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Priene Ancient City

Priene Ancient City
Priene was an ancient Greek holy city and home of the Temple of Athena and is 35km south of Kusadasi. The site lies 200m just west of Güllübahce village and the ruins dating from around 350 BC include columns of the Temple of Athena, large parts of the city wall, a council chamber (the most intact to be found in Turkey) and a very well preserved theatre.


Priene was originally a port city but because of the continuous silting from the Meander River access to the sea was eventually blocked and the new city relocated further inland where it sits today. Priene has one of the best preserved Hellenistic townscapes in Ionia, under the guidance of architect Hippodamus; it was built in a grid pattern made up of various rectangular units (insule) approximately 42m by 35m with four private homes within each rectangle. Sitting in this sheltered peaceful location there are a number of unique streets and structures and it is a major source of information about ancient Greek town planning.  

Ruins of Priene

The Bouleuterion (Council Chamber) sits in the centre of the site and consists of seats on three sides enclosing the speaker’s area and a sacrificial altar. Other points of interest are the town’s Prytaneion (Administration Offices), the Temple of Zeus, the agora, the sacred stoa, stadium and gymnasium.  The theatre has a set of five armchair seats, some with lion paw armrests and the stage buildings here are more intact than most others. It was originally built in the 4th century BC by the Greeks and expanded in the 2nd century AD by the Romans to hold 6,000 spectators. The Temple of Athena Polias sits on terraces above the main street and took more than two centuries to build. On the highest terrace of the town’s grid is the Sanctuary of Demeter and Kore.

Getting to Priene

Guided tours can be arranged by hotels and hostels in Selcuk or use the hourly dolmus service to Soke and change there for Priene.  

Accommodation and Restaurants close to Priene

Staying overnight could be a problem as there are only a couple of small pansiyons in Güllübahce (advanced booking is recommended in high season) with just a few restaurants at the far west end of the village.

Kusadasi Photos

Hillside or Terrace Houses in Ephesus

Guvercin Ada or Pigeon Island in Kusadasi

Priene Ancient City

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Ephesus Ancient City

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