Aphrodisias, The City of Love From Turkey Enters UNESCO World Heritage Sites
The History Behind This Area
A small town from the ancient Greek Hellenistic era lies in the western historical region of Caria in central Anatolia, Turkey. It is located near the current village of Geyre, almost a hundred kilometres away from the coast of the Aegean Sea, and 230 kilometres south-east of the Izmir province.
It was named after the Greek goddess of love (Aphrodite) who had a figurine in the city as a Cult Image. According to the 'Souda' which is the Byzantine encyclopedia of the ancient Mediterranean world, before this city took her name in around the 3rd century BC it had three previous names to that; Polis, Leleges, and Ninoe.
Then sometime near the beginning of the 7th century AD, it was named Stauropolis, meaning "City of The Cross" in the Christian era.
Being in one of the most fertile lands in the region, the city of Aphrodisias became a primary target for merchants across most of the previous eras with every civilization it passes its heritage into this land, and they make use out of it in every possible way. It's been a cultural city for centuries as the Greeks, Byzantines and the Christians invested in it with all their power.
History can still be witnessed in this land, and being an important historic site and being declared as a world heritage site means it will always be cared for in future.
The city's peak was from the 2nd century to the 6th BC. The marble pillars that brought the eyes from across the land at the time made poets put their passion into it, and it remains as an example for love till our present day.
Being built close to a marble quarry, it's no surprise that the main material of the city of love is based on marble, bringing in a reflection of the sun. Named after the goddess of love for the Romans after their goddess of love, which is "Venus" this shows how famous this city was and how they affiliated it with their most adored symbolic goddesses.
Things to see in the city
The temple of Aphrodite which lies in the middle of the city. Unfortunately, there's not much left of it to see as it has been damaged due to the effect of time. Never the less its a ''must-see spot", and let us not forget the significance of this location.
According to the records, it shows that the temple was transformed into a church at some time in the past not instantly. Of course other than gradually, after the Christianity came to the land, and let's not forget as any other Greek cities and Romans as well there's the theatre made for gladiators and main sport events, and of course the museum can be visited for a lot of artefacts from the city some still in a pristine condition.
There's also the Bouleuterion which is the roman house of the council as it was the centre of power in the city, as the wealthiest families come together to discuss the matters of Aphrodisias.