The Theatre

The theater represents one of the best preserved monuments of the city. The theater, laid out on an east-west axis, is located on the slope bordering the city from east. With its three-storey stage and large auditorium (cavea), this theater was once one of the major theaters of Lycia in terms of its architectural design. A small temple located on the top level of the auditorium also makes this theater very special among western Anatolian theaters. The entrance to the auditorium is provided by two vaulted passages (paradoi) located on the northern and southern sides, while two additional vaults provide access to the horizontal walkway dividing the auditorium into two sections. In addition, two stepped walkways reach to the surrounding wall at the top level of the auditorium from the east. The auditorium is divided into two sections through a horizontal walkway (diazoma). The lower part of the auditorium is formed of 20 rows of seats, while the upper one is formed of 16 rows of seats. The audience arriving at the theater was able to reach to the upper level through a narrow vertical walkway formed of steps. The semi-diameter of the orchestra, slightly exceeding a semicircular shape, is 20.50 m. The stone seats reserved for prestigious people (proedria) are placed above the horizontal walkway. Another distinctive feature of the theater is the floral and figural architectural decorations observed on the façade of the stage. The inscriptions uncovered here demonstrate that the theater witnessed several renovations in the Roman period. However, the architectural details and an inscription mentioning the restoration of the theater in the 1st century BC imply that the construction of this theater might have begun in the Hellenistic period.