Apamea Things to Do

  • Roman Villas, March 2008
    Roman Villas, March 2008
    by MM212
  • Theatre's Gateway, March 2008
    Theatre's Gateway, March 2008
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  • Leftover step seating, March 2008
    Leftover step seating, March 2008
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Best Rated Things to Do in Apamea

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    The Cardo Maximus

    by dionysias Updated Mar 12, 2003

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    The Cardo Maximus or the ( Central axis ) , a splendid thoroughfare which was lined with shops and linked the principal gates of the city , so it was the center of the public life of the city .
    It is about 2 kilometers long and 37.5 meters wide , originally a 1200 columns were fringed out this thoroughfare forming a long doble side colonnade , I think its quite a respectable boulevard for even a modern city !!
    This great colonnade was erected in the 2nd century A.D. and was still standing in the 12th. It took the earthquakes of 1157 and 1170 to demolish it. But dominating the tumbled ruins of the city, transcending the disorder, a series of columns with twisted fluting has been re-erected; their capitals and entablatures have been put back in place. All has become orderly once more
    but stll there's lots to do

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    The Cardo Maximus

    by MM212 Updated Mar 21, 2011

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    Apamea's Cardo Maximus - Dec 2006
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    Apamea's legendary cardo maximus is the longest and most beautiful colonnaded avenue of Antiquity. This north-south axis extends 1.85 km and was once bordered by 1200 columns, of which only 400 have been re-erected thanks to the work of Belgian archaeologists in the past century. Work to construct the Cardo was undertaken by the Romans immediately after the destructive earthquake of 115 AD, which had destroyed the older Hellenistic colonnade built under the Seleucids. Roman Emperor Hadrian commissioned the work, which began at the northern section south of the Antioch Gate and made its way down to the southern Emesa Gate by 166 AD. Behind the columns on either side were covered porticoes containing shops and entrances to palaces, temples and other important structures. When visiting Apamea, one must allow 2 hours of a leisurely walk back and forth along the picturesque cardo maximus. Or if you are lucky to have hired a driver, he could meet you at the other end to save time.

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    Apamea's Spiral Fluting Columns

    by MM212 Updated Aug 25, 2012

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    Apamea's spiral fluting columns, Dec 2006
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    Apamea's cardo maximus is most celebrated for its spiral fluting columns. Although a handful can still be seen in Rome itself, these famous columns are otherwise unique to Apamea in the Graeco-Roman world, and are found only in the middle section of the Cardo Maximus, to mark the location of the important Tycheion (Temple of the Tyche). The spirals alternate in direction from one column to the next, creating an interesting effect. I was fortunate to catch them on a sunny day when the shadows amplified the contrast on the spiral flutes, as seen in the attached photos. Some of the columns still support the small brackets on which statues were placed, a feature also seen in Palmyra's colonnade and is a Semitic tradition incorporated into Roman architecture of the East.

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    The Lone Votive Column

    by MM212 Written Sep 20, 2007

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    Lone Column
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    A lone 14 metre votive column stands in the middle of the northern section of the cardo maximus. This lone column marked an important intersection with a perpindicular street. The cardo maximus contained another similar column further south, though only the base is currently visible.

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  • iwys's Profile Photo

    Cardo Maximus

    by iwys Updated Apr 17, 2007

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    At 2km, the main north-south street of Palmyra, the cardo maximus, is even longer than the one in Palmyra. Much of the original paving and a large number of the columns which line the street have survived since the 2nd century AD.

    The modern approach road to the ruins, follows the line of the old decumanus and, therefore, cuts across the cardo. The ticket office for the ruins is at the intersection. The northern section of the cardo is well-preserved, but the section on the southern side of the road is mainly just rubble.

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    Theatre

    by iwys Updated Apr 17, 2007

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    The theatre is probably the first part of the ruins you will see. As you climb up the hill from the modern town, it is on your right. It was built in the 2nd century AD, when the city had a population of half a million, and it was the biggest theatre in the eastern Roman Empire. Its stage measured 139m and was, therefore, the world's largest. The main entrance doorway and a stone passageway are still standing, but many of the rows of seats in the cavea have been destroyed for use as building stones in the citadel. With a little bit of imagination, you can still envisage how grand it must once have looked.

