From Selçuk or from Kusasasi, pay a visit to Priene, and see the Temple of Athena, which was built by Architect Pytheos, responsible for the construction of the Mausoleum at the Halicarnassus, considered to be one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World
Priene, now known as Güllübahçe, was an ancient city of Ionia in Western Anatolia situated some 20 km from Söke.
The first establishments in Priene go back till 2000 BC. According to ancient documents, these first settlers were the Banians who mixed with the Ionians.
As the city had been demolished, its restoration has been planned in 350 BC, by the famous city planner and architect, Hippodamos, who used for the first time the “Grating System”: all the constructions were turned to the south in order to benefit a maximum of the day light. The roads were crossing perpendicularly to give the best ventilation system to the city.
The temple of Athena Polias was rebuilt in 334BC as a gift from Alexander the Great and was a standard Ionic structure with eleven columns along its sides, six at the ends and two in antis. Athena Polias was the goddess of Priene and protectress of the city.
The architect of the Athena Temple was Pytheos who also built the Mausoleum at Halicarnassus, one of the Seven Wonders of the ancient world.
Halikarnassos was part of the kingdom of Pergamon.
The Theater is a 4 or 3C BC building and one of the finest theaters of the Helenistic world.Although it was rebuilt in the Roman period it stills remains as typically Hellenistic as the city of Priene itself.
The theater was carved into the hillside and held a capacity of 5,000 people. Five marble seats with arms were provided for priests and dignitaries. Due to endless wars and the alluviums that were invading the city, Priene was worn out and abandoned completely in the 13th century AD.