The City Of Princess Belkis: Aspendos

The City Of Princess Belkis: Aspendos

A long time ago, the times when our river Köprücay had the sonorous name – Euremedon, a port city was built on its banks. The story of the city is ordinary: Aspendos was a part of Lycia, then moved to the Persians, then it was conquered by Alexander the Great, then it’s gone under Seleucids authority, then it was part of Pergama and finally it turned to be one of the biggest city of Roman province – Asia. Like most of the other cities in our region, as you see. But there was one story which made this city special. 

The Legend About Princess Belkis

This story happened in the second half of the II century AD. The king of Aspendos had a beautiful daughter – a princess, named Belkis. When the time has come to choose a future husband for her, the king declares a competition among the architects: “Whoever will amaze king most – will get the princess as a wife”. There were two architects who stood out. One of them created a magnificent aqueduct. When King saw it he was pretty sure that that was the future husband of his daughter. But curiosity brought him to have a look at what the other guy was up to. He saw huge, beautiful amphitheater: all those passages, two-level stage, sculptures, and upper-level gallery… he went up to see all this beauty from the top… and right next to him someone said: “The princess will be mine”. King looked around, there was no one next to him! But on the stage, he saw a creator of this construction – architect Zenon. The King was shocked! The architect was so far but his voice was so near – perfect acoustic! Dramatic twist! King was amazed by both of these wonderful projects. So he offered to cut the princess half-half! But Zenon said “No”, he loved the princess and he told him he was out of the game. Of course, HE got the princess! The end.

The City Of Princess Belkis: Aspendos

Aspendos amphitheater had officially become a museum just a few years ago. Previously it was used for live performances include Annual Ballet And Opera Festival. Can you imagine that?! Now it’s been refurbished and retired. There is a new arena built for the shows where you can still attend the Ballet And Opera Festival and watch the world-known show “Anatolian Fire”.I will not write much about the show, you should see it yourselves. I just will leave here a video with a small part of the performance.

Back to the Aspendos city. A little bit more about the amphitheater: capacity – 15.000 seats and more than a hundred performers! 

The upper gallery was sorting out a few things at once: it kept the shadow and chilled the theatre, served acoustic purposes and it was a decorative element with its 57 columns with beautiful statues. Whenever you try to capture something as magnificent as this place, it just can not be fully shown in the picture. It doesn’t even matter which camera you will use, this place is too impressive to be expressed. This is one of the things which you have to see yourself. The souvenir shop is located in the amphitheater building right by the entrance.

Once you’re done with the observation of amphitheater you are going to hit the road inside of the city. First, turn to the right leads you to the valley with ruins of a pretty spacious stadium. It is not as well preserved as a stadium in Perge, but you still can see its shape and imagine the size.

Exploring the hill you will see lots of wells, stones, and walls of ancient buildings…But then you will come to the edge of the cliff and see a breathtaking view of the valley, mountains, and legendary aqueduct. It is huge! It is always very exciting to pass through the ancient gates. How many people have been passing here day after day over the centuries…Aspendos was very developed. It had fountains, canalization with water closets. The water pipes or right to say channels were hidden under the walking roads.

One of the most preserved buildings here is Basilika. It was used as a court, trade house, and assembly place.  Then you are going to see a place which used to be a Nymphaeum – a sanctuary dedicated to nymphs with an obligatory attribute of this building – a beautiful fountain. It is located at Agora – trade square and main place for meetings and attractions.

The City Of Princess Belkis: Aspendos

There are many houses, walls, beautiful stones with Greek writings, just make a tour around, it is just great. Down the hill you will see a ruin of the Church, it was so big, pity that there is not much left of it. But here we couldn’t take a photo (here I blush) because he heard a noise of the mountain goat. It was very close, very loud, and very intense. We were with my mom so we actually scared each other and decided to back off fast. Close the bottom of the hill we found the gate with the hole in it. The perspectives were clear: to back to the goat (!!!) or to go out right here and back to the car parking by the outside road.

The goat didn’t seem like a good option so we went out. And fortunately, we found ourselves right in front of the Roman Bath! (36.9365062,31.1695546) It was a very spacious building made of red bricks. Lots of rooms. We liked it very much. You can wander inside, see the water pipes, holes for extraction of the steam, and so on. There is a family restaurant right next to it, with local food. And when I say local, I mean that they produce 90% of what they serve: vegetables, olives, olive oil and butter, cheese, oranges and pomegranates and so on. We asked for gözleme with spinach and cottage cheese. Nice thing that they cook on the natural fire not on gas, it gives food a slightly smoky flavor. After short rest on the soft pillows, we moved to the car. Don’t leave this place without seeing the aqueduct close! I do understand the King, it is impossible to decide which construction is more impressive. It is high, it is elegant and it is very long.

Aspendos is one of the places which are stuffed with history. Each corner, each turn leads you to the new surprise. And you just keep on repeating: “Wow! How?!”. How they could build something like this? How their culture and knowledge were developed, I mean, really, AT THOSE TIMES! How well it is preserved! And how lucky we are to be able to see this.

Buying or investing in Turkish property can be a good decision because of the rules and regulations they have made. Furthermore, Turkey belongs to a region that is becoming a favorite investment venture, and people are investing here for the past few years.

Although the rules are strict, if you want to save your money, then it’s the best place to invest. You can also look for the real estate option because it’s the best way to expand your business and will help you to get a better idea about the investment.  

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