Take me back to Turkey Part 4 - Pamukkale

Turkey Part 5 - Aphrodisias

Next we visit Aphrodisias, a beautiful antique city, nestled among mountains, trees and flowers...Respectfully restored, it boasts a stadium, a theatre, a temple and imposing public baths.

The history of the city can be traced back to the early Bronze Age and there is even clear evidence of a chalcolithic culture prior to the 3rd millennium B.C. The use of the name Aphrodisias began after the 3rd century B.C., in the Hellenistic period. The name Aphrodisias is derived from Aphrodite, the goddess of nature, beauty, love and plenty.

The Aphrodisias stadium is the best preserved of all the ancient stadiums in the Mediterranean region. Located in the northern section of the city it is 262 m in length and 59 m wide with a seating capacity of 30,000. The ends of the stadium are slightly convex, giving the whole a form rather suggesting an ellipse. In this way, the spectators seated in this part of the stadium would not block each other's view and would be able to see the whole of the arena. The stadium was specially designed for athletic contests, but after the theatre was damaged in the 7th century earthquake the eastern end of the arena began to be used for games, circuses and wild beast shows. During the Roman period the stadium was the scene of a large number of athletic competitions and festivals.

The baths were constructed the 2nd century during the reign of the Emperor Hadrian. This complex consists of a large central hall, probably the caldarium or hot room, surrounded by four large rooms, the tepidarium, sudatorium, apoditerium and frigidarium (warm room, sweating room, dressing room and cold room respectively). It is a most imposing building with all the requisite facilities, such as labyrinthine underground service corridors, water channels and furnaces.

The most attractive feature of Aphrodisias is the ornamental gate constructed in the middle of the 2nd century. The name Tetrapylon refers to its being composed of four groups of four columns.

We visited the museum, which is a gem!

Take me to Turkey Part 6 - Perge