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50 Ancient Cities in Turkey Worth to Visit

Ancient cities in Turkey are part of this unique country’s well-known historical treasure where attracts millions of travellers from every corner of the world. Of course, there are more than 50 ancient cities in Turkey but it is really hard to decide which one should be on the list or not. Please don’t forget to share your experiences about ancient cities in Turkey to improve the content and quality of this list and also to help the others. In this post, you may find the list of the top 50 ancient cities in Turkey with brief information about each one of them. However, you can use the interactive map to take a look at their location to have an idea about how historically rich country Turkey is. By the way, this list is made alphabetically.

Contents show

Aigai Ancient City (Manisa)

Aigai Ancient City was founded by the Aiolians who came from Greece and settled on the northwestern Anatolian shores after 2000 BC. This ancient city was a centre for agricultural and animal husbandry more than a trade. World-famous ancient writer Herodot refers that the Aigai was one of the 12 cities founded by the Aiols. Aigai Ancient City surrounded by strong walls starting from the 6th century BC in order to prevent the city from incoming attacks. The city was also devasted by an earthquake occurred in 17 AD but Emperor Tiberius recovered the city. Especially during the Hellenistic period, many public buildings such as theatre, three-storey agora and parliament building built. Aigai Ancient City also had a well-designed sewerage system under the stone pavement which is fascinating for that period. This sewer system was directing the rainwater to multiple cisterns located in the city. Aigai Ancient City is located between Bergama and Manisa.

Aizanoi Ancient City (Kutahya)

Aizanoi Ancient City was the main settlement of Aizanitis who lived in ancient Phrygia. During the excavations around the Temple of Zeus, traces of settlements dating back to 3,000 BC were discovered. The city was under the control of Bergama and Bithynia until 133 BC. Then, the Romans took the town and became an important city in the empire. With its Zeus Temple, stadium-theatre complex and Macellum, Aizanoi Ancient City is unique ancient city where you can visit. Zeus Temple of the is one of the best-preserved religious buildings from the ancient world. Aizanoi Ancient City has another significant feature. The construction of a stadium with more than 13500 capacity and a theatre with a capacity of 20000 was the only example that can be seen in ancient era cities. Also, the Macellum was the first stock exchange building in the world dated back to the 2nd century AD. Aizanois Ancient City located at Cavdarhisar district of Kutahya. If you are looking for more to read about this fantastic place, please take a look at the Aizanoi Ancient City and Zeus Temple post.

Aktopraklik Hoyuk (Bursa)

Aktopraklik Hoyuk is a neolithic village founded in Nilufer district of Bursa more than 8500 years ago. It is a bit of different than ancient cities we used to see from ancient times. This one is older than many of the ancient cities in Turkey. You may see this kind of ancient cities/hours in Sardinia, Su Nuraxi di Barumini. After the excavations, a specially organized team reconstructed the part of the village by considering the original layout. You can also see the original remains from the Aktopraklik Hoyuk on the site.

Alacahoyuk (Corum)

Alacahoyuk located about 35 km northeast of the Hattusa. This ancient city is one of the most important city during the pre-Hittite period. But it was under the shadow of the Hattusa, especially during the Hittite period. Artefacts from pre-Hittite royal tombs dating back to 2500 BC are among the most important finds. However, the surviving structures belong to the Hittite period. You will see many historical remains at Alacahoyuk such as sphinx, building complexes, gates, towers and more. Alacahoyuk is a place worth among the ancient cities in Turkey list.

Anazarbus Ancient City (Adana)

The history of Anazarbus Ancient City has dated back to more than 2100 years ago. Anazarbus Ancient City where is located at Dilekkaya village of Kozan district is also known as Anavarza, Caesarea ad Anabarsum. Anazarbus Ancient City was one of the most important encampment centres of the Roman Empire in the Eastern Mediterranean. The city also became the capital of Cilicia in 408 AD. During that time Anazarbus Ancient City was one of the worlds biggest and largest cities. The city is also in the UNESCO World Heritage Tentative List since 2014. You can see walls around 1500 meters long with bastions number of twenty. Also, there are collonaded roads, barth, church, theatre, amphitheatre, stadium, waterways, rock tombs and Thetys mosaic from 3rd century AD.

