Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Aphrodisias - You could easily spend a couple hours admiring the archaeological ruins at this ancient site located in the Denizli province in western Turkey.

In this post, I’m only going to focus on the temple. We took 100 photos at this site alone, so I have many I’d like to share with you in other posts.
Jason stood by the columns so we'd have a reference for the columns' impressive height.
Construction of the Temple of Aphrodite began in the late first century B.C. Zoilos, a leading (rich) citizen who also paid for the construction of the agora and theater, sponsored the initial construction. In the 2nd century A.D., the temple was enclosed in an elaborate colonnaded courtyard.
I really like this photo. The marble on these 2 columns was quite unique compared
to the rest used on the site.
One of Aphrodisias’s most important monuments, the temple (tapınak) provided an impressive home for the cult of their divine ancestress, Aphrodite. We all know Aphrodite as the Greek goddess of love as well as beauty, fertility, sea and sexuality. One can only imagine what this amazing marble temple looked like in its glory days when people came to worship this goddess.
These marble columns were huge! Can you imagine how many people were needed to
construct this temple back in the day?

Around 500 A.D., the temple was converted for use as the city’s cathedral - much larger than the pagan temple it replaced. The conversion was an enormous undertaking, in which the columns of the front and back of the temple were moved from their original positions and used to extend the side colonnades, creating two long rows of 19 columns each. One has to assume these are some of the columns that are still standing today. (Source: NYU projects.)
Possibly during the Seljuk raids of the late 12th century A.D., the church was damaged or destroyed, and fell out of use. The city is thought to have been ultimately abandoned by the 13th century.

Aphrodisias Admission: 8 TL

Location: 38 km northwest of Tavas. About 1 ½ hours away from Pamukkale.
Odd prehistoric-looking flower blooming next to one of the fallen columns in the temple.

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Sheryl Sparks said...

Very cool! I love seeing the rich history of this country. I actually took a picture of this exact flower in Laodocia! Keep posting, I want to see more!

DAD said...

Great pictures. Very interesting to see the transformation to Christianity. The Bible speaks of the people rioting in Ephesus when they felt that Paul was threatening Artemis. It makes one wonder how peaceful the transition was in other temples like this one over the course of a few hundred years?

Joy said...

Interesting....I always would like to know more about the places we visit. Unfortunately, the history from back then wasn't so well documented. I would like to know how people really lived in these cities and their stories.