Theatre of Aspendos

Aspendos is known for having the best-preserved theater of antiquity. With diameter of 96 meters (315 ft), the theater provided seating for 7,000.

The theater was built in 155 by the Greek architect Zenon, a native of the city, during the rule of Marcus Aurelius. It was periodically repaired by the Seljuks who used it as a caravanserai.

In order to keep with Hellenistic traditions, a small part of the theater was built so that it leaned against the hill where the Citadel (Acropolis) stood, while the remainder was built on vaulted arches. The high stage served to seemingly isolate the audience from the rest of the world. The scaenae frons or backdrop, has remained intact. The 8.1 meter (27 ft) sloping reflective wooden ceiling over the stage has been lost over time. Post holes for 58 masts are found in the upper level of the theater. These masts supported a velarium or awning that could be pulled over the audience to provide shade.

Still used today for concerts, festivals and events, the theater's galleries, stage decorations and acoustics all testify to the architect's success.
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