Anamurium Ancient City (Mersin)

We don’t know the date of the first settlement in Anenurium Ancient City. But we know that it existed during 4th century BC. Because the name of the city was mentioned is one of the port lists in historical documents. In Anamurium, a part of the Commagene Kingdom that started to develop in the 1st century AD. It is also known that King IV. Antiochos minted coins for himself. Due to its proximity to Cyprus, Anamurium Ancient City, which was an intermediate station especially in the Roman Period, became an important commercial city where the natural resources in the region were exported. The important structures of the city that survive today belong to this period. Its brilliant period ended in 260 AD when Persian armies conquered it. Anamurium Ancient City located very close to the city centre of Anamur, Mersin.

Ani Ruins (Kars)

Ani Ruins is one of the most well-known and famous ancient cities in Turkey where is located at the eastern border of the country, Kars. Having hosted many civilizations for centuries and witnessed many wars, Ani was once an important centre of the region. 40 churches, chapels and mausoleums have been identified in Ani, also known as “1001 Church City”. During the Armenian Bagratuni dynasty, it became an important power and cultural centre. Inside the walls surrounding Ani, you can see many ruins of the historical city from the Bagratuni Armenians to the Byzantines, from the Seljuks to the Georgians and the Ottomans.

Antandros Ancient City (Balıkesir)

Antandros Ancient City is an important Troas city located 2 km away from Altinoluk neighbourhood of Edremit. All among the ancient cities in Turkey, Antandros Ancient City have a unique position because of its important history. Situated in a strategic position that controls the road between Mysia and Troas, the foundation of the city dates back to the pre-Trojan War according to some ancient writers. The name of the Antandros Ancient City, thought to have been founded in the 10th century BC, is frequently mentioned in the Peloponnesian Wars, which started between Athens and Sparta in 431 BC and ended in 404 BC. Antandros Ancient City, thought to host the world’s first beauty contest and built by the legendary founder of the city of Rome, Aeneas, is famous for its mosaics.

Antiocheia ad Cragum (Antalya)

Antiocheia ad Cragum located 60 kilometres east of Alanya. This region is also known as Mountainous Cilicia in ancient times and on the Mediterranean coast. The city was named after the King of Commagene, IV. Antiochos. The ruins of the city spread over three hills descending steeply towards the sea. Antiocheia ad Cragum settled both during the Roman and Byzantine periods. You can see a medieval castle, Agora, columned street, church, bathhouse, monumental gate, temple, monumental tombs in the necropolis area and triconhos at the ancient city.

Aphrodisias Ancient City (Aydın)

Aphrodisias Ancient City is one of the most magnificent ancient cities from the Ancient Greek and Roman periods. The remains of an ionic temple of Aphrodite, a stadium and a bath have been in the open for a long time, but with excavations from 1961; Buildings such as a theatre, odeon, basilica, market, houses and bath, a monumental passage and a cult centre for the worship of the Roman emperor were discovered. During the Roman Empire, Aphrodisias Ancient City was famous for its sculptors and statues. Famous for its temple dedicated to Aphrodite, the city’s most important goddess in history, Aphrodisias preserved its glory from the 2nd century BC to the 6th century AD. Aphrodisias Ancient City is close to Denizli city centre.



Arslantepe Ancient City (Malatya)

Melid Ancient City is also known as the Arslantepe (Lionhill). The city was the oldest palace complex of Anatolia and the centre of the region in terms of economy and politics during many centuries. Arslantepe converted to an open-air museum in 2011 as a result of excavations started in 1932. When you visit Melid Ancient City you can see the mudbrick palace, wall decorations and other ruins in the excavation area. There is also a palace where you can visit and see the mudbrick walls, temple, warehouse and administrative rooms, which are preserved up to 2.5 meters. Arslantepe located at very close to the Malatya city centre.