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  • iwys's Profile Photo

    Roman Villa

    by iwys Updated Apr 17, 2007

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    If you follow the line of the decumanus along the modern road for about 400 metres to the east, you will see, on your left, a grand Roman villa complex, with 26 columns standing in its courtyard, behind a grand doorway. This must once have been the home of some of the city's leading citizens.

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    Museum

    by iwys Updated Dec 14, 2008

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    Apamea's museum is housed in a 16th century khan. It contains an impressive collection of Byzantine mosaics removed from the floors of the city's buildings, including the cathedral. There are also stone sarcophagi and funerary stelae.

    Its opening hours are slightly eccentric. But, there is always a guard inside. If you shout and hammer on the door for long enough, he will eventually emerge from his slumbers and let you in for a small tip. Actually, it is better to go there outside of the regular opening hours, because the guard will let you take photographs of the mosaics, which in regular hours is not allowed. Furthermore, he will be happy to accept only S£100 and you will have the place all to yourself.

    Opening hours: 9 am-2.30pm. Closed Tuesday

    Admission: S£150

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    The Propylaeum

    by MM212 Updated Oct 10, 2010

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    Propylaeum in March 2008
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    This beautiful Propylaeum rises from within the rows of columns in the northern section of the cardo maximus. The purpose of the Propylaeum is uncertain but is thought to have marked the entrance to an important palace or temple.

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    Thermae Agrippa (Baths of Julius Agrippa)

    by MM212 Updated Sep 20, 2007

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    Agrippa Thermae (Dec 2006)
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    Thermae Agrippa (Baths of Julius Agrippa) were constructed in 116 AD and are located east of the cardo maximus, a little north of the Propylaeum. The main edifice is still standing with its arched entrance and windows. There are two other baths in Apamea, one by Antioch Gate and the other also east of the cardo maximus about opposite the Agora and the Tycheion.

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    The Agora

    by MM212 Updated Aug 25, 2012

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    The entrance to the Agora (Dec 2006)
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    Rebuilt after the earthquake of 115 AD, the Agora, or the Forum, of Apamea was one of the city's principal squares. It is located west of the Cardo Maximus, near the middle section of the colonnade where the famous fluted columns are standing. It was a long and relatively narrow square, surrounded by colonnaded porticos, set parallel to the Cardo Maximus and is accessible from it through an impressive entrance with seven columns on either side. The outer walls of the Agora contained niches for statues, known as "Syrian niches" because they are unique to this part of the Roman world (shown in photos). Together, the entrance and the Agora itself formed an L-shape that enclosed the Temple of the Tyche, or Tycheion. Like many of Apamea's ruins, which have yet to be reconstructed, it is hard to distinguish the exact outline of the Agora, but the bases of the seven pairs of columns within the entrance are clearly visible.

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    The Tycheion (Temple of the Tyche)

    by MM212 Updated Sep 20, 2007

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    The ruined fa��ade of the Tycheion

    The most significant temple in Apamea, the Tycheion, was built at the centre of the cardo maximus. The distinguished location was marked by Apamea's celebrated twisted fluted columns, which were erected opposite the multi-columned entrance of the temple. The Tyche, goddess of luck, was equated with the Roman Fortuna and considered the most important in Apamea. Unfortunately, the Tycheion has not been reconstructed by archeologists, so it is hard to discern the structure. All that is seen is a pile of stones and a few half standing columns.

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    Portico

    by iwys Updated Apr 17, 2007

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    About half-way up the cardo maximus from the ticket office, you will se an impressive second century portico on your right. It stands out from the colonnade and is crowned by a triangular pediment, decorated with carvings. This would have been the entrance to one of the city's great public buildings.

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    Antioch Gate

    by iwys Written Sep 24, 2006

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    At the northern end of the cardo maximus stands the Antioch gate, which was one of the main entrances to the walled city. It is so-named because the road from there led northwards to Antioch (now modern Hatay, just inside Turkey).

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  • iwys's Profile Photo

    Cathedral

    by iwys Written Sep 24, 2006

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    At the eastern end of the decumanus, now followed by the modern road, you can see, opposite the Roman villa, the ruins of a great Byzantine cathedral. Many of the mosaics in the museum were taken from here. It was once an important pilgrimage centre, as it housed part of the original crucifixion cross. Sadly, it is now just a jumble of stones and column bases.

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Apamea Things to Do

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