One of the most in tact Roman ampitheatres is that of Aspendos in Turkey. It is so complete that it hosts an annual Opera festival with stars from all aroiund the world. Hope you enjoy the photos, Paul Williams.
Incredible ampitheatre of Aspendos, Turkey
Pictures, images and photos of the Roman Ampitheatre of Aspendos, Turkey. In ancient times Aspendos was conquered and re-conquered by the Spartans then the Persians. As with all other Anatolian cities the Persians were finally defeated in 333 BC by Alexander the Great and was later ruled by the Kings of Pergamon. In 133 B.C Attalus III of Pergamon died without an heir and left the Kingdom of Pergamon to the Roman Empire. The Theatre of Aspendos was built in in 155 AD during the rule of Marcus Aurelius designed by the architect Zeno.
The Theatre is the one of best preserved in the Asia Minor. 96 metres in diameter it can seat 7000 the csaenae frond or backdrop wall is still intact. Following Hellenistic traditions the theatre is built into the hillside below the Acropolis with a backdrop that is still intact. The rest of the building design is Roman. A rather dubious story relates that the ruler of Aspendos offered his daughter in marriage to any man that did a great building work for the city. Two men rose to the challenge one building a new viaduct and the other the theatre. They both completed their building at the same time and the ruler announced that he would have to cut his daughter in half, giving each man a half. One protested that he would rather give up the hand of the daughter rather than see any harm come to her, and this un-selfish act was duly rewarded with the girls hand in marriage.
After the conquest of Anatolia by the Ottoman Turks the Roman amphitheatre was used as a Caravansarai for the camel trains working the Silk Route. Little damage was done to the building though and when Ataturk , founder of modern day Turkey, visited Aspendos he was so impressed with its preservation that he pronounced that the theatre should be protected and used for performances and today it hosts the Aspendos International Opera and Ballet Festival.
Stock pictures of Aspendos amphitheatre and photo art prints can be bought on line
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