Arycanda Ancient City (Antalya)

The name of the Arycanda Ancient City means “Ary-ka-wanda” in the Lycian language, “the place next to the high cliff”. The building at the highest level in the city is the watchtower on the southwestern skirt of Sahinkaya. The triangular acropolis to the south of the tower was probably the city’s first settlement. There are many structures you can see at Arycanda Ancient City. Based on the ruins and Byzantine sources, the city is thought to have survived until the 11th century. Arycanda Ancient City is a bit north of the Finike city centre. Also, you may see lots of hotels named after Arycanda in both Cirali and Adrasan.

Aspendos Ancient City (Antalya)

Aspendos is famous for having the best-preserved Roman Period theatre not only in Anatolia but also in the entire Mediterranean world. Today, theatre and waterways are mostly visited in Aspendos Ancient City, which owes its development and transportation with the Mediterranean to the nearby river and the fertile lands around it. Although Aspendos tried to resist Alexander the Great through fraudulent ways, he finally surrendered and accepted the tax debt in exchange for the famous horses raised in the city and gold. The most brilliant period of the city, which came under Ptolemaic rule after the death of Alexander, was the Roman Empire period when the famous theatre and waterways were built. Aspendos Ancient City very close to the Serik district of Antalya.

Assos Ancient City (Canakkale)

Located in Behramkale Village, about 17 km south of Ayvacık district, Assos Ancient City is located on a volcano cone. Acropolis (upper city) and other buildings are located on the terraces going south. The circumference of Assos is approximately 4 km. surrounded by long walls. There are necropolises (cemeteries) in front of the east and west gates, which are the two main gates of the city. Located at the top point and dedicated to the goddess Athena, the temple dates back to 525 BC. With its features, Assos Ancient City is an important one among the ancient cities in Turkey.

Asikli Hoyuk (Aksaray)

Asikli Hoyuk was the first settlement in whole Cappadocia region founded around 11000 years ago. History of the Asikli Hoyuk dates back to a time that we were still hunter-gatherers. The settlement, which has been inhabited for more than 1000 years, is a village where plants and animals are domesticated. When you go to Aşıklı Hoyuk, you can go inside the replicas of houses built thousands of years ago and get detailed information by visiting the excavation area. Asikli Hoyuk is one of the oldest ones in ancient cities in Turkey. Excavation area of the Asikli Hoyuk is located around 15 km east of the Aksaray city centre.

Blaundus Ancient City (Uşak)

Blaundus Ancient City is located around 40 kilometers away from the Ulubey district of Uşak. It is not clear but that the name of the Balundus Ancient City came from Alexander the Great’s Anatolian Campaigns. After Alexander the Great, the city was connected to the Kingdom of Pergamon and then to the Roman Empire. Located on a peninsula surrounded by deep valleys, the city’s important structures include a castle, temples, theater, stadium and rock tombs.

Dara Ancient City (Mardin)

Dara, one of the most important settlements of Upper Mesopotamia in history, established in 505 with the initiatives of Emperor Anastasius (491-518) as a military garrison city to protect the eastern border of the Eastern Roman Empire against the Sassanids. The city, which consists of structures carved into the rock and spreads over a wide area, was protected by a 4-kilometre wall. The inner castle located in the north of the city and on the upper plain of the 50-meter-high hill. The church, palace, bazaar, dungeon, armoury and water dam are among the remains that have survived in the city. In addition, you can visit the cave houses dating back to the Late Roman period. Dara Ancient City located at the 30 kilometres of the southeast of the Mardin city centre.

