It’s exciting as this is my 99th blog post of Knycx Journeying since started 2 years ago! Every post is a great memory of my journeys and besides, a great opportunity for me to just good through the photos as if I am at that place, that time again. I learned a lot about the history, culture, and tradition of the places that I have been. I got inspired to write about different places in my daily life and so I am going to keep my posts random and spontaneous, eventually, the blog will become a great archive of my journeys as they are grouped by countries in different categories!
Like Turkey, it was one of my great journeys – it’s exotic, it’s cultural, and it has a long, rich history. The country’s intercontinental presence makes it interesting and diverse. I have written about the Cotton Castle and the Salt flat – How about some man-made heritage sites on the West Coast?
I supposed many would have heard about the Greek mythology of Troy and the famous Trojan War. The war was a ten-year conflict that Greek warriors laid siege to Troy. The most famous part of the story was the Greeks built a large hollow horse out of wood and soldiers were hiding in the horse to get through the gates of Troy. Once they were into Troy, the Greeks set fire to the city and defeated the Trojans.
While the legend may not be 100% accurate to what actually happened, the war and the city existed. How is Troy an analogy for finding Atlantis? The site was discovered by wealthy German businessman and archaeologist Heinrich Schliemann – Troy was once portrayed in Homer’s myth, the same author of Atlantis. The discovery of Troy has stirred up controversy on whether Atlantis is also true.
The archeological site of Troy is now located on the west coast of Turkey in between Istanbul and the Ephesus; But honestly, the site is not as impressive as many others. Had it not backed up with a famous legend and a convenient location, I guess there won’t be a lot of tourists willing to see a small site which was mainly rubble.
Walking past some of the walls of Troy (VII), there was a wooden horse at the entrance of the site; obviously, it was merely a decoration, but it was effective and successful to remind visitors about the history and story of the Trojan War!
I like the Pergamon. Pergamon was a rich and powerful ancient Greek city in Aeolis, and it was the capital of the Kingdom of Pergamon during the Hellenistic period under the Attalid dynasty in 281–133 BC (more than 2000 years ago!).
The acropolis (a citadel of an ancient Greek hill city) is rather well-preserved as I could still see the pillars of the Greco-Roman Temple of Trajan from afar. From the Roman theater, visitors could enjoy a panoramic view of Pergamon and the modern city of Bergama.
However, to view more magnificent arts, sculpture or even some huge structures from Pergamon one has to visit the Pergamon Museum in Berlin today. The Pergamon Museum houses monumental buildings such as the Pergamon Altar, the Ishtar Gate of Babylon, and the Market Gate of Miletus reconstructed from the ruins found in Turkey.
Out of the three ancient Greek cities in Turkey that I mentioned here, the Ephesus should be the most important and famous one based on its historic value and scale. Originally a Carians and Lydian settlement, the city was then Hellenized by arriving Ionian Greeks and developed into a flourishing commercial city. The city’s population had once grown to more than 200,000 and became the largest city in the East after Alexandria until the city was destroyed by the Goths later in 263, and although the city was rebuilt, it had lost its status as a commercial center in the region.
Ephesus’s nearby seaside town, Kuşadasi, has become a very popular pit stop for the Mediterranean cruises as many travelers come to visit this world-class heritage. Usually, they came onshore for a half-day tour in Ephesus so the site could be very crowded once the cruise passengers flooded into the archaeological site. As we were there we saw a lot of crowds walking down the well-preserved Roman pavements all the way towards the façade of the Library of Celsus, marveling at the great theater and soaking up the ancient soul of this ruined city. So in case of timing is not a big concern, stay for 2 days and visit the site at a less busy hour (generally, the late afternoon and you may witness a beautiful sunset!)
If you have even more time in Ephesus, visit the Ephesus Archaeological Museum, and the nearby Temple of Artemis – it was one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World! (But now only 1 column remained)