Our country has invaluable importance in terms of natural beauty and history. Anywhere in Turkey, the remains of dozens of civilisations can be found. These traces date back to 12.000 years ago. In Turkey, listed by the Ministry of Culture, there are near 80 ancient cities. There are many other ancient cities that have not come out or have come out but are not included in the list. Here, the top 8 ancient cities to see in Turkey.
One of the world’s and Turkey’s most important ancient city, Ephesus, is located at Izmir’s Selçuk district. The history of this ancient city, which is of great importance for Christianity, dates back to 6000 BC. According to the Bible, this is one of the few cities where the Prophet Jesus’ assistants were located. This place is of great importance in terms of three different times. These times were Neolithic, Hellenistic and Roman periods. However, today’s artefacts are from the Hellenistic and Roman Period. Ephesus was actually a big commercial city. However, it has lost this feature as a result of the alluviums brought by the Menderes River filling the harbour.
Hattusas, a Hittite city, is 80 km away from Corum. This capital of the Hittite state was added to the UNESCO World Heritage list in 1986. It was first discovered by an archaeologist in 1834. In the same way, with the work of foreign archaeologists, it had been unearthed. It is possible to see the remains of Rome, Galat, Byzantine, Hatti, Hittite, Assyrian and Phrygian.
The ancient city of Milet, which is 30 km away from the Söke district of Aydın, is a port ancient city. But alluvium from the Büyük Menderes River filled the harbour just like in Ephesus. Therefore, the city is located far from the sea today. There are many important buildings in the Ancient City of Miletus. South Agora, Northern Agora, the main religious centre Delphinion, Roman baths and theatre are some of them.
The ancient city of Knidos in Datça is located in a great location. In this ancient city, significant steps were taken in the name of art and science. Famous names such as Eudoksus, Euryphon, Polygnotos, Sostratos have grown here. Although some of the most important artefacts were stolen in the 1800s, it is still one of the ancient cities worth seeing. It is also possible to reach Datça from the land by boat.
Olympos which is a port city is located on the coast of the sea. Hellenistic, Lycian and Roman period features are found in the Hellenistic city. The city has been subjected to pirate invasions from time to time. The city has been cleared of pirates by a Roman commander and has become a habitable place. Olympos is one of the most important ancient cities to be seen in Turkey. The ancient city of Olympos can be visited by staying in Cirali.
The ancient city of Pergamon in the Bergama district of Izmir is the city of the firsts. One of the world’s three largest libraries, the world’s steepest and most magnificent theatre, the world’s first mental hospital was here. Also, parchment was invented in this city. In the 1800s, important works of the city were taken to the Pergamon Museum in Berlin.
The first excavations in the ancient city of Assos, which has tremendous importance with its location and history, dates back to the 6th century BC, were carried out by American archaeologists in 1880. These excavations continue today. In the city, there are vast and important buildings such as the Temple of Athena, agora, city walls, amphitheatre.
Magnesia Ancient City located in Çavdarhisar district of Kütahya has built by the Magnetes who migrated to Anatolia. The city has been moved to a higher location due to the continuous displacement of the Menderes river and the Persian attacks. The new city is created in a planned and organised way. The ancient city of Magnesia has advanced in trade thanks to cities such as Tralleis, Ephesus and Priene.