Antique Cities in Aydin / The Most Detailed List

Our country has been home to many civilizations and its soil is bursting with history. Sometimes I take these beauties on my route, and sometimes I find myself irresistibly at the crossroads wherever I see an ancient city sign on the road.

Some cities welcome me in all their splendor and splendor, others are in ruins. But even a tiny ruin is enough to excite me. I can't stop thinking about who walked on this road and imagining children running around. If you are interested in ancient cities like me, I will write must-see recommendations that will satisfy you more than enough. Moreover, they are all in Aydın and its districts.

Accomodation in Aydın: https://www.boutiquesmallhotels.com/aydin-hotels

Then here are the ancient cities in Aydın;


DİDYMA ANTIQUE CITY AND TEMPLE OF APOLLO

Didim Temple of Apollo was built as a divination center because people in ancient times believed in things like magic, fortune telling and prophecy and developed their lives in this direction. In mythology, Apollo is the god of music, sun, fire and poetry, the god of prophecy and knowledge. The Temple of Apollo takes its name from this god.

Medusa, one of the symbols of Didim, is located in the Temple of Apollo. Medusa is one of the three sisters called Gorgon in Greek mythology. Gorgons are female monsters of the underworld with snake hair that are alive and poisonous. Unlike the other two sisters, Euryale and Stheno, Medusa is mortal and is believed to turn the beholder to stone with her eyes. Pergeus, the hero of the people, was assigned to cut off the heads of the Gorgons, and since Medusa was mortal, he could only cut off her head.

Didim Temple of Apollo Entrance Fee

The entrance fee to the temple is 25 TL, you can visit for free with a museum card.

STATE MUSEUM AND RUINS

The Miletus Museum and the ruins are very close to each other, but they have different entrances and separate entrance fees. The museum exhibits artifacts from the Temple of Apollo, Miletos and Priene. The structures that have survived to the present day are the theater and the Faustina bath. The river god Meandros and lion sculptures in the pool in the baths are copies, while the originals are in the Miletus Museum.


Photo: Ancient City of Priene

Miletus Museum Entrance Fee

Miletus Museum entrance fee is 18 TL, museum card is valid.

Miletus Ruins Entrance Fee

The entrance fee to the ruins is 18 TL and the museum card is also valid here.

Note: You can visit Miletus Museum and Miletus ruins together with a single ticket.

ANCIENT CITY OF PRINCE

The ancient city of Priene is one of the important ancient cities built on the harsh slopes of Samsun Mountain, 15 km southwest of Söke district of Aydın. The fact that it was built on a 370 m. high rock gave the city an advantage in resisting attacks. In addition, its high location allowed the city to be seen from different directions. While the ancient city of Priene was a port city in its time, it remained in the land for kilometers due to the alluvium spreading from the Menderes River. It is a uniquely beautiful ancient city in the forest. Even though the road you walk up is uphill, it is worth going.

Priene Ancient City Entrance Fee

Priene Ancient City entrance fee is 10 TL.(2020 current price) Museum card is valid. Location here.


Photo: Ancient City of Tralleis

TRALLEIS ANTIQUE CITY

The ancient city of Tralleis is located 1 km from Aydın city center. This ancient city was an important center consisting of several provinces during the Roman Empire. Today, it is called 'Three Eyes' by the people because of the arch remains of the Gymnasium part. The famous historian/geographer Strabon gave very important information about the ancient city of Tralleis in his work 'Geographika'. According to Strabo, the city was founded by the Thracians and Argosians and named after a Thracian warrior named Tralles. Tralleis is one of the beauties you should add to your list of ancient cities in Aydın.

Tralleis Ancient City Entrance Fee

Entrance to this city is free.


Photo: Nysa Ancient City

NYSA ANTIQUE CITY

Nysa Ancient City is an important city of the Caria region. The city is located 30 km. east of Aydın and 3 km. northwest of Sultanhisar District on the Aydın - Denizli highway. The ancient city of Nysa is a city in nature. It is spring and everywhere is green, daisies, tulips, families having picnics, and I was impressed by its nature as much as its history. The theater has survived to the present day, the friezes on the back of the stage are copies, the originals are exhibited on the 2nd floor of the Aydın Archeology Museum. Another surviving building in the city is the library. After the Celsus Library of Ephesus, this is the best preserved ancient library in Anatolia. The famous geographer Strabo studied in this city. Be sure to visit the city, which I believe you will love as much as I do.

