The Popular City in Roman Period: Ancient City of Perge

There are some regions where generous nature and the sea embrace each other. Antalya, one of the cities known for its natural beauties, the sea with every shade of blue, the richness under and on the ground and cultural heritage, and being attractive with its location and natural beauties, offers cultural nourishment and attraction. Perge is one of the most popular and favorite regions in Antalya, which preserves the traces and concrete evidence of many ancient civilizations.

Located in Aksu district, 18 kilometers east of Antalya, which is described as "the most beautiful place on earth", the Ancient City of Perge is within Pamphylia region.

Having a charming beauty with the monumental gate, the columned street and the statue of Kestros, the river god, which come to mind when it comes to Perge, the Ancient City of Perge impresses and amazes the visitors in such a way that they lose the track of time. Being a reminiscent of an outdoor museum, Perge is located on the ancient road that starts in Bergama and ends in Side.  Perge, owing its formation partially to Aksu River, formerly known as Kestros, has fertile lands and has become an easy-to-reach center by this river. Kestros River is also evident through the coins of the city, reliefs and the statue of Kestros, the River God, which was made for its name.

Perge has been one of the leading cities of Roman period on Anatolian lands since the 1st century BC. The statues unearthed during excavations at Perge are displayed at Antalya Museum. Rich in artifacts dating back to Roman Period, Antalya Museum is one of the special museums in Turkey and must be visited...

You can start your tour at the Ancient City of Perge from the ruins of monumental castle walls. Considering that each stone forming these walls weighs at least half-ton and that they have become more interlocked with each other, it is clear that the ancient city of Perge has preserved its magnificence and beauty as it was. It is known that two round towers and city walls in the entrance of the city, which are so tightly integrated with the name Perge, were built after Alexander the Great took this city in 333 BC.

The ruins of the city, which mainly date back to Roman period, still clearly bear the magic of the period which it dates back to. While you are walking through the columned street, you feel like you are living in that period. In Perge, two main streets running in the north-south and east-west direction form the skeleton of the city plan. The 300-meter-long Columned Street, which is the favorite part of the city, starts at the Hellenistic gate and ends at the monumental fountain on the slope of the acropolis. In the middle of the Columned Street, there is a water channel and porches on both sides of the channel.

The monumental fountain is one of the symbols of the Ancient City of Perge. The presence of the statue of Kestros, known as the God of Aksu River and located in close vicinity, makes this fountain more attractive. The water flowing from the fountain to the city through the channel almost divides the city into two parts. The traces of the cartwheels on the street, which is divided into two by the water channel, make you stay tightly connected with where you are, and take you to a journey to the past. This channel passing through the middle of the city also provided a natural coolness to the city at that period under the glaring summer sun of Mediterranean Region.

When you walk through the path with fountain, surrounded by the traces of past, you will see the arch of Apollonius Demetrius in the center of the city. However, the Hellenistic gate between two huge towers welcoming the visitors in the entrance of the city is more impressive. This gate was built in the 2nd century in the form of two round towers with four storeys.

The statues of gods and prominent people on the niches carved into the walls are preserved in Antalya Archeology Museum. These towers are also watchtowers, and the men serving here maintained the order and safety of the community and checked whether the tradesmen were working honestly or not.

Similar to today's city square and found in every ancient city, Agora was the marketplace, as well as a gathering place in ancient times.

Baths (hamam), one of the most impressive architectural elements of ancient times, are also one of the attractive parts of Perge. These Roman baths (hamams) are located in west of the Hellenistic gate. These baths, consisting of sophisticated and highly-developed sections such as the sections for cold, warm and hot water, changing rooms and sports rooms, were gathering places, where people took baths, while talking about politics, literature, philosophy and life.

The theater of the Ancient City of Perge, which was built in Greek and Roman style (AC), had a capacity of about 12 thousand people.

The monumental theater, which was built in Greek-Roman style, is the first construction you will see on the way to the city in today's settlement. With a capacity of about 12 thousand people, the theater attracts attention with its impressive marble decorations. The statues unearthed during the excavation in the theater are worth seeing at Perge Theater Hall of Antalya Museum.

While walking through Perge, which has a quite, but deep and fascinating ambiance, the horseshoe-shaped Perge Stadium immediately attracts the attention. For the gladiator and wild animal fights, an arena was formed and cages were placed in the south part of the stadium.

Perge is a chance for Antalya in terms of historical heritage. Due to the fact that it is located at a close proximity to the city center, and with the constructions symbolizing the city, especially the towers in the entrance of the city, the Ancient City of Perge, a unique reflection of patience and artistic skills and built by a stunning workmanship, is a must-see spot during your visit to Antalya, and must be included in the list of tourist attractions in Antalya.

0 Review


Viewed 3332 times
  • Stephanie R. McDaniel
  • 28-01-2020

Recommended For You