Tuesday, June 28, 2011

(Updated May 2016)
Aspendos - Have you ever wanted to watch a live performance in an ancient theater like people did during the Hellenistic and Roman periods?

Well, every summer, with varying dates, the Turkish Ministry of Culture and Tourism sponsors live opera and opera and ballet shows in the ancient historical city of Aspendos, located about 40 km northeast of Antalya near the village of Belkis. We visited this wonderful site in May 2011 during our stay in Antalya. In September 2016, the 23rd Aspendos Opera and Ballet Festival will give seven performances.
Aspendos: a view of the theater from up top.
This is the "tunnel" people would have used to walk through to get to their seats.

This unique historical theater, which has survived for more than 2000 years, is the first thing you see when walk into Aspendos. We walked up to the top so we could get a good view. Sound definitely carries in here and the acoustics are amazing. The theater has a 10,000-person capacity so you can only imagine what performances were like here back in the day.
Such detailed work! A view of the front of the theater from inside.
According to the site’s history, Aspendos became a cultural center of the Hellenistic and Roman periods and achieved its heyday in the 2nd and 3rd centuries A.D. The ruins that you see here in this region date back to that age. The traces of Aspendos belonging to the age prior to the Roman period have not been uncovered yet.
I think these were part of the ruins of an ancient church.
More ruins at Aspendos.
A view of the Turkish farmland and mountains that surround Aspendos.
Even if you can’t make the theater performances, Aspendos is definitely worth a look if you are near Antalya. I think the theater here, the stadium in Aphrodisias and the Temple of Apollo in Side are some of my favorite ruins so far in Turkey.

To learn more about the history of Aspendos, please click here.
And if you're lucky, at the end of the day, you will get to ride a camel in the
parking lot just like I did. Cost: 10 TL.
For more information about Aspendos ticket sales, please check the official website for the 23rd Aspendos Opera and Ballet Festival. Performance dates are between September 3-15th in 2016.

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