Monday, 18 November 2013

The Romans in Aspendos near Antalya

Impressions from around the old town of Antalya 
No need for umbrellas in Antalya - it appears to be wall to wall blue skies and sunshine most of the time.
The ancient town of Aspendos and its Roman theatre count amongst the most important places to visit on the Turkish Mediterranean coast. The ancient theatre is one of the best preserved of its kind and is still used for cultural events. Nearby there is a Roman aqueduct system and a Roman bridge. The bridge was rebuilt using the original Roman foundations during the medieval Seljuqs Empire (1037-1194) - today it is receiving some restoration work which is now nearing completion.
The bridge (Eurymedon Bridge) is thought to have been constructed by the Romans at the same time as the Aqueduct.
The aqueduct transported water from the hills over a distance of 19 km. The main importance of this aqueduct lies in its construction. It had three consecutive inverted siphons demonstrating the Roman's sophisticated knowledge of hydraulic engineering.
Lately we keep bumping into Roman soldiers. 
Aspendos is the best preserved Greco-Roman theatre from antiquity. It has a diameter of 315 feet, and can hold up to 20,000 people. Built by the Greek architect Zenon, who was a native of Aspendos, during 161 - 180 AD. Aspendos was also one of the earliest cities to mint coins which it began issuing around 500 BC. The theatre is undergoing considerable restoration work during this winter season.

66 comments:

  1. Your beautiful photos, particularly the ones at the beginning, make me yearn to visit Turkey. The one of the ocean and the sun is spectacular! I wish I could have seen them a little larger, as they are absolutely beautiful.

    I can only take so much of ancient ruins, but I do like to visit them sometimes, but to me they are never as wonderful as nature. .

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    1. November is a good time to visit Turkey - it still feels like the summer. As a country it has much to offer everyone - my nature photos will appear when I show the Cappadocia area.

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  2. I do like the umbrellas, very colourful.
    The theatre, amazing how in the past it was built, and I wonder how long it took to build!
    I like that it is being restored if not history is lost for that area.

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    1. It took 20 years to built the theatre which is amazing considering the scale of it, and the huge stones that were used. Considering that it is almost 2000 years old it is in very good condition - I wonder how many of our buildings will still be standing in that length of time.

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  3. Yes...those umbrellas, fascinating. A wonderful collection of photos Rosemary. Those blue skies just add to the incredible man made and natural images. Jx

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    1. The blue skies - they are already becoming a distant memory even though we have only been back a few days.

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  4. Greeks have lived in Asia Minor since antiquitity so the traces of their past have survived, many place names as well.Never been there... Excellent photos as usual.
    Welcome back!

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    1. Thank you Olympia for your kind welcome back. We saw many Greek patrician houses made of lovely carved stone, and with elegant arches.

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  5. Well this post has cheered me up! The blue skies very welcome on such a dull day, and your sunset picture is beautiful. They were clever chaps those Romans!

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    1. I never cease to be amazed at the skills of the Romans - very clever chaps indeed.

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  6. So lovely to have you bring some sunshine to my screen this evening Rosemary. It looks like you had a marvellous time but did you bring me back one of those red capes?!

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    1. The sunshine is already becoming a distant memory even though we have only been back 4 days. Paul that red cape was not up to your standards otherwise I would have considered it.

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  7. Hello Rosemary, Ruins are amazing, and you were lucky to witness those you picture here, which are among the best. It is rather impressive the way in which both the old aqueduct and theater in both their scale and grandeur dwarf the present-day activities taking place.
    --Jim

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    1. Hello Jim - I would rather the stall holders had not being present, but it is true they do bring home the reality of just how big these Roman buildings are. I am always astounded at the achievements of the Roman Empire and the quantity and quality of what they have left behind across Europe and beyond.

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  8. Wauw...what a beautiful photo's...the photo with the umbrella's ...so nice.
    thank you for sharing.
    Have a nice evening Rosemary.

    Greetings,
    Inge, my choice

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    1. Dear Inge - thank you for your kind comment, and I am pleased that you enjoyed seeing the photos - in particular the umbrellas. Hanging up there in the blue sky they were a gift to a photographer.

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  9. Looks impressive, the first picture with the umbrella's is fantastic.

    Greetings,
    Filip

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  10. Que belleza de reportaje.

    Saludos desde Creatividad e imaginación fotos de José Ramón

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    1. Gracias José por tu comentario amable.

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  11. FAB-u-LOUS Rosemary. Beautiful photos and I loved the umbrellas too. Great post.
    Patricia x

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    1. Thank you Patricia - I just spotted the umbrellas as I was hurrying to meet up with others for our lunch.

