Priene and Didyma | Turkey Destination

Priene

Priene lies in Güllübahçe at a distance of 15 kilometers (9 miles) from Söke town nearby Kusadasi, in the Aegean region of Turkey. The city was founded in the 2nd millennium BC in an unknown location nearby and then carried to its present location on the clifs around 350 BC. The visit of the archeological site requires some steep walking up after the car park, following a footpath and some steps through the Hellenistic city walls.

Miletus

Miletus is located in the vicinity of Söke town, nearby Kusadasi, in the Aegean region of Turkey). The city was built on the seashore in the ancient times. The Miletus people who had founded about 90 colonies in the Mediterranean and Black Sea regions, after 650 BC, had resisted the Persian invasions in Anatolia, but they were defeated finally and the city was destroyed by the Persians in 5th century BC.

When you arrive at the ruins, the magnificent theater of the city appears in sight at first. The theater had been constructed during the Hellenistic period and it acquired its present characteristics by means of the annexes made during the Roman period. The walls of the front facade of the theater are 140 meters long and 30 meters high, and are an interesting example of stone workmanship. The theater was large enough to hold 24.000 people, but a fortress was built upon it during the Byzantine period seizing its capacity down to 15.000 people.

Didyma

Didyma (nearby Didim, in the Aegean region of Turkey) was a cult center for the city of Miletus. It is located in the present day village of Yeniköy, about 15 kilometers (10 miles) from the site of Miletus. In ancient times, these two cities were connected to each other by a sacred road that had statues located on either side of it.

The Didymaion, the temple of Apollo and its oracle at Didyma, had a considerable reputation in the ancient times. German archaeologists excavating at the site have shown that the earliest sanctuary here was built in the 8th century BC and that it was enlarged into an enormous temple around 560 BC. After their bloody suppression of the Ionian rebellion, the Persians sacked and laid waste to Miletus (which they regarded as the instigator) and the Didymaion in 494 BC. It was during this assault that the temple’s cult statue of Apollo was carried off to Ecbatana (modern Hamadan town in Iran). After Alexander the Great defeated the Persians in 334 BC, the Ionian cities regained their independence and work was begun on reconstructing the temple of Apollo.

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