line decor


   turkey trip Istanbul I Istanbul II Istanbul III Istanbul IV Bursa Troy Pergamum Sardes - Pamukkale Aphrodisia Ephesus Priene Didyma MiletCapitels

line decor

Temple of Aphrodite (and of Augustus)               Museum                  Theater; Odeon; Stadion

Aphrodisias was a small but rather important city during antiquity. It is not quite clear when the town was first founded, but we do know that she experienced the period of greatest importance under the sponsorship of a certain Gaius Julius Zoilus experienced, a former slave of Gaius Julius Caesar's. After he was released from slavery by Octavian, later emperor Augustus, he return quite wealthy to his hometown and began a massive building project around 30BCE. Once again, nearby marble quarries provided the raw material for some rather spectacular buildings and sculptures. During this time the Temple of Aphrodite, the theater and the Odeon and many other structures were built. They all were lavishly decorated with marble columns and sculptures. In the 7th century CE the town was devastated in a major earthquake. Over time the old city and its temples was forgotten and buried under rubble. The small village of Geyre eventually grew on the remains and the local peasants used whatever fragments they happened to find to build their hovels. First excavations were done in 1904, but then again the site was forgotten until it was rediscovered by a turkish archeologist, Professor Kenan Erim of NYU. He began his excavations in 1961 and continued to work there until his death in 1990. However, excavations continue under NYU sponsorship today. Today the entire site is protected, the village has been moved to a nearby location. Today many buildings have been excavated and some have been partially restored, like the entrance to the temple of Aphrodite in the middle picture.

Temple of Aphrodite
saeulen   temple   Firm
Temple of Aphrodite        
3saeulen   Aphrodisia   The temple, known as the "Sebasteion" was dedicated to the godesse Aphrodite to the family of the first roman emperor, Augustus (Gaius Julius Zoius was no fool) During this time the three main buildings of the temple complex were erected. The temple was one of the most lavishly with friezes decorated temple in the roman empire.                                   return to top

                           Aphrodite cult image


            fragment of horse from temple


Nowadays the city of ruins can only be entered by riding in the official trolley from the rather distant parking lot; neither private cars nor tour busses are permitetd entry. ( I suppose one could hike for a not inconsiderable distance) In addition to the excavated ruins of the temple, theater, and other buildings, there is a small but very nicely appointed museum in which the treasures that have been found on site are displayed. since excavations are still continuing, one does not know what else may be unearthed, but the contents of the museum are already very impressive.

Finally, the site contains a building that houses are variety of photographs and documentation relating to Professor Erim's efforts on behalf of Aphrodisias.

                                                       return to top

           Cultfigure of Aphrodite               Fragment of a horse    

series of temple frieze fragments

In the museum one has the opportunity to admire more than 70 frieze that were found in the rubble. The picture above shows a row of them, while two larger images are on the right.


           Bellerophontes und Pegasus

     Bellerophontes und Pegasus from        Sebasteion


        Aeneas flight from troy

    Aeneas Flight from Troy - from          Sebasteion

                                                                                  return to top
Theater and Odeon
After we regained our strenght through ingestion of some very good ice cream in the cafe and had fed to ususal cats, and used the technical facilities we felt able to continue our exploration of the town. We admired the theater, the Odeon, the stadium and




a number of other ruins whose meaning was not always clear to us.

One can gain an appreciation of the wealth and importance of the ancient city through the knowledge that it not only possessed a theater but also an Odeon where famous orators could be heard. Both of them are in excellent condition. The theater's superstructures make it obvious that it was a roman building - Greek theaters did not have them




Arena 2   Arena 3                   The stadion   The Stadion - on both pictures on the left, takes one's breath away. First you have to climb a pretty steep hill and then there it is - Big. Its size is quite overwhelming It had room for thirty thousand spectators who would come here to watch sporting events. Unfortunately, none were scheduled when we were visiting, But at least one member of our little group decided to jog through the stadion to our thunderous applause.                   return to top





  Deutsche Seiten:

Türkeireise  Istanbul I Istanbul II Istanbul III Istanbul IV Bursa Troia Pergamum Sardes - Pamukkale Aphrodisia Ephesus Priene Didyma Milet Kapitele