Derinkuyu Underground City (Nevşehir)

This place is amazing! Derinkuyu Underground City has a depth of 60 meters and can accommodate up to 20.000 people along with the livestock and food stores. Can you believe it?! It is the largest excavated underground city in Turkey and one of several underground complexes located in Cappadocia. It is thought that the city is dated to at least the Hittite times (1900-1200 BC). During the excavations, Hittite-style seals were found and Hittite remains such as a lion statue were found in the area. Also, there are Christian structures and building that shows the Derinkuyu Underground City used by different culture and communities. The city is located at the Derinkuyu district of Nevşehir. If you are looking more to read about this magnificent place please take a look at the Derinkuyu Underground City post.

Didyma Ancient City (Aydın)

Didyma Ancient City where is located at the centre of Didim was one of the few centres of prophecy in the ancient world. The Temple of Apollo, considered the treasure of the city, which connected to Miletus by a sacred road, was built in 560 BC, as it called Didymaion. The temple, which was ruled by the family called Brankhidler for a long time, was destroyed in 494 BC during the Persian attacks. After Alexander the Great conquered Miletos in 334 BC, the management of the prophecy centre was given to the city of Miletus and the construction of one of the biggest temples of the Ionian world was started on the foundations of the destroyed temple, but the construction of the temple, which was kept very large, could not be completed. Didyma Ancient City is also popular because of its location. You can visit the Didyma Ancient City in the morning and enjoy swimming at one of the best beaches in Turkey.

Ephesus Ancient City (İzmir)

Without any doubt, Ephesus Ancient City is the most popular and well-known ancient cities in Turkey. Also, Ephesus Ancient City, which has always played an important role in the fields of civilization, science, culture and art throughout its history dating back to the 5th millennium BC, was one of the most important centers of the ancient world. Ephesus Ancient City was a transit route between Asia and Europe and an important port city. With its location, it was the most important political and commercial center of its age. Ephesus, which lived its most glorious times in the Hellenistic and Roman periods, became the capital of the Asian Province during the time of the Roman Emperor Augustus and its population exceeded 200,000 people. I’m strongly suggesting you to visit one of the best ancient cities in Turkey.



Gordion Ancient City

Gordion Ancient City where was the capital of the Phrygian Kingdom is located at the Ankara, capital of Turkey. The city was one of the places where you can see the traces of the first traces of the Early Bronze Age (3000 BC) in Anatolia. This makes the Gordion Ancient City one of the most important ancient cities in Turkey. By the way, the ancient city named after the famous king of Phrygians, Gordion. Also, Gordian was the city of the legendary King Midas. The city lived its glorious times under the reign of King Midas. There are plenty of places you can see in the ancient city. Midas Tumulus is one of the most important ones in Turkey with its 53 meters high. There many things to discover at the Gordion Ancient City. Gordion Ancient City is at the Yassıhöyük, Polatlı.

Göbeklitepe

This place became the most popular ancient cities in Turkey. Because it re-wrote the history of Anatolia and whole humanity. Gobeklitepe dazzling people with its architecture and more than 12.000 years of history. Please think 12.000 years ago. People were still hunter-gatherer while there were 16 tons of obelisks in Gobeklitepe. How did they do it? There are still so many things unknown about Göbeklitepe and more to learn. I’m strongly suggesting to you to visit this magical place. But first, please read Gobeklitepe: The World’s First and Oldest Temple post to learn everything about this wonderful treasure.

Hattuşa (Çorum)

The Hittites were one of the greatest power in the ancient east. They ruled to a large part of the Anatolia until the 1200 BC. Capital of the empire, Hattusa is at the 80 kilometres of the southwest of Corum, Bogazkale. The biggest and famous building you can see at the Hattusa is the Yazilikaya Open Air Temple. This temple is at the outside of the city hidden among the high rocks. Yazilikaya Open Air Temple is the biggest and impressive sacred place of the Hattusa. You can see the engraved symbols of more the 90 gods, goddesses, animals and more. Hattusa is also another part of the ancient cities in Turkey list.