Nysa Ancient City Entrance Fee

The entrance fee to the ancient city of Nysa is 10 tl. Museum card is valid.


APHRODISIAS RUINS

The ancient city of Aphrodisias is located in the Karacasu district of Aydın. Named after Aphrodite, the goddess of love and beauty, the city was one of our most curious places. The museum welcomes you at the entrance and all the mind-blowingly beautiful artifacts from the ruins are exhibited here. There are so many artifacts in the museum that you really understand the importance of Aphrodisias from these artifacts. Since the city was located close to marble deposits, they mastered sculpture and became a school of art called Aphrodisias style. In the city, you can see many structures such as Tetrapylon Gate, Theater Stage, Temple of Aphrodite, Hadrian's Bath, Stadium.    

Discovery of Aphrodisias Ancient City: Ara Güler, the famous photographer, lost his way one day in Aydın and coincidentally found his way to this village. While wandering around the village, he noticed the columns and stones, took photographs and consulted an expert on the subject, but received no interest. He does not give up, this time he sends the photos to a magazine in the USA. They asked for more photos. He arranges the necessary official permits and excavations begin. The first excavation in the city took place in 1904. Today, the University of New York and Oxford University continue to pioneer the subject with their joint studies.

Finally, I should mention Prof. Dr. Kenan Tevfik Erim (b. February 13, 1929 - d. November 3, 1990). The tomb of our Turkish archaeologist, who contributed greatly to the discovery of Aphrodisias and whose name is identified with the excavations of Aphrodisias (Geyre town of Karacasu district of Aydın), is located in the city.

Aphrodisias Archaeological Site Entrance Fee

Entrance fee to the ruins is 30 tl. You can visit for free with a museum card.

ALABANDA RUINS

The first excavations in Alabanda were carried out by Ethem Hamdi Bey in 1905-1906. In order to bring the ancient city of Alabanda to the world of archaeology and tourism, excavations have been carried out under the direction of Aydın Museum Directorate with the permission of the Ministry of Culture and Tourism, General Directorate of Cultural Assets and Museums since 1999.    

The name Alabanda derives from the Carian words Ala (horse) and banda (race). The Byzantine historian Stephanos mentions that the city was named Alabanda because King Kar's son Alabandos won a horse race. Cicero, on the other hand, in his work The World of Gods, says that the city was named after Alabandos, the god of Snow. Strabo tells that the people of Alabanda were very fond of entertainment and that there were many young girls playing the harp in the city.

Alabanda Ruins Entrance Fee:

Entrance to the ancient city of Alabanda is free.

ALINDA RUINS    

Located in Karpuzlu District of Aydın Province, Alinda is one of the important Carian cities. Alinda is reached by a 26 km. road departing from the 30th km. of the Aydın - Muğla highway. According to Strabo, Ada, the daughter of Hecatomnos, retreated to Alinda in 340 BC when she was expelled from Halicarnassus by her brother Piksodaros and made this city her capital. The city, which continued its importance during the Roman period, printed money in its own name until the 3rd century AD.

Alinda Ancient City Entrance Fee:

There is no entrance fee to the ancient city of Alinda.

MAGNESIA RUINS

The ancient city of Magnesia is located on the Ortaklar-Söke highway within the borders of Tekin Village of Germencik District of Aydın Province. The Theatron, which was being built to be used for religious ceremonies but was left unfinished due to a landslide, is among the important structures of Magnesia together with the Latrina (public toilet) for 32 people. Other structures in Magnesia that can be partially seen today include the bath, which is a copy of the Faustina Bath in Miletus, the Odeon, the Stadion, the Gymnasion, which was a sports-oriented training center, the Roman temple, the Byzantine city wall and the 5th century Çerkez Musa Mosque with a transverse plan.


Photo: Miletus Ruins

Magnesia Ruins Entrance Fee:

You can visit the ancient city of Magnesia for free.

We have come to the end of my article on ancient cities in Aydın. I tried to write all the ancient cities in detail. I hope you can find useful information here. Have a pleasant trip:

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