Font -  Font +

Aydın - Historical Ruins


As one of Karia cities, founded at Araphisar village, that is 7 km. from the central town of Çine District of Aydın Province. According to Stephanos from Byzantion, King Kar gave this name to the city upon his son Alabadros's victory at a horse race. As we all know from Strabon, the people of Alabanda were very rich, lived in luxury and all the girls in the city played the harp. The foundations of two temples were found during the diggings carried out by Mr. Halil Ethem. One of the important monuments in the city is the bouleuterion. Besides, the tombs seen at east are an indication that a necropolis existed here. The aquaduct arch and the theatre are other noteworthy buildings of the region.


Alinda is one of the important Karia cities, and was founded at Karpuzlu village in Çine District of Aydın Province. When Ada, the daughter of Hekatomnos, had been driven away by her brother Pixadaros from Halikarnassos, she went to Alinda in B.C. 340 and made this city her capital. The most important structure still remaining intact in Alinda is the agora. A theatre lies at the southern-west side of the acropolis. There are the foundations of two tempels at the acropolis. Karia style tombs between Karpuzlu houses are the indicate that the Alinda necropolis lay on the southern side of the city.

Amyzon is one of the Karia cities, founded at Gaffarlar village in Koçarlı District of Aydın. All we know of the history of the city originates from inscriptions. In the 3rd century, Amyzon, which had first supported Ptolemaios and then Seleukos, made a bilateral agreement with Herakleia, which was located at the lower sides of Latmos at the end of B.C. 2th century. Antiokhos III. stated with the message he sent to Amyzon in B.C. 203 that he recognized the privileges of the city. And the authority to protect people who sought refuge in the Temple of Apollo and Artemis was among these privileges. The ramparts of the city still stand and it is built by the isodynamic method used in B.C. 300. Apollo and Artemis Temple, ramparts, catacombs with arched vaults and a Byzantine building are the structure, which still remain standing.

The city, which is founded at Deliktaş village in Çine District of Aydın, lies 13 km. northern-west of the ancient city of Alabanda. There are some traces showing that the history of the city goes back to the Archaic Period. The ruins in the city belong to the Archaic Period and Roman Period. Gerga is an important place that reflects the Karia culture. The city may be characterized as a place providing protection, due to the fact that it is a city, which is built in the mountains. The rampart walls are in typical Karia style.

It is stated in the sources that the name of Gerga can refer to a city and as well as to a God. The most important building is the one which still remains standing and which has the features of a temple. It was built of big stones and there is writing on the triangullar front top of the building. It is estimated that the huge statue, which has fallen to the lower side of the building, belonged to Kybele. The sources and the people living in the region state that this statue remained standing untill 20 - 30 years ago.

Located within the borders of Esenköy village of Nazilli, Harpasa lies on Asar hill, adjacent to the village. The Archaic period ramparts of the city at the northern side still remain standing. The theatre shows the features of the Hellenistic Period. The city was founded on terraces. The findings indicate that the city was settled during Roman, Byzantine, Beylikler [beylik=principalty]and Ottoman Times. The city had been the civilian and military administrative centre as Arpas Beylik at Ottoman Times. The tumuli on the hills lying towards north are Lydian.


Magnesia and Meandrum is located on Ortaklar - Söke Highway, within the borders of Tekin village in Ortaklar quarter of Germencik District of Aydın Province. According to ancient sources and myths, the city was established by a tribe which came from Thessalia and was called the Magnetians. Nobody knows the exact location of first Magnesia founded by Magnetians landing at today's Bafa Lake, then a small bay under the leadership of Leukippos and upon Apollo's oracle; but we estimate that it was located at the banks of the Menderes River.

The Magnetians re-built the city near Gümüşçay in B.C. 400 because of the epidemics due to Menderes flooding and because they had to build a more secure city for defense against the Persians. Magnesia, which was dominated by Seleukos first and the the Bergama Kingdom in the Hellenistic Period, maintained its importance in Roman times and was diocese during the Byzantine Period. Magnesia was a city surrounded by ramparts that covered an area1,5 km. in diameter, having a grid plan street and road system and was a commercially and strategically important location in triangle formed by Priene, Ephesos and Tralleis. Magnesia Ancient City was not subjected to much destruction. The flooding caused by the river and the silt layer brought by rainwater from the Gümüş Mountain were very beneficial in this respect. The first diggings in Magnesia were conducted by Carl Humann on behalf of Berlin Museum in 1891. The theatre, Temple of Artemis and her altar, the agora, Temple of Zeus and the prytaneion were partially or completely discovered during these diggings lasting for 21 months.

