Perge Ancient City, Antalya, Turkey
This content was last updated on 14.01.2023 22:44
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What are the unknowns about Perge, one of the most important ancient cities of Turkey? Perge's location, entrance fee, history, surviving structures and features are in the Perge Travel Guide...
Perge was once the capital of the Pamphylia Region. The structures remaining from that enormous capital, eye-catching archaeological finds, the past and present of the city attract the attention of history lovers. Perge is the address for those who want to go on a journey full of archeology and history. Famous for its architecture and stunning sculptures, the Ancient City of Perge was included in the UNESCO Temporary Heritage List in 2009.
How well do you know this ancient city of Turkey? When you spend a few hours in Perge during your Antalya holidays, you will have an unforgettable experience. Now let's explore Perge together.
Where is Perge Ancient City
Perge Ancient City is located in Antalya, the tourism capital of Turkey. It is located within the borders of Aksu district, which is one of the central districts of Antalya. Located 17 km from the center of Antalya, Perge draws attention with its location and accessibility. Perge, especially in the summer season, is full of people who choose Antalya for their holiday.
- About 30 km from Belek
- 33 km to Aspendos Ancient City and Theatre
- 60 km to Manavgat and Side
located at a distance.
Being close to the center of Antalya and easy accessibility is a great advantage for Perge. Perge, one of the places you should definitely visit in Antalya, is one of the most prominent ancient cities in Turkey.
Perge Ancient City Visiting Hours
Perge Antique City, which hosts an average of 100 thousand visitors every year, varies in summer and winter visiting hours. The ancient city, which opens at 08:30 every term, is closed at 19:00 in the summer season and 17:30 in the winter season.
Perge Ancient City Entrance Fee
As of 2022, the entrance fee to the Ancient City of Perge is 100 TL per person.
When to go to Perge Ancient City
The ideal season to visit Perge is spring and autumn. If you are going to visit in the summer, definitely, definitely do not enter the lunch hour. It gets incredibly hot. Morning hours are the most ideal time zone.
Make sure you have water with you. You will need a lot of water while visiting the ancient city.
History of the Ancient City of Perge
First of all, let's talk about the location of Perge, the ancient city is located in the region called Pamphylia. Geographically, Pamphylia starts from Konyaaltı district in Antalya and continues south of the Taurus Mountains until Alanya. It literally means "the land of mixed peoples or tribes". The point we need to understand here is that many races lived together in this region in ancient times.
Although researches on philology in particular date the ancient city of Perge, located in the Pamphylia region, to 2000 BC, the findings do not take us back to 700 BC. However, there are still a few events in the historical record. During the Hittite rule, the Arzavans (Arzava Kingdom) attacked the region called "Lower Country" (Pamphylia) and took over the region. There is a region called Parha in the region called "Lower Country" by the Hittites. It is the consensus among many historians that this place could be Perge.
The invasion of the peoples called "Sea Peoples" ends the established Arzava Kingdom and thus the Bronze Age ends in Pamphylia. According to the Greek Strabon, who was from Amasya, Perge was founded by the Argosian colonies after the Trojan War. On the inscription of a statue at the entrance of the city, it is understood that the city was founded by Hellenic colonists who came to the south after the Trojan War in 1200 BC. There is no important information about the city until the 6th century BC, but the importance of the Pamphylia region cannot be denied in the historical process.
Persians and Alexander the Great
In the 6th century BC, the Pamphylia region and Perge were under Persian rule. In the 5th century BC, Attica - Delos Naval League, the Athenian commander Kimon wins a double victory in his war against the Persians in the region. Thus, Perge and other cities in the region (Sillion, Aspendos etc.) join this union. Alexander the Great comes to the Pamphylia region in 333 BC and is welcomed by Perge and other regional cities. According to some historians, the city's walls were not at that time, among the reasons why it was received without a friendly or defense. The city walls of Perge were built during the Seleucid period only after the death of Alexander the Great.
After the death of Alexander the Great, the Pamphylia region begins to destabilize and causes conflict between his generals, Seleucus and Ptolemy. However, with the Magnesia war fought around Manisa in 190 BC, Perge and the region fell into the hands of the Roman Empire. The Roman Empire gave this region, which it seized, to the Pergamon Kingdom, which it saw as a friend.
King of Pergamum II. Attalos also wanted to establish a port city in Pamphylia and founded the city of Antalya (Attaleia) between 159 and 138 BC. However, since he had no heir, King of Pergamon III. Attalos, on the other hand, left the region to the Roman Empire in 133 BC.
The governors of the Roman Empire, which expanded its borders in those years, robbed the treasures of the ancient city of Perge and the temples in Aspendos, and therefore Rome had to take precautions. In the middle of the 1st century BC, Rome sent a large navy here and prevented the actions of both the governors and the pirates. In 36 BC, Perge was connected to the kingdom of Galatia and continued its place in history as a province of Rome.
Most of the buildings, temples, sculptures and works of art in the ancient city of Perge and other cities in the region were made during this period. These magnificent historical artifacts, statues, sarcophagi and other finds from this time are exhibited in the Antalya Museum.
Architecture And Structures
Perge, which was connected to the Pamphylia region of Cilicia in 43 AD, came to an important place for the religion of Christianity in this period. During this period, many architectural structures were built in Perge. The stadium, theatre, agora and baths belong to this period.
During the Byzantine Empire period in the 5th and 6th centuries, the city preserved its importance and continued to be important for the Christian religion. Religious buildings related to Christianity in Perge were generally built during this period. Although Perge Metropolitanate was mentioned in the 4th century, it lost its importance and the title of Metropolis two centuries later, and received the title of Diocesan Metropolitan. The development of the ancient city of Perge, which was attacked by Arabs in the 7th century, stopped completely a century later and the city lost its importance.
