The ancient city, located 48km east of Antalya, is most famous for its theatre, probably the best preserved in Asia Minor. It is still in use today, and stages the annual Aspendos Opera and Ballet Festival every summer. It was the scene of a huge bloody battle between the Persians and the Greeks in 469 BC, and was then ruled by the Spartans 120 years later. The city became part of the Seleucid kingdom after the death of Alexander the Great, and then became part of the Roman province of Asia in 133 BC.
The famous theatre was built in the 2nd century AD, using a Roman design, and is still intact. Ataturk was responsible for much of the restoration, who declared that it should be used as a theatre rather than simply a museum after his visit.In addition to the theatre, there is an acropolis on a hilltop, of which the nymphaeum and basilica are still fairly intact.