Greek and Roman ruins at Perge, an ancient site close to Antalya, situated on a wide plain between two hills 4 kms west of the Aksu river.
One of the better preserved archaelogical sites in Turkey. Really worth a visit!
Perge (18 kilometers / 11 miles from Antalya) was an important city. It was settled by the Hittites around 1500 B.C. Kestros (Aksu) river, which runs near the acropolis, made Perge like a port because it was possible to navigate from the sea to the city. Thus, an important trade route starting from Side run through the nearby city of Aspendos and then Perge.
Perge is also famous by the fact that when Saint Paul started his journeys, he visited Perge in 46 A.D. and preached his first sermon here. That's why it became an important city for the Christians during Byzantine period.
The Perga you find in Acts 13:13 is now commonly spelled “Perge”. Perga was the capital of the Pamphylia region. Perge is located in what is now the Antalya province.
From Paphos, Paul and his companions sailed to Perga in Pamphylia, where John left them to return to Jerusalem.
Perga was the capital of Pamphylia.
Paul and Barnabas returned to Perga and “preached the word” (Acts 14:25).
and when they had preached the word in Perga, they went down to Attalia.
This was an important city in the ancient Pamphylia region,connected by a main coastal road to Antalya and Side.The city's name has its origin in a local dialect.Sources claim that in 334 B.C. , during one of Alexander the Great's campaigns,the Macedonians passed through it,later it fell successively under the aegis of Ptolemaios,Seleucos and Bergama.It is believed that the city lived through a difficult period in the 2nd and 1st centuries B.C.
Famous persons educated in Perge were Myron's son the physician Asclepiades,Valerius Electos,the Sophist Varus,Zollos and Archimedes pupil the mathematician Apollonis.
The most important of the gods worshipped in Perge was the local and very ancient goddness Artemis Pergaia.According to ancient historians,there was a very large temple in the city of Artemis Pergaia.Other gods worshipped,there were Zeus,Apollo,Athena,Hephaistos,Hermes,Aphrodite,Dionysus,Serapis and Harpocrates.
During excavations at Perge which were initiated in 1949,many construction have been unearthed,such as the two entrances,colonnaded street,nymphaion,baths and agora.
The ruins of the ancient city of Perge are located about 9 miles (15 km) east of Antalya. Ancient Greeks arriving from the Aegean & northwestern Asia Minor originally founded Perge sometime in the 11th century B.C. The city was strategically located almost 13 miles (20 km) from the coastline in order to protect it from pirates that frequently raided the area. In the 6th century B.C., the Persians conquered the area, and it remained under their control for over 200 years. Then in the 4th century B.C., Alexander The Great pushed the Persians out of Perge and the region. The Romans entered the picture in the 2nd century B.C., and built most of the city structures that are present as ruins today. St. Paul the Apostle visited Perge during his first missionary journey throughout much of Asia Minor and Greece. The city remained populated until the arrival of the Seljuks in the 13th century.
In the present day Perge is one of the most interesting archaeological sites in western Anatolia. Turkish excavations since the 1940’s have exposed much of the ancient city and its artifacts, many of which have been put on display at the Antalya Museum. The remains of the agora marketplace, the public baths, and the theater among others, are facinating to walk amongst and imagine how life must have been like here 2,000 years ago. The backdrop of the Taurus mountains just adds to the splendor of the site! Not knowing much about Perge before I visited, I was pleasantly surprised by how much there was to see and learn about.
The southern baths of Perge were the the largest and most extravagant public baths in all of the ancient region of Pamphylia, which generally encompasses the present-day Antalya province in southern Anatolia. The baths had several different areas, including a palaestra gymnasium for physical excercises, a caldarium & tepidarium for warm water bathing and steaming, and a frigidarium for cool water bathing. The palaestra was encicled by colonnades and porticoes, many of which are still standing. You can also still see part of the underfloor heating system used to warm the water for the caldarium & tepidarium. The residents of Perge paid to use the southern baths, with women allowed in the morning and men in the afternoon.
The agora in ancient Perge was the center of trade, as well as a social & political meeting area of the city. There are many still-standing colonnades and porticoes to the various shops that surrounded the perimeter of the central courtyard of the agora. The shops were organized around the agora in regards to what they specifically traded or sold, and apparently each shop had a sign that identified it as such. Some of the mosiac tiles that were along the floors of the shops are still present as well.
Perge has some very interesting ruins but suffers from too many tourists due to its proximity to Antalya. Within the old city itself, I found the baths to be the most interesting. The floors and walls are partially exposed allowing you can see how the baths worked. The main room also still has much of the original colorful tile floor intact. The agora was a bit disappointing, a lot of columns, otherwise not much to see. Other than that the amphitheatre and stadium that you pass on the way to the parking lot might be worth a look. The stadium was accessible but the amphitheatre was closed when I was there. No problem though, not too far away is the impressive theatre at Aspendos which is in much better condition. But lots of tourists there too, of course...
This theatre was encountered enroute to Perge. I don' t know if it was part of the Perge metropolitan area or part of another town, but it was a few miles from Perge so I would have to assume it was part of another town.
It was an incredibly well preserved theatre and gives you a pretty good feel for what it was like before they went out of business and let the maintenance fall to the wayside. (Don't you just hate it when you go to a theatre and it's obvious the owners aren't taking good care of it? )
Perge is an old Roman ruin pretty much out in the middle of no-where, which goes a long way to explaining why it is still a ruin and not a town built out of recycled marble. It is a pretty cool town though. See travelogues for more photos.
I'd give you more information about where it is,etc, but I have absolutely no idea about where it it or anything. The tour I was on was arranged by the Navy and I just signed up for it... Leave it to a sailor to be in the middle of a desert and not know how he got there! :-)
Perge - 20 min drive from Antalya
The ancient city of Perge stands on a hillside on the outskirts of Antalya - allow an hour for a visit. The stadium is still in good condition and once held 15,000 spectators. Some of the arched chambers around it were Roman shops - some of them you can still make out the shopkeepers' names. The theatre is formidable combination of Greek and Roman elements.
Very interesting to visit. Females were allowed to use the baths for a few hours in the morning, rest of the time it was for the use of the men.
When you are at the agora, you will notice the roman water canals that used to be used to cool down the city. Quite ingenious.
The ruins of Perge are located sixteen kilometers along the Antalya-Alanya highway. It is one of the better-preserved archaeological sites in Turkey. Worth to visit!