After the Battle of Manzikert in 1071, the Turks came to the region and Perge came under the rule of the Hamidoğulları Principality in 1299. In 1422, the Pamphylia region and Perge came under the rule of the Ottomans. However, there is no structure belonging to the Ottoman period in the city.
The ancient city of Perge, which is an archaeological site, has a typical Roman city image with its monumental structures and architecture. The city was divided into four parts with two large colonnaded streets within the flat walls of the Hellenistic period. In the middle of the colonnaded streets, there are water channels that bring water to the city. Today, an asphalt road passes between the stadium and the ancient theater.
Perge Ancient City Acropolis
It is in the northern part of the ancient city of Perge and is on a 60-meter-high hill that dominates the city. The acropolis, which is in the position of an inner castle, can only be reached from within the city.
Perge Walls and Hellenistic Towers
The ancient city walls and towers of Perge are the oldest and best preserved building remains. The cylindrical doors in the Hellenistic gate are like the symbol of Perge. The walls are 13 meters high and 2 meters thick and surround the entire city. It is known that the weight of the stones on which the walls were built was around half a ton. The towers on both sides of the Hellenistic gate are four-storied and round. Their diameter at the base is 11.70 meters and the wall thickness is 2.20 meters. They are dated to the 2nd century AD. These towers can be seen from all over the city.
Perge Ancient Theater
It is thought that the construction of the ancient theater, which is the theater of the Roman period, started in the 1st century AD and lasted for two centuries. The theater features a Greco-Roman style plan and is clad in Roman characters, and details can be found inside the Antalya Museum. The Perge theater, which has the most decorative stage facade in Anatolia, has a capacity of approximately 14,000 people.
When you enter the city after leaving the stadium, you see a tower remaining from the city walls, and then the first structure you will see is the Roman Gate.
When you look through this flamboyant door, the Hellenistic towers at the back can also be seen. There were three main city gates in Perge, in the east, west and south. This gate, which is thought to have been built at the end of the 2nd century AD and the beginning of the 3rd century, was called the Roman Gate. There is a passage in the middle of the door, which is approximately 24 meters long and 10 meters high. This is the door and passage used by everyone in today's visits.
The Agora, which has four entrances from four directions, lies to the east of the Hellenistic towers and has a square form. In the middle of the agora, there is a market called Macellum. As can be understood from the structure, it is a place where fragrances or various liquids are sold or exchanged. A similar structure is also located in the ancient city of Aizanoi and the ancient city of Sagalassos. The Agora is surrounded by columns. The reason for the pebbles you see on the ground while visiting the agora is to prevent the mosaics found here from being destroyed. Perge is one of the cities with plenty of mosaics.
It is located between the city walls and the Roman theater. Perge stadium is among the best preserved stadiums in Anatolia. (The largest stadium in Anatolia is within the borders of the ancient city of Aphrodisias) The stadium is 234 meters long and 34 meters wide, in a U shape.
Septimus Severus Fountain (Nympheum)
Many nymphaeums (monumental fountains) and structures were built to meet the water needs of the rapidly growing city of Perge. This fountain, one of the most special monuments of the city, was built for the Roman Emperor Septimus Severus. This fountain with the statue of Septimus Severus, the first Roman emperor of African origin, was one of the monumental fountains of Perge. The inscription on the niche where the Hunter Artemis Statue is located in the fountain, designed as a 2-storey fountain, dedicates the fountain to "Artemis Pergaia, Emperor Septimus Severus, his sons Marcus Antoninus (Caracalla) and Geta, as well as Empress Julia Domna and the city of Perge". It is written that.
However, the monumental fountain is in ruins. The fountain, which has three vaulted niches, is made of limestone that looks like marble.
Colonnaded Main Street
It is the main street of the city of Perge. It starts from the Hellenistic towers and goes to the skirts of the acropolis. It is 20 meters wide and about 500 meters long. Along the way, a water channel in the middle of the street accompanies the road. In addition, the traces of the horse carriages used in those years can be seen even today on the columned street.
It is unlikely that a rich city like Perge would not have huge baths. One of the two big baths of the city is the Southern Bath. This bath, which is special as it is one of the strongest surviving structures of Perge, should be thoroughly visited. The bath, which is a work of the Roman period, has gone through different building phases.
The South Bath, designed on a northeast-southwest axis, consists of 4 sections: Apodyterium (dressing area), Frigidarium (cold), Tepidarium (warmness) and Caldarium (temperature).
The section with shelves on the walls is the Apodyterium. People who came to the bath to be cleaned first used the dressing room here. After the preparation is made in the locker section, which has wooden or stone benches, it is passed to the side, namely Natatio.
Natatio; It is called cold water pools that are open or closed in ancient Roman baths. These unheated swimming pools were used by people doing sports on the palaestra after training.
Palaestra part is the area surrounded by columns in front of the bath. Right next to this cold water pool (natatio) is the Frigidarium. When you look at the architecture of the frigidarium, you see that it has an apsidal plan. What remains of the giant structure is fascinating. The pool is very elegant.
Next comes the Tepidarium (warmth) and Caldarium (temperature) sections. Here, you will be able to see very clearly the heating method used in the baths, which we call the Hypocaust System.
This underfloor heating system is the central heating system used extensively by the Romans. The hot air produced here was given to the walls through channels, thus heating the entire structure.
Mosaic decorations were also made in the bath, where renovations were made from time to time. In addition, there was a statue of the Three Graces in the bath, which was decorated with statues of many gods and goddesses. Artifacts and sculptures unearthed today are exhibited in the Antalya Museum. To fully understand Perge, it is absolutely necessary to visit the Antalya Museum.
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