Priene Ancient City

Priene Ancient City

Priene, an ancient Greek city, is situated near the town of Soke, Aydin, adjacent to a modern village named Gullubahce. It is positioned between the renowned tourist hotspots of Kusadasi and Bodrum and is in proximity to other significant ancient sites, including Miletus and Ephesus. Despite its modest size, Priene possesses a distinct allure that attracts repeat visitors.

The founding and history of Priene are shrouded in mystery, with the city's origins dating back to the 11th or 10th century BC. Although Priene has never been a dominant power in its own right, its location in a region that often experiences conflicts between empires has made it a witness to such clashes.

Priene Ancient City

In the 6th century BC, Priene, originally an ally of Athens, fell under the rule of the Lydians and later the Persians. Priene joined the Ionian Revolt against Darius but suffered consequences for its rebellion. As a result, the city was destroyed, leading to one of several relocation events throughout history. A new foundation was constructed in 350 BC on a steep hillside using an innovative grid-pattern design.

Alexander the Great conquered Priene in 334 BC and even dedicated a temple to Athena, which remains one of the city's surviving monuments to this day. In 89 BC, the city was incorporated into the Roman Empire and faced invasions by King Mithridates of Pontus in 31 BC. Despite the setbacks, Priene rebounded under Emperor Augustus and prospered throughout the following century AD.

During the Byzantine era, Priene became a prominent Christian center, and the seat of the local bishop. However, following the Muslim conquest, the city gradually declined due to various factors, including a decrease in coastal and harbor activity, leading to its abandonment in late antiquity.

Tourists visiting Priene can witness several remarkable ancient structures, including the Temple of Athena and the well-preserved Bouleuterion. The site also boasts the remains of a Greek theater, Roman baths and gymnasiums, a ruined ancient synagogue, and the house where Alexander the Great stayed during his battle against Miletus.

Priene presents visitors with a chance to explore the ruins of a Hellenistic city that may not be as bustling and crowded with tourists as other sites in the area.