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Pamphylian Cities of Perge and Sillyon Antalya

Pamphylian Cities of Perge and Sillyon Antalya
The 12th century surge of Greek migrants from northern Anatolia to the eastside of Antalya, this area became known as Pamphylia (“Land of the Tribes”) and although cut off from the main Anatolian trade routes, due to the surrounding mountains, four great cities arose from here; Perge , Sillyon , Aspendos and Side


Perge founded around 1000 BC, was one of the richest and most beautiful cities in the ancient world, defensively based 20km inland (about 15km east of Antalya) to avoid the pirate bands that terrorized the coastline, it was also classed as one of the great Pamphylian trading cities. Apollonius the famous mathematician and pupil of Archimedes, lived and worked here.

Most of the surviving buildings date from the Roman rule period which began in 188 BC, although the acropolis dates back to the Bronze Age. The site can be reached by foot in 15 minutes from the village of Aksu or you can use the dolmus minibus. The ruins here are impressive and a long afternoon could be spent looking around.

The Theatre

The theatre was originally constructed by the Greeks,  though significantly changed by the Romans in the 2nd century AD, accommodated 14,000 people on 42 seating levels. The theatre was used for both theatrical entertainment and gladiatorial displays.

The Stadium

The massive stadium in Perge is the largest in Asia Minor, 234m x 34m, and seats 12,000. Many of the rooms between the supporting pillars and arches remain intact and give a good impression of the overall scale of the complex. The Seleucid walls that have survived in places indicate the size of the original city.

Tomb of Plancia Magna

The Tomb of Plancia Magna, a patroness of the city, sits in front of the outer gates.

Other Ruins in Perge

There is a ruined Byzantine basilica, 4th century AD agora sitting on an ancient temple, pools of the excavated Roman baths and a 300m colonnaded street with a water channel running through the centre showing the outline of shops on either side.  Other interesting sites are the Hellenistic Gate, Nyphaeum, a Palaestra (an ancient Greek wrestling school) and Necropolis.


Sillyon although less intact than Perge, also dates from around 1000 BC. Sillyon is much less popular than the other Pamphylian sites as there is no public transport that goes there due to a landslide in 1969 when half of it was swept away.

Here you will find the remains of city gates, a stadium, an amphitheatre, an odeon, a temple, a cistern and a gymnasium. Due to the rocky plateau location of this site the ruins remain threatened by further landslides.  

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