Hierapolis Ancient City (Denizli)

Another important place to visit for you. Hierapolis Ancient City is very next of the Pamukkale travertines where is very popular among the tourists. Most part of the ruins of the Hierapolis Ancient City is still standing and waiting for you. Hierapolis Ancient City is also very important to place for Christianity. Because one of the twelve apostles of the Jesus Christ, Philippus killed in Hierapolis by the Romans. His grave is also in the city. You can read more about this unique place from Hierapolis Ancient City and Pamukkale post.

Kaymakli Underground City (Nevsehir)

There are many underground cities in Nevsehir and Cappadocia region. Kaymakli Underground City is 20 kilometres away from the Nevsehir and at the Kaymakli village. This underground city has eight floors and used both during the Roman and Byzantine periods. Today, you can visit the first four floor of the Kaymakli Underground City. There are rooms connecting each other with very narrow corridor built for wine stores, water cellar, kitchen and supply store. Please take a look at the Kaymakli Underground City post to read more about this place.

Kaunos Ancient City (Mugla)

Kaunos Ancient City was famous for its rock tombs. The city was an important port and commercial centre but it lost this feature due to filling of the alluvium material in time. The very centre of the Kaunos Ancient City, acropolis built on a hill with 152 meters. Also, there is an ancient theatre with 33 rows which is quite big. Besides these two important archaeological remains, you can see basilica type churches, a Roman bath and a temple. I think that the Kaunos Ancient City is one of the most interesting ancient cities in Turkey with its location, history and features. Kaunos Ancient City is very close to the Dalyan. That means you can both enjoy the sea and history at the same time.

Kibyra Ancient City (Burdur)

Kibyra Ancient City, which has a deep-rooted state tradition established in today’s Golhisar district between Pisidia-Caria-Phrygia and Lycia by the Miliasian colonists in 300 BC, is a very important ancient city with its stadium, parliament building and agora. City of Gladiators is the other name of the Kibyra Ancient City. Kibyra Ancient City is lesser-known rather than the other cities of the ancient cities in Turkey list but please know that this place definitely worth to visit.

Knidos Ancient City (Muğla)

Another famous ancient city of the ancient cities in Turkey list. Knidos Ancient City is at the very southwestern edge of Turkey. Many important historical figures raised at Knidos Ancient City like Eudoksus, the famous scientist in astronomy and mathematics, the medical scientist Euryphon, the painter Polygnotos and the architect of the Lighthouse of Alexandria, one of the seven wonders of the world, Sostratos. Today, you can visit Knidos Ancient City and see the round temple, Dionysos Stoa and Temple, Apollo Temple, theatre with more than 5000 capacity and more. You can take a look at the Datca Peninsula and Knidos Ancient City post to read more about the region.

Laodikeia Ancient City (Denizli)

Laodikeia founded by the II. Antiochus who was Seleucid King for his wife, Laodike. Based on historical record we assumed that the city founded around the middle of the 3rd century. Laodikeia and region were completely controlled by the Romans around 130 BC. Laodikeia Ancient City is a very important place for Christianity. Because one of the first seven churches of Christianity built in here. Due to this important feature, Laodikeia Ancient City became a very important religious centre during the Early Byzantine period. You can see the biggest stadium of Anatolia, theatres, bath complexes, agoras, gates and many more at the Laodikeia Ancient City. The ancient city is very close to the Denizli city centre where you can visit within 20-30 minutes by car.

Magnesia ad Maeandrum (Aydın)

Magnesia was under the rule of the Persians until it was united with Alexander the Great (334 BC), then the Hellenistic kingdoms founded by his commanders, first of the Seleucid kingdom (240 BC) and then the Pergamon kingdom (189 BC). Priene is in an important commercial and strategically important position between Ephesos and Tralleis triangle. Magnesia became one of the Roman cities in Anatolia when the kingdom of Pergamon was connected to the Roman Empire through tutelage in 133 BC. The Temple of Artemis and its sanctuary, dedicated to Artemis, the chief goddess of the city, is one of the most beautiful examples of the Hellenistic world. The city is also home to the world’s largest stadium. Agora is one of the examples defined by Pausanias as “Ionic Agora”. The bazaar basilica is one of the earliest examples of the plan leading the churches. Magnesia ad Maeandrum is between Soke and Aydin, very next to the Izmir-Soke main road which makes it very easy to reach the city.



