This prosperous ancient city located at the crossroad
of Anatolian Trade routes had four ports that
developed on the coast and at the mouth of the
Meander River (Büyük
Menderes). Its population was between 80,000 and
100,000 inhabitants. Miletus produced geniuses
like philosophers Thales, Anaximander, Anaximenes,
town planner Hippodamus who all lived around 6C
B.C., and Isodorus of Miletus who lived in the
6C A.D. (he and Antemius of Tralles were the architects
of Haghia Sophia
Miletus shared the same fate as other Ionians
cities with the domination of the Persians
until it was taken by Alexander
the Great and later ruled by the Seleucid
Dynasty. The city kept the same commercial importance
under the Romans.
St Paul stopped here in 57 at the end of his
third missionary journey.
The city, after it was sacked by the Persians
in 494 B.C.,was rebuilt on a hippodamian or grid
plan. Because of the silting up of the river,
the ruins of Miletus are located today a few kilometers
away from the sea.
The theatre, of Hellenistic origin, had
a seating capacity of 5,300 people. In the 2C
A.D. it was modified by the Romans who enlarged
it to a capacity of 15,000 people. It is one of
the most important monuments of Miletus.
The Harbour Monuments which stood in front
of the LionsHarbour.
The Delphinium where Apollo was whorshipped
(the dolphin was consacrated to him)
The South Agora is a market place of the
The Baths of Faustina, wife of Marcus Aurelius,
were built in the 2C A.D. and are well preserved.
The Nymphaeum is a 2C A.D monumental fountain
which originally had three stories with statues
of gods placed inside niches.
The Stadium with a seating capacity of
The Ilyas Bey Mosque built in the 15th
century by the regional Ottoman military commandant.
Gate of the Gymnasium
Didyma was not a city but a sanctuary linked
to Miletus by a Sacred Road. Here, was a renowned
prophecy temple dedicated to Apollo where crowds
of pilgrims came to consult the oracle. Already
in the 6C B.C. a former temple was extremely
famous. Destroyed by the Persians
in 394 B.C., the impressive temple was rebuilt
by the Milesians who wanted to rewin the Greeks
and Alexander the Greats
favour, but they could not complete it due to
financial problems. Even like this, the temple
was considered one of the biggest temples in
the Hellenistic world, but still it never regained
its past celebrity. Later, when a Byzantine
basilica was built in the open-air courtyard,
the temple completly lost its pagan function.
colossal temple was 110m/360ft long, 51m/167ft
wide and 24m/78ft high. 3 of the 108 columns
that surrounded the sanctuary (120 monumental
columns in total) are still entirely standing.
The basis of the 8 central columns of the eastern
facade are ornemented with beautiful reliefs
of the Roman period.
The huge and beautiful Head of Medusa
relief which has fallen off the frieze must
not be missed.
Today, beautiful sand beaches make Didyma a
nice holiday resort.
The shaft of the columns have a diameter of 2.40 m/ 7.9 in.