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Perge Ancient City

From The Marmara Antalya
23 min
3 hr 37 min

Barbaros, Perge Yolu, 07112 Aksu/Antalya

Phone +90 (242) 426 27 48
Open Hours

08:00 AM-08:00 PM


The awe-inspiring ruins of the ancient Hellenistic and Roman settlement of Perge — also known as Perga — stand about 15 kilometers east of the city of Antalya, evidence of thousands of years of civilization. This fascinating destination is a testament to the greatness of the humans that have come before us, and an intimate look into a completely different time. 

Dating back to even before the Early Bronze Age, or about 4000 BC, Perge prospered in Ancient Greek and Ancient Roman times. The incredible organization of its architecture and infrastructure, and the city’s wealth, is still evident today in the walls, temples, bathhouses, aqueducts, theaters, and more that are left of Perge today. Throughout its thousands of years of existence, Perge has borne witness to many celebrated scientists, philosophers, and even Alexander the Great; it is a city with a rich history, and much to explore. 

History of Perge 

At its earliest, Perge was an indistinct Anatolian settlement of the Early Bronze Age. It became a Greek colony around 800-700 BC; for the next few centuries, it cycled between Hellenistic and Persian rule. Alexander the Great conquered the city in 334 BC, as the city began to prosper, becoming an acolyte of the goddess Artemis.  


Famously, Perge was home to the noted Ancient Greek mathematician Apollonius, who became known for his extensive work on conic sections.  

Construction in the city really began to take off around 200-300 AD, however, as the Roman Empire reached a golden period; under their rule, Perge became one of the wealthiest and most beautiful cities in Anatolia. Later, it became a hub for Christianity — St. Paul the Apostle visits Perge twice in the Bible — and it was the home of St. Matrona of Perge, a sixth-century saint. 

Perge suffered from a gradual decline throughout Byzantine rule, largely because its nearby river, the Aksu, was changing course and drying up. By the time the Seljuk Empire was founded, Perge was no longer inhabited. 

The Ruins of Perge 

In 1946, nearly a millennium after Perge was largely abandoned around 1000 AD, the city was excavated. What archeologists found was an alluring, well-preserved set of ruins, boasting a large Greco-Roman amphitheater, a stadium, fountains, walls, baths, and a temple dedicated to Artemis. Some of these structures date back to around the third century BC, but the expansion of the city in Roman times is evident in many of the other buildings.  

This sprawling site is an absolutely can’t-miss destination for the importance and sheer volume of its ruins, and the elucidating glimpse they give into Ancient Greek and Roman life. The well-preserved stadium could hold around 12,000-15,000 people, evidence of its role as a center of entertainment; the Roman Baths were fundamental to society, and still retain their gorgeous arches and mosaics. Also included in the ruins of Perge are two Basilicas, reminders of St. Paul the Apostle, beautiful colonnaded streets, an acropolis, monuments, and much, much more.  

Speaking of St. Paul — Perge is also the starting point of St. Paul’s Road, a 500-kilometer trekking path that follows the route the Apostle took on his first missionary journey to Anatolia. 

How to Visit 

The ancient city of Perge is open to visitors every day from 8:30am to 7:00pm in the summer season (April 1 to October 31) and from 8:30am to 5:30pm in the winter season (November 1 to March 31). It is especially beautiful at sunset, when the light filters through the arches and colonnades of the streets, shining down into the stadium.  

Tickets to enter Perge are 100 TL, or about 5 USD.  

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