Located within the borders of Aksu, 17 km east of Antalya city center, Perge Ancient City, where many important artifacts have been unearthed as a result of excavations organized by Istanbul University since 1946, is one of the most important cities of the Roman Period.
Apollonius is an important mathematician born in Perge in 262 BC. Apollonius, one of the few famous scholars who have an important place for Perge, is the person who revealed the problems of ellipse, circle, hyperbola and parabola intersections.
The ancient city of Perge history
Antalya Museum is one of the richest Roman sculpture museums in the world with the important sculpture finds unearthed as a result of excavations in the city. Prof. Dr. Jale Inan, together with her team, has made significant contributions to bringing Perge to light since 1946.
Turkey’s first female archaeologist, Jale Inan pioneered the establishment of Antalya and Side museums. You can access the map and plan of the ancient city of Perge here.
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Since the ancient city of Perge is in a large area, you need to walk for a while after entering. By walking along the remains of the city walls on the right, you can see both the city walls and the destroyed towers between the city walls. The buildings that will greet you at the end of the road are the basilicas.
In the light of the excavations and finds unearthed, it is seen that the ancient city of Perge passed through 3 bright periods.
The Hellenistic period (3rd and 2nd century BC), when the city walls and towers were built, the Roman period (2nd and 3rd century AD), which built many of the city’s surviving structures (theater, stadium, baths, fountains, agora), and the Christian period, when church buildings were seen, are the bright periods we mentioned.
When you turn from the basilicas towards the city, you will see a monumental fountain (nymphaeum) among the buildings of the ancient city of Perge. In this fountain, there is also a statue of a god who is considered to be the god of the nearby Aksu River.
The water flowing from the fountain, in the center of which there is a statue of the river god Kestros, passes through the middle of a 2-meter-wide water channel and divides the city into two.
Following the fountain is a wide colonnaded street. This 22 meter wide street is even suitable for car traffic. Traces of the wheels used in those times were found on the ground. There are shops on the sides of the colonnaded street. At the intersection of the two streets, there is the Apollonius Demetrius arch.
Beyond the colonnaded street is a building built in the 2nd century BC. The Hellenistic gate was built as two round towers with four floors for defense purposes. In the niches on the walls, there were statues of the gods and founders of the period. You can see these statues at the Antalya Archaeology Museum.
In the ancient city of Perge, there is also the agora, which is found in many ancient cities and where all kinds of commercial and political activities related to the city are carried out.
The agora, which means gathering in Ancient Greek, has a large courtyard in the center and shops around it. The shops mainly sell meat and fish. It is even possible to see a sign in front of one of the shops with a marble relief in the shape of a knife, signifying a butcher.
In the middle of the 75 x 75 meter wide agora, you can also see a round structure with a diameter of 13 meters, which is thought to have been used for votive offerings or worship, although its purpose is not known for sure.
On the west side of the Hellenistic gate are the baths. The Southern Bath in Perge is larger than the other baths in Pamphylia. In the compartments allocated to different functions, the person who comes to the bath fully benefits from the bath complex.
The sections in the bath are characterized as dressing section (apodyterium), cold bath (frigidarium), warm bath (tepidarium), hot bath (caldarium), body movements room (palaestra). By examining the remains of the baths, you can see how the baths of the period were used.
Many artifacts that can be seen and visited in the ancient city are from the Roman Period. The gate at the southern entrance of the city is one of them. The Romans built this gate and wall in the 3rd century AD to protect the city from attacks.
It’s time to see one of the best stadiums in the world. The 12,000-seat rectangular stadium, built in antiquity from conglomerate stone, which is formed by the hardening of sand and pebbles over time and is therefore very strong, dates back to the 1st century AD. The stadium is 234 meters long and 34 meters wide.
The theater on the other side of the road in the ancient city is divided into three main sections: the audience seating area, the orchestra and the stage areas.
With a capacity of 13 thousand spectators, the orchestra area of the theater has witnessed many gladiator and wild animal fights. On the walls of the stage in the Perge theater are reliefs depicting the life of Donysos, the god of wine.
Perge Ancient City entrance fee and visiting hours
Entrance to the Ancient City of Perge is paid. You should definitely see this important ancient city where Müzekart is valid. The opening hours are 08:00 – 19:00 in the summer period and 08:00 – 17:00 in the winter period, every day of the week, including Monday.
Where is Perge Ancient City and how to get there?
The distance between Antalya and the ancient city of Perge is 24 km. When going towards Aksu, turn left towards Atatürk Street. After 1.5km, you will see the entrance to the Ancient City of Perge on the right.
There is a parking lot for visitors at the entrance of the ancient city, you can leave your car in this parking lot.