Metropolis Ancient City (Izmir)

The first traces of settlement in Metropolis date back to 5000 years ago, the Early Bronze Age. In the Hellenistic period, monumental public buildings such as Theater, Stoa, Bouleuterion (Assembly Building) built and the city surrounded by walls. Metropolis Ancient City continued to grow during the Roman period. Metropolis Ancient City is very close to the Torbalı and very next to the Izmir-Aydin highway. It would be a great stop before arriving in Kusadasi or Didim.

Miletus Ancient City (Izmir)

Miletus Ancient City is within the borders of Soke district of Aydin. Although it is a port city in the establishment of Miletus but today it is farther inland than the sea, as the port was filled with alluviums brought by the Buyuk Menderes river. There is Roman theatre with more than 15000 people in the Milet Ancient City. Also, you can visit Roman baths, agora, Ionic Stoa (from 1st century), gymnaium and more.

Myra Ancient City (Antalya)

Another important ancient city in Turkey is the Myra Ancient City. Myra Ancient City is another important port and commercial city during its own time. It is very close to the Demre river. Demre river is also known as Myros river. Sea transportation and trade of the region carried out from the Ancient Andriake Harbor on the other side of the channel. Myra Ancient City is famous with its Lycian Period rock tombs, the Roman Period theatre and the Byzantine Period Saint Nicholas Church (Santa Claus).

Nemrut Mountain (Adiyaman)

Nemrut Mountain and ancient remains on the region may be one of the most iconic places to visit at the ancient cities in Turkey list. Hierothesion on Mount Nemrut built during the reign of King Antiochus I (69-32 BC), during the heyday of the Commagene Kingdom (109 BC-72 AD). There is a tumulus in the centre and three terraces surrounding it in east, west and north directions. On the east and west terraces, Antiochos and god-goddess statues, as well as lion and eagle sculptures are positioned. There is a unique lion horoscope on the west terrace. The sculptures were carved by blending Hellenistic, Persian art and the original art of the Commagene country. You can read Mount Nemrut and Commagene Kingdom post to get more information about this ancient city.

Olympos Ancient City (Antalya)

Although the exact date of founding is not known, Olympos, mentioned in the Lycian Union coins minted between 167-168 BC, was one of the six cities in the Lycian Union that had three voting rights. Historically, Olympos Ancient City is one of the most important ones in the ancient cities in Turkey list without any doubt. Most of the ruins of the Olympos Ancient City covered with trees and bushes in the forest and belong to the Hellenistic, Roman and Byzantine periods. Today, you can walk through the ruins to get to the very fine Cirali and Olympos beaches. Don’t forget to take a look at the Cirali and Chimera post to learn more about the region.

Patara Ancient City (Antalya)

Patara Ancient City is located in Ovagelemiş Village at the southwestern end of the Xanthos valley between Fethiye and Kalkan. It is one of the most important and oldest cities of Lycia. The entrance to the present-day ruins of the city made from the magnificent and well-preserved Roman triumphal arch dated to 100 AD. You can visit Vespasian Bath, the Corinthian Temple, the main street, the harbour, and the granary.

Pergamon Ancient City (Antalya)

I love Pergamon Ancient City. It is magical and stunning for everyone who visits this wonderful place. It is a very important part of the ancient cities in Turkey list without any doubt. Pergamon Ancient City, on the top of Kale Mountain, represents one of the best examples of Hellenistic city planning with its monumental architecture. The Temple of Athena, the Temple of Trajan, the steepest theatre of the Hellenistic period, the library, the Heroon, the Zeus Altar, the Dionysus Temple, the agora and the gymnasium are among the most outstanding examples of this planning system and period architecture. The city, which was the capital of the Hellenistic Pergamon Kingdom, was also an important educational centre. Pergamon Ancient City is very close to the Bergama city centre.