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  12. The Roman aqueducts are so impressive. I still remember the amazing structures we saw in different countries on the continent. Lovely collage and gorgeous photo of umbrellas.

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    1. Dear Betty - what can you say about the Romans except that they were amazing and have left us with the most impressive legacy.

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  13. The umbrella picture is such a fun to look at, all those colours and the clear blue sky, just gorgeous.
    Lovely reportage of this trip.

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    1. November proved to be a good month to pick - the weather was perfect for us - summer would have been far too hot, I understand it is in the mid 40s during summer.

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  14. Lovely images of Antalya. The Roman ruins are fascinating, especially the theatre. It's wonderful that so much is well preserved. The Roman structures appear huge - fitting, I suppose, for such a dominant people at that time.
    And I love the blue sky and sunshine - such a welcome sight when it's grey and cold outside.

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    1. Dear Wendy the deep blue skies are quickly becoming a distant memory, but looking out this morning I notice that we do have pale blue skies and sunshine too. How did the Romans built those amazing structures all over Europe and beyond?

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  15. Stunning photos of a fascinating place. Were those umbrellas for sale in an open air shop? It almost looks like an art installation. Anyway I love it.

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    1. Dear Valerie - the umbrellas were more of an art installation or a bit of fun - they were strung across a road in old town Antalya rather like we string fairy lights at Christmas.

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  16. I love the market under the ancient arches - very beautiful photos!

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    1. At first the market appeared to be in the way of taking photos, but they did lend some scale to the aqueduct.

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  17. Wonderful photos Rosemary - the umbrellas are stunning, I spy some of my favourite Turkish Delight, and absolutely love those ancient arches touched by golden sunlight. Beautiful! The markets below give a good sense of scale: they must be quite astonishing works of Roman engineering. Love the soldier, too!

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    1. The Turkish Delight is so different from the kind we get in the UK. So many varieties, flavours, and with added nuts etc. In one shop I picked up boxes of it for 1 € each box - I wish my suitcase had been bigger.

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  18. Such an interesting place; like taking a huge step back into history. Must be so overwhelming walking among all the old buildings, especially if a Roman pops up once in a while.

    And O that blue sky!!! The weather was clearly fantastic while you were there.

    Marian

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    1. November is a good month to visit the area. Everyday was perfect - in the mid 20s.
      We saw so many interesting things on the trip, but I am slowly working my way through the photos.

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  19. Dear Rosemary,
    I do like a good set of Roman remains! When I see the photographs of the Theatre it makes me wonder what it looked like in all its glory, when those outer colonnades were all in tact. The remaining 'bits' make me think it was spectacular!
    I really like the umbrella picture and your sunset (sunrise?) shot is great. Sometimes one is in the right place at just the right time.
    Bye for now,
    Kirk

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    1. Dear Kirk - I have now seen so many spectactular Roman remains across Europe and beyond and I never cease to be amazed at their achievements and the legacy that they have left behind for us. I wonder how many of our buildings will still be standing in 2000 years time?
      Both the umbrella and the sunset photos were a case of being in the right place at the right time.

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  20. Wicked temptress! How absolutely wonderful to visit this place in such glorious, manageable weather - I am currently very into all things Roman, having been engrossed (as an expat) in the series 'Rome' which we watched recently from our 'stock' of British TV recordings. Some amazing examples of Roman architecture you've shared - thank you. And the umbrella photo is perfect. Love it.
    Axxx

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    1. Thanks Annie - pleased that you enjoyed seeing the Roman remains. Whenever I see the buildings and structures that they have left behind for us all I am always in awe of them.

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  21. Amazing the knowledge they had about building already then , fantastic photos and great learning :-) The umbrella photo is stunning !

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    1. Thank you Jane - all I can add is "how great were the Romans".

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  22. Dear Rosemary,

    Your photograph of the umbrellas is worthy of National Geographic — a marvelous image made all the more graphic in that all the umbrellas are solid colors.

    The theater and aqueduct, and the bridge, are the sorts of sights that would lure me to Turkey. The aqueduct reminds me of a story, perhaps apocryphal, I read about one of the Roman emperors who wanted iced juice every morning. The story goes that a cart was sent up into the mountains before dawn and loaded with snow, and returned with just enough to ice a tumbler.

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    1. Dear Mark - thank you for your very generous comment - it was just luck, I was in a hurry so only took one shot of the umbrellas - the sun happened to be in the correct position.
      I would not put anything past a Roman emperor so can well believe the story is true.

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  23. I love the umbrella picture. It's so beautiful! Such wonderful photos and the sky is such an amazing blue!

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    1. Thank you Lisa - the weather was perfect all the time we were there - who would believe life could be so different just a 4 hour flight away from London.

