Sunday, 6 November 2011

The magical atmosphere of Priene

Admission TL 3
Opening hours: 8.30 - 18.30 May-Sept; 8.30 -17.30 Oct-Apr

Priene, an ancient city of Ionia in south-western modern Turkey, was one of the most important commercial and cultural centre during the Hellenistic and Roman era. It passed then into Byzantine and finally Turkish hands until it was completely abandoned around the 13th century.

The city is located on a dramatic and spectacular hill at the feet of Mykale mount. It looks like a ghost town and has a mystic and magic vibe. The silence and atmosphere that we encountered in this site is something very difficult to find in any other archaeological site in Turkey.

The Hellenistic theatre is one of the best example of its kind and very well preserved. It is characterised by 5 armchairs seats decorated with anthropomorphic figures and has beautiful back stage constructions partially intact, which is extremely rare.
Behind the theatre you will find the hidden rests of a Byzantine church with a partly damaged pulpit.

The Temple of Athena has only 5 columns still standing up but the scenic view of the valley below that you can get from it, it's astonishing.
All around there is an extended network of streets and residences surrounded by what is left of the walls of the city and the 'usual' large Agora (or market).

Once left this impressive ruins we strongly suggest to visit the village of Doganbey with its picturesque 19th century Ottoman houses.
From there within half an hour drive you will find yourself in a peaceful lagoon on the southern side of the Dilek peninsula.
Carry on until the end of the coastal road where the military zone starts and stop for a meal at the delicious Karina fish restaurant directly on the beach (but do not forget mosquito repellent).

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