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Aspendos, Turkey

Aspendos is an ancient Greco-Roman city in Antalya province of Turkey. It is located 4 kilometers (2.5 mi) north of Serik.

The town dates back to the 5th century BC. The theatre, which was built in 155, was periodically repaired by the Seljuks who used it as a caravansaray. Aspendos was built by the Aspendosian architect Zenon, in Marcus Aurelius' time.

Aspendos is known for having the best-preserved theatre of antiquity. With diameter of 96 meters (315 ft), the theatre provided seating for 7,000.

In order to keep with Hellenistic traditions, a small part of the theatre was built so that it leaned against the hill where the Citadel (Acropolis) stood, while the remainder was built on vaulted arches. The high stage served to seemingly isolate the audience from the rest of the world. The scaenae frons or backdrop, has remained intact. The 8.1 meter (27 ft) sloping reflective wooden ceiling over the stage has been lost over time. Post holes for 58 masts are found in the upper level of the theater. These masts supported a valerium or awning that could be pulled over the audience to provide shade.

Still used today for concerts, festivals and grease wrestling events, the theatre's galleries, stage decorations and acoustics all testify to the architect's success.

Nearby stand the remains of a basilica, agora, nymphaeum and 15 kilometers (9.3 mi) of Roman aqueduct.

This article is licensed from Wikipedia under the GNU Free Documentation License.

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