Attractions of Pisidian Antioch
Ancient Civilizations 10/24/11
By: Yona Williams
When touring the region or retracing the footsteps of St. Paul, Pisidian Antioch offers ruins situated about one mile north of the modern town of Yalvac. It is here that tourists come to see the archeological site and see the exhibits at the Yalvav Archeological Museum. In this article, you will learn about the kind of attractions you can look forward when visiting Pisidian Antioch.
A tour of the archeological side of Antioch usually starts at the Triple Gate, which measures about 26 feet wide. The gate displays reliefs of kneeling captive soldiers, floral motifs, weapons and winged details that date back to 212 AD. Inscriptions can be found close to the top of the gate (on the front and back). The bronze letters paid homage to Emperor Hadrian and the person who paid for the construction of the gate.
Upon entering the city walls, the site is comprised of two main Roman streets Ã¢â‚¬â€œ the Cardo and the Decumanus. Walking along the Decumanus Maximus from the Triple Gate, you will encounter the intersection. To the left, you will notice the remains of what is most likely the second agora (a place that residents would gather) of the city.
The theater is not far away. It was built by the Greeks and made larger by the Romans. At its peak, it could fit 15,000 people. Some say this is the site of St. Thekla's martyrdom Ã¢â‚¬â€œ who was a saint of the early Christian Church, and reported follower of Paul of Tarsus. A unique feature of the theater is that it was made with a tunnel located on the southern side. The Decumanus Maximus passed through this tunnel, meaning that some people were seated in an expansion that was constructed directly over the street.
Along the Cardo Maximus, there was a fountain that distributed water to the entire city with an aqueduct situated behind it that brought water from the nearby hills to the city. A Roman bath was in the vicinity. Today, a large part of the bathhouse is still in existence, which is undergoing an excavation.
The highest point of the city was marked by the Square of Augustus, which had a temple built for the worship of the mother-goddess Cybele. The temple was later devoted to Augustus, which was part of the imperial sanctuary. This was considered the most significant structure belonging to the city. You can still see carvings of garlanded bull heads in the ruins. There was a stairway of 12 steps that led to the temple. A porch was surrounded by Corinthian-style columns Ã¢â‚¬â€œ some of these columns are still visible today.
Other attractions associated with the Pisidian Antioch site include:
The remains of a Byzantine church that dates back to the 4th or 5th century AD
The assumed foundations of a 1st century synagogue
The Basilica of St. Paul Ã¢â‚¬â€œ built in the late part of the 4th century AD
The YalvaÃƒÂ§ Archaeological Museum is home to many artifacts found at Antioch of Pisidia, such as statues, busts, figurines, coins, inscriptions, and other objects from the past.