Father of the modern urban city, Priene

Most well-planned antique city

Priene is a member of the Ionians league, located on the long steep slope of plateu overlooking the south at the foot of the Samson mountain and 380 mt up above sea level, which is also called Mykale. It is 10 km away from Meandros river and 16 km away inland from the Aegean Sea in the southwestern of modern Turkey. Today remains of Priene is located in the west of nearby Gullubahce village within Soke district to Aydin city province.

Priene is an autstanding ancient city  possessing two harbours in the north of Miletus until the Meandros silting with mud covered  mouth of the river flowing down, which meets aegean sea thus Priene was inland as well as Miletus had met, so that it lost its harbour coastal importance next to the Aegean sea. The first place of the Priene location at the top of the Mykale mountain have not been completely discovered yet. There is only one evidence related with first settlement found in Clazomenae, which is a electrum coin dated back at 500 BC, minted on one face that Priene belonged the Ionian league. Bounded in the north by the steeps of Samson mountain streching , in the south by Meander Valley and in the east by the Latmos Mountain named Besparmak in turkish name. Most of true remains covered by the sediments brought by Meandros have not revealed yet.

It is exactly not known about who and when founded the first time, however, the Ion inhabitants living in the coastline of Aegean district could have discovered in 11 th century BC. Foundation of Priene is assumed that either made by ion settlements or by Philotas of Thebes  and by the mytical Amazon queens like as many ancient places such as Ephesus ,Smyrna ,Kyme,Myrina and Pitane.The ancient city ruins to have been presently visited, had built up again in 350 BC after persians attacks.Another reason of moving is the Meandros river silting up, which caused priene  get lost its harbour wealty city and rebuilt inland on the new place. In 129 BC ,Priene was involved in Roman Empire in the asian minor province.Pontus King Mithridates two times sacked the city in 84 and 88 BC.Afterwards. while it was under ruled by the Roman Emparor Augustus ,its prosperity was re-gained.Most outstanding emparor of Roman empire, Augustus ordered the temple of Athena to be re-constructed at that time.

First example of best urban city

“According to grid plan performed by Hippodamus ,the city seems so well-planned for the inhabitants easy living area”

Priene city plan was the highly developed one compared the hellenistic period cities that famous milesian architect and urban planner Hippodamus  had constructed by his grid plan. City on the slopes was re-built in 330 BC and surrounded by high fortification walls that is 6 feet (1,82 mt) wide and 18 feet (5,48 mt) height. The rustic work on the part of the walls eye-catchingly made, get visitors attention even today. The gridelin marble mined from the region nearby the Priene, had been used to build the temples ,theatres and other buildings. This second form of the city was constructed by four terraces because of the city location on the steeply slopes. Prienes captured springs and streams at the Mykale mountain so as to bring aqueduct to cisterns connected to fountains of inner city streets, even at houses. Even though  most athens was used to water outside of the house at that time, high society priene society had privileged comfort to use water inner house.

Athena temple and Demeter sanctuary or also a Panionion with well-organized city overlooking the Mykalen mountain is the area worth seeing in your list…

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09230 Aydın TR
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