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  24. Rosemary, your photos are spectacular. I love Greek and Roman antiquities and you have done these amazing constructions full justice. I did enjoy this post and the blue of the sky looks even better with my right eye. :-)

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    1. Dear Perpetua - thank you - I am pleased that you enjoyed the post. November is definitely a good time to visit this area for the weather, and it was lovely to wander around the Greco-Roman remains and imagine how life must have been 2000 years ago.

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  25. You would make a superb travel guide you photos so entice me to visit this area! What were the umbrellas there for - they are so colourful. The light always looks amazing in the November skies that picture of the sun would have been so different in the height of the summer. Are those rolls turkish delight too?
    Sarah x

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    1. Dear Sarah - thank you for your kind comment.
      I think that the umbrellas may have been an art installation. They were strung up across one of the roads in the old town of Antalya rather like we do our christmas lights.
      Yes, those rolls are turkish delight - the shop had so many different colours and flavours which looked really pretty.

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  26. My first time to your site (I've read your comments on Gina's blog and that is how I got here, today!) and what a delight it is! Have you visited Paestum, Italy and seen those immense Greek temples? My former husband was stationed in Izmir, Turkey and visited Anatalya but I do not recall his mentioning arches like those in your photos. And what town, if you recall, would that art exhibition have been in (the one with the umbrellas :-0 !!! I must try to search it on the internet - I was thinking it had been a factory and part of a tour you were on !??? I guess not.

    Mary in Oregon

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    1. Dear Mary - thank you for your visit which I appreciate - I do believe that I have seen your avatar on Gina's blog.
      The umbrellas were strung across one of the streets in the old town of Antalya rather like we hang christmas lights.
      The aqueduct arches are situated in the countryside about 75 miles from Antalya at Aspendos.
      Yes, I have visited Paestum when we were staying in Sorrento a few years ago.

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  27. It is so nice to share with us these lovely places ! Your photo as always great ! I have the opportunity to see the place that my nation lived there at past ! Thank you Rosemary !

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    1. Dear Olympia - your amazing ancestors have left a remarkable legacy in Turkey. Glad you enjoyed seeing the post.

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  28. Dear Rosemary, I agree with everyone; the umbrella shot is sensational. I also love the mosaic. What happy images. Have been to Turkey several times, however not to the areas you visited. I would love it if you would post the more practical side of your trip, Did you drive and from where or did you approach the area from a ship? ox, Gina

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    1. Dear Gina - the simple umbrella shot seems to have hit the spot with most - it was just a quick photo as I was in a hurry to meet up with our group for lunch - no time to stand and take several.
      We flew into Antalya from London where we stayed for a couple of nights. We then travelled by road to Cappadocia via Konya before returning back to Antalya again for a couple of nights and the flight back home. We were on the go from early in the morning until the evening on most days, but loved it all, and saw some wonderful sights.

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  29. Dear Rosemary,
    What a wonderful post-- and surely an even more wonderful Turkish holiday! The aqueduct and theater are spectacular-- they're just the sort of places my husband and sons would love to see. You've captured their impressive scale beautifully. Perhaps a trip to Turkey will be in our future!
    Warm regards,
    Erika

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    1. Dear Erikia - this is our second trip to Turkey - previously we visited the magical city of Istanbul. From this visit we have witnessed many sights and events that were a completely new experience for us. I am sure that your family would enjoy it too.

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  30. I didn't get to the south of Turkey when I visited. I would love to go back and visit this area it looks amazing x

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    1. Dear Penny - I missed your photos of Turkey - I must go to your blog and see if I can find them.

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  31. Love your photos and love your stories!!

    Marina

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    1. The Roman's around Europe have left an amazing legacy for us.

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  32. I’m always amazed with you, rosemary, how you can take those wonderful photos during the limited time of travelling. Collages are lovely and my favorite photo is the one of dimly lit Mediterranean with the layers of mountains and the setting sun. By your photographic technique, I enjoyed looking up the structures into the blue, blue sky.

    Yoko

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    1. Dear Yoko - thank you for your kind comment.
      I must admit that I do take rather a lot of photos, but I do just point the camera quickly and click in the hopes that I have got a good shot.

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  33. Hi Rosemary. It was lovely to see you and H again at my father's 80th last week. I said I would have a look at your blog which is absolutely brilliant. I love the photographs and there is a lot of stuff on here that I find I knew almost nothing about (which is unlike me!). I particularly like the blog on dervishes and Sufism. x

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    1. Dear Ian - thanks for dropping-in. Glad that you found some posts that you enjoyed, and even learnt something from!!!
      It was lovely to see you all, and hope it will not be so long before we see you again♥

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