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PRIENE ANCIENT CITY

Coordinate: 37º39’33.58’’K 27º18’01.22’’D Height: 63 m

Priene located near Güllübahçe connects to Söke with a 15 km asphalt road. Even though there is not much information about the ancient city for ruins lying under the swamp, the visible city was established in 352 B.C. Priene which’s political power was weak is an important example of an ancient city planning that reached today. Streets on east-west direction with a regular grid plan were intersected by streets on north-south direction which has stairs for area being sloppy. It was surrounded by a 2,5 km long solid wall system; there were two gates on the east, and one on the west. Priene which was close to the sea and even had a port when it was established, withdrew from the sea because of the silt brought by Menderes River, and it was abandoned in the 12th century losing its importance.

Street extending from the northeast gate to the west of the ancient city is called Theater Street.

 

When the street is travelled to the west, the theater which is one of the well protected structures of the city is reached. Theater which has a capacity of 5000 persons still conserves its Hellenistic character besides the small additions made in Roman period.

Temple of Athena which was built in a high place of the city is in Ionic system. Pytheos, who was the architect of Halikarnassos (Bodrum) Maussolleion which was one of the world’s seven wonder, built the structure.

Main Street opened to the west gate goes through the city. Bouleuterion (Municipal Council) and Prytaneion (administration building) were on the north of the main street. On the two sides of the street that extends to the west gate, two-story houses are aligned. Near the west gate, the House of Alexander where only people in white dress could enter is one of the holy places. It is thought that Alexander was stayed in that house during the siege of Miletus in 334 B.C., and it was turned to a holy house in memory of him.