Perga Ancient City (Antalya)

Perga Ancient City was one of the most organized cities in Anatolia during the Roman Period. The sculptures discovered in the excavations in the ancient city, which is famous for its architecture and marble sculpture, have made Antalya Museum one of the most important sculpture museums. Perge Ancient City plan is based on two main streets, one extending in the east-west direction and the other in the north-south direction. The theatre with a capacity of 15.000 spectators preserved. The elaborately decorated two-storey stage building opposite the seating was built in the 2nd century AD. Other structures that reflect the city’s ancient glory include a rectangular agora, high towers, monumental fountains, baths and collonaded streets. You should definitely add Perga Ancient City on your list.

Phaselis Ancient City (Antalya)

Phaselis Ancient City founded by the colonists of Rhodes in the 7th century BC and it is very close to the Kemer, Antalya. The city, which was shown as the city of Lycia and sometimes Pamphylia region and had three harbours, was actually located between the borders of both regions. The surviving ruins are mostly from the Roman and Byzantine periods. These are lined on both sides of the main street that forms the main axis of the city and connects the North-South ports. Aqueducts are the most monumental structures that have survived until today. The other two important ruins of the city are the remains of two baths, one small and the other large, in the city square. Phaselis Ancient City is a popular spot for the tourist because of its location. You can spare a couple of hours from your time to visit Phaselis Ancient City.

Priene Ancient City (Aydın)

This ancient city is one of the important ones around the southern slope of Samsun Mountain, 15 km southwest of Soke district. The first information about Priene found in ancient sources in the middle of the 7th century BC. Temple of Athena is the oldest and most magnificent temple in the city. This temple was built between the 4th and 2nd centuries BC by the world-famous Pythius, who was also the architect of the Halicarnassus Mausoleum in Bodrum, one of the seven wonders of the world. Considering its location, I think that Priene Ancient City worth to visit to spend at least a half-day.



Sagalassos Ancient City (Burdur)

Sagalassos Ancient City is located in the region known as Pisidia in ancient times. This region is very close to the Aglasun, Burdur. The first settlements in the region date back to 12000 years ago. There are still some remains you can witness the long-standing history of the Sagalassos Ancient City. With 1000 years of ceramic production, Sagalassos was one of the longest ceramic production centres in ancient times. One of the most striking structures of the ancient city, which is on the UNESCO World Heritage Tentative List, is its theatre and Antonine Fountain. Sagalssos is one of the fewer known ancient cities in Turkey but also one of them with the longest history.

Sardes Ancient City (Manisa)

Sardes Ancient City, the capital of the Lydian State, was an important settlement centre during the Roman and Byzantine periods. Known as the place where money was first minted under the guarantee of the state in the history, the Lydian city of Sardes became a rich city thanks to agriculture, animal husbandry, trade and gold mining in the Pactolus (Sart) Stream. There are many standing buildings which you can see at the Sardes Ancient City. Sardes Ancient City is very close to the Salihli, Manisa.

Side Ancient City (Antalya)

As you probably know Side is a very touristic place in Antalya but also home of the Side Ancient City. History of the Side Ancient City dates back to the Late Hittite period. In ancient times, transportation was provided mostly from the sea and trade was dependent on sea transportation, which played an important role in the development and life of the city. Side came under the rule of the Lydians in the first half of the 6th century BC and the Persians in 547-546 BC. The city, which developed under Persian rule, surrendered to Alexander the Great in 334 BC. After the death of Alexander, it fell under the control of Antigonus (323-304), the Ptolemies (301-215) and after 215 BC, the Kingdom of Syria. Side Ancient City is at the very centre of the Side with other historical remains.

