Perge is one of the most renowned cities of the Lycian Union, both during the Hellenistic period and later in the Roman world, with its school of sculpture and renowned sculptors. At one time, it was also the capital of Pamphylia. St. Paul spent some time in Perge during his missionary journeys in the first century AD, where he made his famous speech to the followers of Christ upon his return from Cyprus, before he was set to continue on to Rome.


Perge is located 18 kilometers east of Aksu Town and is situated on the Aksu River. It takes half an hour to reach Perge from Antalya city center, and it is part of the Antalya province. Its neighboring towns are Döşemealtı and Kepez to the west, Serik to the east, and Burdur to the north. The center of the district is in the west of the Aksu River. Ancient Perge, which was one of the most beautiful cities of antiquity, is 4 kilometers from Aksu Town.


According to the ancient historian Strabo, Perge was discovered by colonists from Argos city, led by the heros Mopsos and Calchas, after the Trojan War in the 11th century BC. Excavations have revealed sculptures of Mopsos and Calchas, showing that they are the mythological founders of Perge. It is known that Perge was ruled by the Greeks between the 7th and 6th centuries BC, and later by the Persians until the time of Alexander the Great. In 334 BC, after the battle of Granicus, Alexander the Great freed Asia Minor from Persian occupation, and Perge was handed over to him without any resistance. Although the city was well-protected by strong city walls during the classical period, it evidently lacked the strength to fight the powerful Macedonian Army. After the death of Alexander, Perge was a domain of Antigonos for a brief period, before falling under Seleucid rule and being added to the Pergamene kingdom.

When the Kingdom of Pergamum was granted to Rome by Attalos III, Perge became an important Roman city in the region of Pamphylia. In 79 AD, Roman statesman Cicero came and became the governor. In 46 AD, Perge hosted a major event for the Christian world when the Apostle mentioned in the New Testament, St. Paul, came from Cyprus, preached in Perge after returning from Pisidian Antiochia and then departed to Attalia during his first missionary journey. From the beginning of the Roman Empire period, major construction projects were implemented, making Perge one of the most beautiful cities, not only in Pamphylia, but also in the whole province of Asia Minor in the second and third centuries AD. In the first half of the fourth century AD, Christianity was declared the official religion of the Roman Empire by Constantine the Great and Perge was one of the important episcopal sees. Perge lost its remaining power with the Arab invasions in the mid-seventh century AD, and a large portion of the city’s population emigrated to Antalya. The Seljuk Turks captured the area in the 12th century, which was added to the Ottoman Empire in the 14th century. Aksu was founded 4 kilometres after the ancient ruins as a small nomadic village in the 16th century and was incorporated into the city of Antalya during the Republican era. Now, Aksu is a district of the Greater Antalya Region with a population of 25,000 inhabitants.

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Upon entering Perge, one is immediately confronted with the Greek-Roman styled theatre located on the southern side of Kocabelen hill. The cavea, or the spectator seating area, is slightly larger than a semi-circle and is divided by a wide diazoma. It is estimated that the theatre can hold up to 13,000 people, with 19 rows at the bottom and 23 rows at the top. The entry and exit paths are designed in accordance with the rules of Roman theatre architecture, allowing viewers from both ends to pass through the archway and stairs before being distributed to their assigned seats.
The orchestra below was used as a gladiator arena for animal fights during the first, second, and mid-third centuries AD. This area was encircled by carved panels and marble balls to prevent animal escape. The partially-standing two-storey stage building with its colonnaded architecture and sculpted decorations can be dated back to the middle of the second century AD.
Additionally, the most remarkable feature of the theatre is the array of mythological reliefs that adorn the podium’s face. These reliefs depict nymphs personifying the Aksu River, the god of wine and theatre founder Dionysus, and other local gods of Perge. Sadly, these exquisite reliefs were damaged due to the collapse of the stage building.
The stadium on the right of the asphalt road leading to the town from the theater is one of the best-preserved structures from antiquity. This huge rectangular building measuring 34×334 meters is horseshoe-shaped at the northern end and the south side is open. There are seventy vaulted rooms beneath the stadium, all connected to each other and leading into a theater with three compartments. Inscribed on the walls are the names of the owners and a list of the articles for sale, indicating that they were shops. The rows of seats on the arched rooms provide seating for up to 12,000 people. Originally built for chariot races and entertainment in the second century A.D., it was converted into an arena surrounded by a protective cage at the northern end of the stadium when gladiatorial combat and wild animal shows became popular in the middle of the third century A.D.

The renowned sarcophagus in Perge, known as the Plancius Verus, belongs to the daughter of the Governor of Bithynia, Plancia Magna. Plancia Magna was a woman of considerable wealth and civic consciousness, who held the reins of all public affairs in Perge. She was also the Mother Nun of Planners Mother Goddess Magna, Chief Priestess of Artemis Pergaia and Priestess of the Imperial Cults.


A large part of Perge are surrounded by walls some of which dating back to the Hellenistic period. On top of the fortifications 12 – 13 meter high towers were built but during the Pax Romana the fortifications lost their importance ensuring with the lasting peace and tranquility and the buildings such as theaters and stadiums were built beyond the walls without fear. After the entrance gate at the beginning of the city walls, there is a monumental fountain that was built in honor of emperor Septimus Severus. The pieces of monumental fountain and the sculptures of Perge  are on dislay in Antalya museum today.


Perge is an ancient city located in Antalya, Turkey. It is one of the best-preserved ruins in the country and contains a wealth of ancient ruins, including a theatre, baths, a temple, a council chamber, and more. It was once a major port in the region and an important cultural center as well. The ruins in Perge are impressive and fascinating and are sure to captivate any visitor. The theater, for example, is one of the best-preserved in the country and is still used for performances today.

The baths, temple and council chamber still remain, making it easy to imagine how the city must have looked in its heyday. The city also boasts a wealth of artifacts and columns, as well as an ancient road that runs through the city. Visitors will find plenty to see and do in Perge.

There are a number of tours available that offer an in-depth look at the city and its history. There are also a number of ancient sites nearby that can be explored, including the nearby necropolis. The city is also home to a number of restaurants, bars, and cafes, making it a great place to grab a bite to eat or relax after a day of sightseeing.

At Tour Maker Turkey, we offer custom tours of Perge that will give visitors an opportunity to experience this ancient city in a truly unique way. Our tours are tailored to each individual’s interests, so whether you’re looking for a cultural experience or a leisurely stroll through the ruins, we have the perfect tour for you.

We also offer guided tours so you can make the most of your time in Perge and learn about its history from the experts. Our experienced guides will take you on a journey through Perge’s past, from its ancient origins to its modern-day attractions. You’ll have the chance to explore the city’s many ruins and artifacts, and learn about its rich cultural heritage. And of course, you’ll also get to sample some of the delicious local cuisine and enjoy the vibrant nightlife.

At Tour Maker Turkey, we believe that a visit to Perge should be an unforgettable experience. We will do everything we can to make sure your trip is both enjoyable and educational. Whether you’re looking for a relaxing break or a thrilling adventure, our tour packages have something for everyone. So why not join us on a journey to Perge and discover the hidden gems of this incredible ancient city? Contact us today and let us show you why Perge is one of the most fascinating places in Turkey.