All About Turkey

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.

Temple of AthenaAt the point of entrance of the ruins, a road on the right leads us to the cisterns from the Byzantine period and to the Theater of Priene. The theater had been built during the Hellenistic period, and underwent modifications during the Roman period. The theater consists of 50 rows of seats and is capable of holding 5.000 people and, in the section of the orchestra of the theater, there are five marble armchairs reserved for eminent people. On the right side of the theater, the Temenos of Egyptian Gods is situated. The upper Gymnasium is in front of the theater and the Byzantine church is at its side. The Temple of Athena belongs to the 4th century BC and it's the work of the architect Pytheos who also built Mausoleum of Halicarnassus. The temple, with 6 x 11 columns, has dimensions of 19.55 x 37.20 meters. A few columns of the temple, which is a classical example of Ionian architecture, have been erected. Alexander the Great had the eastern half of the temple completed. The altar in the front was decorated with high relieves in the past, and it belongs to the 2nd century BC. The Stoa that displays a graceful example of stone workmanship, is on the south of the Temple of Athena.

Going downwards from the temple, you can see the Agora (market place) of Priene which belongs to the 3rd century BC. Next to that there was also an fish and meat market. The sacred Stoa belonging to the 2nd century BC is situated north of the Agora. The Bouleuterion (the Assembly building) which looks like a small square theater, with dimensions of 20 x 21 meters and a capacity for 640 people, is adjacent to the Stoa and, adjacent to it, there is Prytaneion (Town Hall) from 2nd century BC where the sacred fire used to burn. Temenos of Zeus Olympios is situated east of the Agora. There are houses on two sides of the avenue which connects the Agora to the western gate. Temenos of Kybele and the house of Alexander the Great are situated at the western gate side of the avenue. In the extreme south of Priene, the lower Gymnasium and the Stadium are situated.

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