Perge is an antique city located in Aksu district in the north-east of Antalya. Follow the route D400 and use the off-ramp. You can come to Perge by car or by bus with direction to Antalya. If you choose the second option you will have two walk approximately 2 km from the bus station or take a taxi.
The site is open from 8.30 a.m. till 6.30 p.m.
The adult ticket costs 20 TL, the entrance for children is free.
There are two impressive buildings standing on both sides of the road when you approach Perge ruins. There is an amphitheatre for 12 thousand people (it is closed for reconstruction) and on the other side there is a big antique stadium which is one of the best preserved stadiums in Anatolia. You will be amazed by the size of these constructions which are the biggest buildings in Perge. While the town itself is farther.
Considering that Perge was built on a plain surface, it is hard to evaluate real dimensions of the city when you enter it. But when you start to walk around the ruins you realize how big this city was. The streets are long, the columns are tall, there are large hamams with swimming pools, basilica, acropolis, necropolis and a wide water channel in the middle of the central street. You will perceive the atmosphere of this city even better if you visit the Antalya museum before you come to Perge. The museum contains the statues of Zeus with an eagle, young Apollo, Artemis with a deer and a hound, Roman Imperator Adrianus who visited Perge in 131 B.C.E., marble headstones and other artifacts found during digging works in this city.
It is better to observe the ruins in the morning or in the evening when it is not too hot and sunny because there is no place to hide from heat.
A Bit of History
As said in legends, Perge was established in the last year of the Trojan war (1275 B.C.E.) in 11 km from the sea on the shores of the river Kestrus which was used for vessel that time. The modern name of this river is Aksu. The founder of the city is a diviner Kalhas from Agamemnon Greek army which was mentioned by Homer in “Iliada” several times “as the one who knows what exists, what will be or what happened”. While the archeological works indicated that probably the city was founded long before this actions in 2-3 centuries B.C.E.
In 333 B.C.E. this city didn`t resist the occupation of the army of Alexander the Great, that`s why it wasn`t destroyed by the war.
In the first century B.C.E there were the apostles Paul and Varnavas who was the founder of the Cyprus church.
Perge prospered in the second century B.C.E. when the whole Romanian Empire witnessed its golden age. All the main buildings were constructed during this period: amphitheatre, stadium, the central square Agora, hamams (Roman baths), Basilica, water sources, streets with columns.
One of the most famous citizens of Perge was the mathematician scientist Apolloni who investigated the features of ellipsis (3 century B.C.E.).
There was city decline happening next centuries during the era of Byzantine empire when the land around Perge became thirsty and spongy. This made some citizens of the city leave it. Then there were attacks of Arabic troops and the Seljuks. And in the 13th century C.E. there was only a small settlement instead of a prosperous city which was forgotten.
Photos of Perge