Priene Ancient City where is located on 15 km Söke in Aydın and very close to the Güllübahçe town, is the forerunner of the first known planned city system.
It is said that the ancient city of Priene located on the foothill of Mount Mykale was established by Ions. Ionia Civilization, a civilization established in Western Anatolia in 1200 BC; founded 12 city-states including Priene, Ephesus, Khios, and Miletus, and became the most developed civilizations among civilization with the help of enriching by agriculture and shipping trade. Priene is located on the difficult place to capture about security. Behind it, the steep slope of Mykale Mountain and multilateral stones protect Priene against attack from the outside.
Priene City bounded Ionian Civilization, which raised famous scientists such as Hippocrates, Herodotus, Diogenes, Pythagoras, and Thales has changed management several times due to various assaults even was built by Aegyptus. In the 4th century BC, the grid system was the pioneer of city plans, as the city was rebuilt in such a way that the roads intersect at right angles, the distance between the cross-roads was equal, and the city had a plan divided into 80 equal parts.
The famous wise Bias, born in 570 BC, is from Priene. Bias, known as the wise who keeps justice superior to everything and compiles the laws of the time, tried to find happiness throughout his life.
Look at yourself in the mirror; if you find yourself beautiful, act honorable, if you find yourself ugly, and cover the nature’s lack with your honor. – Bias
It is known that Priene Ancient City was once a magnificent seaport and the sea in front of the city. The harbor, which has an important effect on the enrichment of the shipping trade, is called Naulokhos of Priene and is now lost in the Büyük Menderes Plain, filled with alluviums of the Büyük Menderes River. With the covering with alluviums of the harbor, it lost its importance in the Byzantine Period and is completely abandoned in the 2nd century.
The entire area you saw in the red line on the map was surrounded by the sea. Even on the map, it is possible to distinguish alluviums’ colors from rocks.
One of the most important structures of the Priene Ancient City is the Temple of Athena Polias. The architect of the temple is the same person as the architect of the Mausoleum at Halicarnassus which is one of the Seven Wonders of the World in Bodrum. The temple, built by architect Pytheos with 6 x 11 columns, is the most beautiful place in the city by its location. As in many temples, the Temple of Athena also had the sculpture of the Goddess Athena. Outwith of the temple, it was used as an altar. The Temple of Athena is located on the top of Priene Ancient City with 5 remaining column.
The reconstruction of the Priene Ancient City was prepared by Hoepfner and Schwandner in 1986. Thus, the locations of the structures in the city, the temples, the theater and the city plan can be visualized more clearly.
The antique city’s 6500-seat band shell theater was dated to the 3rd century BC. The first seating bench of the theater where placed on a groove at mountain slope is formed with special marble for notable people of the city. The 640-seat capacity of Bouleuterion, or great council, was used as the structure where judicial decisions were considered. It was covered with a wooden roof which is 20 x 21 meters, with three sides surrounded by seat bench. Agora, the Temple of Zeus, the Temple of Demeter and ancient houses, are other places that the ancient city should be seen.
What are the admission charge and visit times of Priene Ancient City?
The ancient city is ministerial to the Ministry of Culture and Tourism and Müzekart is used to enter the area. If you do not have a Müzekart, the admission charge is 5 Turkish Liras. Beginning of the Summer and Winter Season, while the entrance begins at 08:30, the closing of the museum is at 19:00 in summer and at 17:00 in winter.
Where is Priene Ancient City, how to go?
You need to follow the Priene signboard in Güllübahçe to reach Priene’s nearest point by car and you have to walk about 300 meters on an ancient road. Because the open area, even if the weather is hot, it can get stiff winds. Go equipped to be protected from the wind.