The ancient city of Aspendos, to which the theater belongs, is located on the edge of Köprüçay, which has flowed from the Taurus to the Mediterranean for years and witnessed the war between the Persians and the Greeks. If you come here, you should not only see the ancient theater, but also see the nearby Aspendos bridge, ancient aqueducts and other parts of the ancient city.
- The ancient aqueducts are in the village where the theater is located; You can go by car or on foot. If you want to see everything Aspendos can offer in detail, visiting either way will enrich your tour.
- You will not have any problems with eating and drinking around Aspendos theater. There are trout restaurants where you can taste fresh trout. They have great vegetarian options too. My advice is to sit in a restaurant by the river to experience the atmosphere.
Visiting Hours and Entrance Fees for Aspendos Theater
Aspendos Theater entrance fee is 50 Turkish Lira and theater is open for visiting every day of the week. Opening and closing times change depending on the season and they are as follows;
April 1 to October 1: Opening Time: 10:00, Closing Time: 20:00
October 1 to April 1: Opening Time: 08:30, Closing Time: 17:30
Tour Guide to Aspendos Theater
Aspendos and Antalya in general are very important places for me since I had many personal memories in these places. Aspendos was the first place where I guided for the first time in my life and where I decided my career path. I would be happy to host you in Antalya and show you beauties of the Aspendos personally. Contact me to learn more on Aspendos theater and to book professional licensed Turkish tour guide to Aspendos Theater. See you soon, Hasan Gülday.