When planning this trip, i was surprised with the fact that Turkey has so many roman ruins. Along the Northwest and southwest coast of Turkey, there are so many ruins such as Ephesus, Hierapolis (Pamukkale), Troia, Pergamon/Bergama, Prienne, Miletus, Dydima, and many others. Considering the strategic location of Dardanelles peninsula, it's understandable that many civilization was built around the area.
I relied on Lonely planet when making the itinerary and read city by city just to make sure I didn’t miss the best of Turkey and not just visiting “mainstream” places. Don’t get me wrong, the popular Tourist attraction such Cappadoccia and Pamukkale deserve the shout-out. They ARE beyond imaginable and stronger at its presence more than just a picture you see in Instagram or any other media. But Turkey also offers other beautiful places on its ruins and landscape if you have eye and love for landscape. You can go as far as Mount Nemrut and Ani Ruins in Eastern Part, or measuring Turkey southern beach line and enjoy the magical blue color of its sea for landscape, and you can satisfy yourself with roman history by visiting its plentiful ruins.
During twelve days in Turkey, I dedicated four days just to enjoy the roman ruins. The first out of four days was dedicated for Troy and Pergamum, and the second day for Ephesus, continued by Prienne, Miletus and Didyma, and last but not least enjoying the city of Hierapolis (Pamukkale) on the fourth day.
So, after having the Anzac Gallipoli Tour on the northwestern part, the closest ruin I could enjoy was troy (Truva or Troia). It is a city where Trojan War took place and whose legend has been filmed by Hollywood played by Brad Pitt and Orlando Bloom back in 2004. Luckily there's a tour package that covers Troy and Pergamum with arriving at Selcuk. That way i didn't have to go back to north and could continue the journey to the south.
The archaeological site of Troy was first found in 1865 and is continued until now. When u visit the site, there are many ruins categorized by its age spanning from 3000 BC until AD 500 an there are 9 categories. Troy I until V related to the Bronze Age (3000 to 1900 BC) and its habitant is known as Trojan on that period. Troy VI and VII were built during Middle and late bronze age, and Troy VIII and IX were belong to Latin Illium.
The most prominent architecture in Troy is the Replica of Trojan Horse located in the entrance of the site. It was told that at that time in Greek, Helen was the most beautiful woman in the world and Married to Menelaus, who became King in Sparta, Greece. Meanwhile in Troy, Priam as the King of Troy successfully run his Kingdom with his sons, Hector and Paris (Priam has fifty sons and twelve daughters). When Paris went to Greece, he fell for Helen and took her to Troy. This event fueled a war between Trojan and Spartan as Menelaus held grudge over Paris for taking Helen. Long story short, Spartan sent a wooden horse as a gift to Trojan. Inside of the wooden horse was Menelaus and other Spartan fighters. Trojan found the horse and brought it back to the city. During the night, Menelaus came out from the hide and attacked the guards. He opened the gate to allow Greek entering the city and killed all Trojan.
It took 3 hours drive from Troy to Pergamum in the city of Bergama, Turkey. Most of its ruins dated back to 197-156 BC during which the period is called Archaic Period. The famous architecture inside the site include the Altar of Zeus, propylaeum of the Temple of Athena, and its amazing hillside theater. This City has three main parts: The Acropolis (as a center of social and cultural place), Asklepion (medical center), and the Lower City (home of the lower classes).
Pergamum offers a more significant and beautiful architecture for sightseeing. Most of the ruins still show the original shape of the building and the site overlooking the Caicus River Valley showcasing the beauty of Turkey landscapes.
If you really like Roman history, this tour can be really entertaining. For architecture lover, the site sure does poking your senses. Despite of its ruins, some of the foundation and pillars are still erected and looks grand. With the help of imagination, you can picture what was like being a roman on that time.
~ it was a sunny day on May 27th 2013 -