Solin Ancient City|Pompeiopolis (Malatya)

Solin Ancient City (Pompeiopolis), located in the Viransehir district in the district of Mezitli in Mersin and founded by the colonists from Rhodes in 700 BC, is one of the important port cities of Cilician history. During the Hellenistic period, the city lived a bright period but weakened by being subjected to pirate looting with the weakening of the administration in the 1st century BC. In 78 BC, it fell into the hands of the Roman Empire army under the command of Pompeius. The 3000-year-old Solin Ancient City (Pompeiopolis) attracts attention as one of the bright cities of the period with its structures such as the harbour, collonaded street, theatre, Roman bath, city walls, necropolis and aqueduct. Ruins of the ancient city are very close to the Mersin city centre.

Stratonikeia Ancient City (Mugla)

Probably you don’t know the very important features of the Stratonikeia Ancient City. The city is one of the largest marble ancient cities in the world with its area over 7 kilometres. Also, Stratonikeia Ancient City known by the cities of Gladiators due to its Gladiator School. There are a wide range of ruins belongs to the different periods and nations, Antiquity, Byzantine, Principalities, Ottomans. Stratonikeia Ancient City is very close to the Yatagan city centre and very next to the Mugla-Bodrum road.

Termessos Ancient City (Antalya)

Termessos Ancient City founded on a natural platform at the top of Gulluk Mountain, at an average altitude of 200 meters from the sea, 1665 meters above the travertines around the Antalya mountains. The city founded by Solym, descendants of Luwians, one of the oldest peoples of Anatolia. Alexander the Great besieged the city in 333 BC and the Termessians did not surrender the city by making a strong defence. Termessos Ancient City is also within the borders of the Gulluk Mountain National Park where you can enjoy both history and nature.

Tripolis Ancient City (Denizli)

The original name of the Tripolis Ancient City was the Apollonia based on the historical records. The city lived its golden age in the Roman period. In the 2nd century AD, new buildings constructed in the city such as city gates, streets, baths, stadium, theatre and parliament. Most of the buildings that have survived to the present day in the Tripolis Ancient City belongs to the Roman period. The region’s proximity to active fault lines and frequent earthquakes as a result of this caused the city to lose its importance over time. If you are planning to visit Pamukkale or Hierapolis Ancient City you can spend a few hours on the road at the Tripolis Ancient City.

Troy (Canakkale)

Troy is a world-famous and well-known place among all the historical places in Turkey. Also, Troy considered among the most important ancient cities in the world due to Homer’s mention in the Iliad and Odyssey epics. 9 cultural layers were identified during the excavations in Troy. This is very important data for the history of the region and Anatolia. Troy located at the entrance of the Dardanelles where is also historically important for the Turkish independence war during/after the Great War.

Olba Ancient City (Mersin)

Troy is a world-famous and well-known place among all the historical places in Turkey. Also, Troy considered among the most important ancient cities in the world due to Homer’s mention in the Iliad and Odyssey epics. 9 cultural layers were identified during the excavations in Troy. This is very important data for the history of the region and Anatolia. Troy located at the entrance of the Dardanelles where is also historically important for the Turkish independence war during/after the Great War.

Xanthos (Antalya)

Xanthos was the administrative centre of the Lycian Union in ancient times. During those time Xanthos Ancient City was known as ARNNA. The city was surrounded by the Persian commander Harpagos between 545-546 BC. When the people of Xanthos became desperate despite their resistance, they killed their women and their children and set the city on fire and leave the city to Harpagos. During centuries Xanthos Ancient City ruled by different civilization until the end of the 7th century. Xanthos Ancient City is very close to the Fethiye and Oludeniz region. You may need to spare a day to visit this city.



Ancient Cities in Turkey

Turkey is one of the most historically rich countries in the world. There are countless places where you can visit to witness the history of humanity since the beginning. In this well-researched and detailed post, you can find the 50 ancient cities in Turkey worth to see. Please share your experiences and thoughts about these places to improve to quality of this content and help others. If you are looking for more to read about Turkey, don’t forget to read Turkey |WeCityGuide and FAQs About Turkey.

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