Stratonikeia Ancient City

Stratonikeia Ancient City

Located 7 kilometers west of Yatağan District in Muğla Province, Stratonikeia has a long and fascinating history. The city was founded in the 8th century BC under the name of Khrysaoris or Idrias. It was later renamed Stratonike after Antiochus I's wife, who was also his mother-in-law.

Over the years, Stratonikeia was ruled by several empires, including the Seleucids, Macedonians, and Romans. It was also under Byzantine rule for a period of time before becoming a titular see in Anatolia.

Stratonikeia Ancient City

During the 11th century AD, Turkish tribes occupied Stratonikeia, and it remained under the control of Turkish principalities for a considerable length of time. Throughout Ottoman rule, the city was continuously inhabited, but following Turkey's independence in 1922, a seismic event struck in 1952, forcing residents to evacuate. Unfortunately, the discovery of rich coal mines led to mining companies evicting residents from their homes once again. Today, visitors can still witness houses from old villages nestled among ancient ruins that bear witness to Stratonikeia's rich history.

Stratonikeia, located in Eskihisar Village in Muğla Province, was built on a grid plan and boasts an array of impressive structures. The city walls, monumental fountain, and arched gate that connected to Lagina Hekate holly site via a 20 kilometer road are some of the major structures that can be seen. There is also a colonnated street, a large gymnasion, a bouleuterion, baths, a Greco-Roman theater, a cistern, a necropolis, and religious monuments dedicated to Hekate and Zeus. The city was constructed using white marble, a nod to the wealth of Rome, and even housed a gladiator school that trained fighters for battles across the Roman Empire.

Stratonikeia (Eskihisar) is a unique settlement that encompasses elements from all periods. Its continuity and integrity have given the existing village a place on top of this historically rich site.

This ancient city boasts remarkable architectural structures that date back to the Archaic, Classical, Hellenistic, Roman Imperial, and Ottoman periods. Some of the finest examples of public and civic structures in Turkey can be found at Stratonikeia, with its impressive marble city, bath complexes, city gates with towering limestone columns, and ornate fountains. Stratonikeia's preservation of these monumental buildings is a feat that few other settlements have been able to match.

Due to its outstanding universal value, Stratonikeia was added to the Tentative List of UNESCO in 2015.