Priene, originally settled in about 1000-1200 B.C., Priene sits high atop a craggy, isolated hill. Though at one time an important city, (in 300 B.C. the League of Ionian Cities held festivals here) the gradually receding sea led to the town’s eventual desertion in about 800 A.D. Because of this, most of the ruins that remain are from 300 B.C. to 100 A.D. The number one attraction is the Sanctuary of Athena, built in 4th century B.C. Though the remains of many columns lay scattered, only a handful have been restored. On your visit to this city you will also visit the Greco-Roman theatre that seats about 6,500 people.
On your visit Miletus, home to many of the world’s greatest philosophers, including Thales, Anaximander and Anaximenes, Miletus was a centre for scientific discovery and the birth of Western philosophy. The people of Miletus were said to have been exceedingly clever, and the legend still exists: locals say that people from the nearby city of Aydin are some of the smartest people in all of Turkey. The 15,000 seat theatre and amazing Roman bathhouse are some of the highlights that you will see on your tour in this city.
Didyma is the site of breathtaking Temple to Apollo (the god of the sun). Didyma was home to an oracle to whom people from Miletus would come to ask questions and give offerings to Apollo. Didyma was never a real town, simply the end point for a religious pilgrimage. Though it’s not one of the Seven Wonders of the World the way that the Temple of Artemis is near Efes, Didyma’s Temple to Apollo is actually far more impressive. Many of the columns are still standing in their original places, giving you a very good sense of what it might have looked like to the pilgrims who walked the 19 km from Miletus to ask questions about their future! You will enjoy this day of touring ancient Turkey!
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