The objects found in Magnesia are exhibited in Paris, Berlin and İstanbul museums. Approximately 100 years after the excavations were completed in 1893, the digging activities in Magnesia were resumed in 1984, on behalf of the Ministry of Culture and Ankara University, as the site was about to disappear. The fame of Magnesia results from Hermogenes, the architect of antiquity. According to the Architect Vitruvius, an ancient author, Hermogenes is the first architect who applied the octagonal pseudodipteros temple plan. Vitruvius states that the main work of Hermogenes is the Temple of Artemis Leukophryene in Magnesia. The Temple of Hermogenes was built in the Hellenistic Period B.C. 3rd-2nd century, on the ruins of an archaic Artemis temple from B.C. 6th century. The temple is the 4th biggest temple of Anatolia in Ionian style with 8 x 15 columns and 67,50 x 40 meters in dimension. There was an altar in front of the temple, which pioneered the Bergama Zeus altar with its "U" formed plan. The altar was adorned with embossments and statues two-men high. Another important structure in Magnesia is the theatre, which lies under the ground today. Magnesia theatre end of B.C. 2th century is one of the unique monuments complying to the general theatre plan given by Vitruvius. Agora and Zeus Temples, which are supposed to be built by Hermogenes, are the other monuments that were re-covered with soil after the completion of excavation 100 years ago. The front side of the Temple of Zeus located in the agora, which is considered one of the largest shopping areas of the period with its 26,000 sqaure meters, is exhibited in the Berlin Bergama Museum. The other buildings seen in Magnesia today belong to the Roman Empire Period. The other works known in Magnesia are as follows: Gymnasion, which is a training centre especially for athletes, the bath, which is small copy of the Faustina Bath in Milet, the Odeion between the theatre and Artemision, a stadium of able to hold 25.000 spectators, an unfinished building with a theatre ground plan, a basilica for trade, a Byzantine building of which the characteristics are not yet known and a Byzantine rampart, also surrounding the Artemision. The 15th century transversally planned Çerkez Musa Mosque is the only Islamic building among the ruins. Tour around, see and discover these ruins of one of our ancient cities such as Ephesos, Milletos, Aphrodisias and Hierapolis,all studied by foreign teams.


There is only little information Mastaura, which is located near ancient city of Nysa at the shore of the Menderes River. The city was on a trading route and a minting privilege. Strabon mentioned Mastaura as well as Orthosia. It was a dioces during Christian times and its bishop participated in the Ephesos and Chalkedon councils. Some monuments and coins were found in the region called "Mastavra Castle" among the public.


Located near Avşar village, 15 km. east of Milletos, at the shore of Bafa Lake. Strabon stated that Myus was founded by Kydrelos, son of Kodros, the King of Athens. According to Strabon, it is one of the cities included in the Panionion Union. Herodotus stated that the Persian fleet anchored off the coast at Myus in B.C. 499. However, Herodotus declared that Myus participated the Lade Sea Battle in B.C. 494 with only three ships. The Temple of Dionysos, named and mentioned in ancient sources and built in white marble, was discovered during diggings. Today, we see in the city, some parts of the Temple of Dionysos, Archaic rampart walls and the ruins of a Byzantine castle.


Nysa is one of the Karia cities within the borders of Sultanhisar District of Aydın. The most important information on the city is from Strabon, who lived in Nysa most of his life. Strabon tells us that the city consisted of two parts. At the western side of the flood bed dividing the city into two, lies the gymnasion. At the northern side lie the Byzantine ruins and the library. To the north of the library, there is a theatre that carries significance with its embossments in the stage building. The odeon and bouleuterion are at the eastern side of the flood bed. The necropolis of the city lies on the road to Akharaka, which is a small village to the west.


Located within the borders of Donduran Village in Yenipazar District of Aydın. Strabon, one of the authors of Antiquity, mentions Orthosia as a Karia city. The city, which was attacked by Kimmers in B.C. 7th century, passed under the sovereignty of Lydia after the victory of Alyattes, the king of Lydia, against the Kimmers; it participated in the Ionian Union in B.C. 6th century and then came under the sovereignty of the Persians as the other Anatolian cities. The theatre and Byzantine buildings still remain standing. Well-protected tombs and graves at the necropolis show qualified workmanship.


According to Stephanos from Byzantion, Piginda is small Karia city, located 7 km. north of Çamlıdere Village in Bozdoğan District of Aydın. Our information on the city is very limited, as no research has been carried out. In the city consisting of three acropolises we can still see the ramparts belonging to the Hellenistic Period. The theatre and the sacral building, which we may assume probably to be a Heraion, are the important structures. As we infer from the inscription found in square building, there was a Zeus Pigindenos cult in the city, centred at a Temple of Zeus. The exact location of this temple could not be found yet. However, it is thought to be in Piginda.


According to the myths, Pygela, which is located at the northern side of Kuşadası District of Aydın, was established by the soldiers of Agamemnon. Some of Agamemnon's soldiers were left here because of a disease and they were the forefathers of the first people of the city. According to Strabon, there was a Temple of Artemis Munykhia in Pygela. J. M. Cook showed in his research in Pygela that the settlement went back to the Protogeometric Era. Pygela is shown as an example of a centre with Mykene ceramics. There are not many places to attract tourists, except the Hellenistic ramparts.


