are some ancient cities whose fascination is
felt immediately, even before exploring them.
With skilful tongue they bridge the ages, creating
a sense of familiarity that draws you towards
them. They do not leave you alone amidst the
ruins of past times, but tell you about themselves.
Colonnaded streets, some of the columns still
standing, ruined houses with mosaic floors,
fountains whose water no longer flows, fragments
of statues scattered on the ground, ornate carved
stones blocking your way, reliefs that are half
missing, and tombs, all speak of the time when
people walked the streets and dwelt in the houses.
Perge is such a city, situated at Aksu near
Antalya, 11 kilometres from the sea. The moment
you arrive the monumental gateway arouses wonder,
telling you that this is no ordinary city and
giving a foretaste of the splendours that await
you beyond it. The gateway is guarded by two
gigantic Hellenistic towers, their stones so
precisely cut that no mortar was needed, and
enabling them to remain standing over more than