Side Amphitheatre – The Living Example of Roman Architecture
Side, Turkey has numerous tourist spots and people from all over the globe come swarming in there to spend their holidays. The sites are all lovely and highly attractive, but Side Amphitheatre surpasses most of them in architectural and cultural aspects. This is why, a tour of Side, Turkey is incomplete without a visit to the amazing amphitheatre which lies in the heart of this lovely resort town. The theatre has a rich historical background and a significant modern-day presence. Therefore, Side Amphitheatre is on top of the list of sites to visit in Side and all the tourist companies recommend it highly. Here is all you need to know about the gloriously impressive theatre.
The Historical Background:
Side Amphitheatre served as the center of culture and art in the ancient times when Romans dominated the region. The theatre was the major place for all kinds of performances and would be full of the Romans who loved seeing and appreciating art. Here is a brief history of this glorious monument:
Side Amphitheatre was built by Romans in 2nd Century AD replacing the Hellenistic theatre which was there prior to it. The Amphitheatre was the largest theatre in the Ancient Pamphylia area where 15,000-20,000 people could be easily seated. In Roman era, it was used as an arena for gladiator and animal fights as well as a stage for plays and shows. In Byzantium era, it was converted to an open air church and Christian rituals were conducted inside. At the present time, concerts and cultural events take place in this ancient building from time to time.
The specifications of Side Amphitheatre:
The shape of the seating area of the audience resembled more with Greek architectural norms of the era than the Roman one. The stage was 6 meters wide with a length of 3 meters which gave the people sitting even in the 29th row of the audience easy access to the view of the performance being put up on the stage. There was an orchestra between the stage and the audience which was at one point separated from the audience by a wall. It protected the audience from any accidents that might result due to wild forms of entertainment. The wall also allowed the filling of the orchestra with water to show scenes of sea battles. This became a very popular theatre trend in those times due to Side Amphitheatre’s success. The walls of the theatre have lovely and intriguing carvings on them which you cannot help notice and wonder about.
The capacity and acoustics:
The Side Amphitheatre could seat from 15,000 to 20,000 people at its best times. However, the rows have been minimized from 29 to just being 22 which has considerably altered the seating capacity of the Amphitheatre now. Well, the seating capacity aside, the Amphitheatre was made in the time when there were no mics so the building was put up in a way that the walls amplified the sound. The voice of the actors on stage and the opera were easily heard by even the people who sat at the very last row.
The location and entrance:
The impressive Side amphitheatre is in Side Old Town and open to visit at the moment. The entrance fee is 45 Turkish Liras in 2020. Side museum building, which is originally a Roman bath, is located next to the theatre. The entrance fee to Side museum is 25 Turkish Liras in 2020.
In conclusion, Side Amphitheatre has served as a place of recreation for centuries. The actors used to liven it up in the past, but now it livens up the souls of those who visit it!