Founded within the borders of today's Aydın. According to the myths, it was established by Argostians and barbarian Tralleissians. However, it must have been a city already settled by Karians. After it was occupied by Alexander in B.C. 334, sovereignty over the city frequently changed among the Hellenistic Kingdoms. It progressed in sculpture in the Bergama Kingdom period and the two famous sculptors Apollonio and Tauriskos were trained here. The only building that left standing in the city, the wealth of which is praised by Strabon, is the ruin of a gymnasion built in A.D. 2nd century and called Üçgözler by Aydın folk. The necropolis lies in modern Aydın, at the northern side of the city. It is understood, from the inscriptions found in excavations and from the writings of ancient authors, that there was a Temple of Zeus Larasios and a Zeus Larasios cult was celebrated during the Hellenistic Period. However, its exact location is not known yet. Further srtuctures of the city are the agora, theatre and stadium.


At the western side of ancient Nysa and Sultanhisar District of Aydın. There is no mention of the name of the city in ancient sources, it being a small place. There are no remaining ruins in the region.


Near Güzelçamlı village in Kuşadası District of Aydın. It is known as the location for councils held by the union of twelve Ion cities. We can see the ruins of rampart walls and the council building today.


According to Strabon, the city is located in present-day Yılancıburnu Village of Kuşadası of Aydın and Samosians conquered Neopolis from the Ephesossians in the conflict with Marathesion City, as Neapolis was geographically closer to them. There are many cities with this name in the Archaic Period. Heradotos mentions two cities with this name in Egypt and Northern Greece. There remain no ruins in the region.


A city located in Dalaman District of Aydın. It lies on the southern banks of the Great Menderes River. An inscription was found here and we can discern the names of the city in this inscription. Money was minted in Euhippe in the Hellenistic and Roman Periods.


500 m east of Çiftlik Village in Kuyucak District of Aydın. Antiokheia is an ancient city established at the foot of Çul Mountain and on the banks of the Dandalos in Asartepe. Two sites named Symmaitos and Kranos were united by Antiokhos Soter, the King of Seleukidia, (B.C. 281-261) and the city accepted the name of the king. We find information on the city in Strabon's writings. Strabon mentions a Temple of Men in Antiokheian's lands. Strabon also states that the famous philosopher Diotrephes lived in Antiokheia, and a very delicious fig was grown in this city in the Archaic Period.


Nazilli cotton print factory was established over an area of 65.000 m2 on the Nazilli Bozdoğan highway. It is the "first Turkish cotton print factory" the foundation of which was laid on August 25th, 1935 and which was opened by Atatürk with great ceremony.

Atatürk watched the opening ceremony and parade organised for the Nazilli cotton print factory, a great accomolishment of the Republic, from the balcony of factory's Management Building. After the opening ceremony of the factory, a meeting was held with Atatürk and factory authorities in a room which is today's "Atatürk Museum". The meeting table, couches, telephone and the glass negatives concerning the meeting are all kept and conserved in this room, in comemmoration of this meeting.

The inscription which was placed at the right side of the entrance door of the factory management building reads as follows:
"Atatürk opened the first Turkish cotton print factory, which was established by Sümerbank, according to the first industrialisation plan. 1937."
Nazilli Cotton Print Factory has been included in privatisation plans and the activities for transferring the entrance, management building and multi-purpose dining room of the factory to the Ministry of Culture still continue.


Aphrodisias Museum is a local museum in which the artefacts found in the excavation of Ancient Aphrodisias are exhibited. Prehistoric artefacts covering the early, middle and late Chalcolitic Era and the Bronze Age found in diggings on the Acropolis hill and Pekmeztepe tumulus, Lydia ceramics found in these tumuli and Archaic, Classic and Hellenistic Period objects found in the ruins of the Temple of Aphrodite are all exhibited in the Small Artefacts Hall.
The most important part of the museum collection consists of various types of tombs and many statues and embossments of the Aphrodisias sculpting school which was founded in the Late Hellenistic Period, B.C. 1st century, and survived until the Early Byzantine Period, A.D. 4th century.
We can show the following as samples of these plastic works: Zoilos frieze, Melpomene statue, various emperor statues, the copy of Polykleitos's statue named Doriforos, Akhilleus - Penthesileia group, Infant Dionysos and Satyr statues, various Nike statues, cult statue of Aphrodisias Aphrodite, statues of three priests and a nun and a Demos statue.

Studies have begun on high embossment groups figuring Amozonamaka, Gigantomaka and Kentaur - Lapit struggle and high embossment panels of Sebasteion structure group.

As of the end of 1997, there are 12.697 registered objects in our museum, consisting of 6000 coins, 6377 archaeological artefacts, 44 seals and seal prints, 276 ethnographic objects.