Without doubt the most impressive of the ruined structures at Aphrodisias, the stadium is huge. Indeed it is widely accepted to be one of the largest and best preserved stadia that have survived from the Graeco-Roman world.

It is actually 262 metres long and 59 metres across at its widest point – the sides are slightly concave to give spectators a better view.

Aphrodisias, the stadium is huge

This was the first time we had visited in the spring when, as you can see, the grass is green and growing along the rows of seats as well as in the central open area.

The stadium was built in the first or second century AD and could seat 30,000.

And to get an idea of what it was like to be in a chariot race two thousand years ago, you just have to walk into one of the two entrance tunnels – you can see one at the far end in our photograph.

Aphrodisias, the stadium is huge

The ground slopes down towards the arena in the tunnel, and it is so easy to imagine the chariots, entering the tunnel at speed, accelerating on the downhill slope, then bursting forth into the arena to the delight of the massed spectators.