Historically, it was named for Aphrodite and as it was sited near several marble quarries it became famous for sculpture. The temple of Aphrodite was turned into a Christian church in the 5th century, by moving walls and pillars to almost turn it inside out.
The gates / portico from one end is still standing, together with quite a few pillars – it must have been an immense building. They know, from inscriptions, that the temple, and the theatre, were paid for by a leading citizen named Zoilos, who is believed to have been a freed slave – possibly a slave to the Emperor.
There were pomegranate trees among the ruins – they had shed all their leaves, but the fruit were still on the trees, burst open like flowers.
And there were, of course, more archaeological cats.
This entire place is stunning - I found it more so than even Rome or Athens - perhaps because it is less familiar. The really amazing part is how little of the site this represents. There were various ditches and other holes in the ground which (to the untrained eye) seemed to be natural rather than man made; you'd just look down and see half a classical pillar sticking out - there were also a group of 6 or 7 pillars standing amidst a clump of trees and brambles, which didn't seem to be important enough to be fenced off or labelled...
This (below) is the Sebasteion - the reliefs on the building to the left are copies (the originals are in the museaum, but the rest of the building is original. And roughly 2000 years old.