Antalya Perge Archaeological Site

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PERGE

The city of Perge is 17 km east of Antalya city centre, within the borders of Aksu. It is not only the most organized part of the region but also for the whole of Anatolia. Its sculpture is as popular as its architecture.  The important monumental structures of the city have been discovered through excavations made by the University of Istanbul since 1946 and due to the finds of sculptures Antalya Museum has one of the richest collections of Roman sculpture.

Historians considered Perge was founded at the end of the Trojan wars (1275 B.C) but a Hittite tablet mentioning Perge was found in Hattusha in 1986 showing the city was established before the Trojan wars. According to philological evidence the city was a settlement from 3 thousand B.C. Some ceramic and stone finds indicate that the history of settlement extends back in time to the Early Bronze Age. The first settlement in the city was on the plateau to the north. The city developed and expanded in time over the southern plain. Perge, on the antique road which begins in Bergama (Pergamum) and ends at Side, owes its importance and development to the Aksu (Kestros) river. The river which is not the same today played an important role bringing rich alluvial soil providing an important means of access to the city.

It is known that Saint Paul and his friends sailed from the harbor at Paphos on Cyprus to Perge. The integration of the city and the river is indicated by depictions on coins, reliefs and the depiction of the River God (Kestros) in a sculpture on the monumental nymphaeum at the base of the south hillside of the acropolis.

The most famous citizen of Perge was Apollonius of Perge, known for his astronomical, geometrical and mathematical ability. The second most famous person who lived in Perge during the 2nd century A.D. was the philosopher Varus.

Although many Gods and Goddesses were worshipped at Perge, Artemis held a special place and importance. Artemis, whose roots are deep in ancient history, was called Wanessa-Preiia (Queen of Perge) in the local language and she was the main Goddess of the city. The cult of the Goddess Artemis Pergaia spread to neighbouring countries, she was even worshipped overseas. The Artemis temple, often characterised by its beauty, size and magnificent architecture was built on top of a high hill and its location remains today a mystery.

From excavations and investigations it is clear that Perge experienced three bright periods. The first, during the Hellenistic period (2nd - 3rd centuries B.C.) represented by the great walls and towers which still partly stand today. The second was during the Roman Empire in the 2nd and 3rd centuries A.D. represented by monumental structures which are still largely standing today, the theatre, stadium, bath houses, monumental fountains and agora. The last bright period was during the Christian period in the 5th and 6th centuries A.D. During this period the city was a metropolitan centre and many churches were constructed.

The fact that the people of Perge showed no resistance to and welcomed Alexander the Great when he invaded the area in 333 B.C. was because they had no walls to protect the city.

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Summer
08:00-20:00 Saturday 08:00-20:00 Sunday 08:00-20:00
Box Office Closed 19:30
Winter
08:30-17:30 Saturday 08:30-17:30 Sunday 08:30-17:30
Box Office Closed 17:00

Children ages 0-18 - Citizens of Turkey Free
Children ages 0-8 - Non-Turkish Citizens Free
65 and over - Turkish citizens Free
Students (Studying art history, archaeology and museum departments in university) Free
All Adults (International and Turkish) 60.00TL
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Antalya Perge Archaeological Site Barbaros Mahallesi, Perge Caddesi, Aksu-ANTALYA
antalyamuzesi@kultur.gov.tr
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