Priene: Priene is an ancient Hellenistic city located just to the north of Miletus in western Turkey. It was an ancient Greek holy city and the home of an important temple of Athena. Priene’s picturesque ruins include several columns of the Temple of Athena, much of the city wall, a well-preserved theatre and a council chamber.

Priene was laid out in an orderly grid plan, unlike the more sprawling arrangement of most ancient cities. Six main streets run east-west and 15 streets cross at right angles, all evenly spaced. The town was thus divided into about 80 blocks, or insulae, each averaging 46m by 34m.

Other ruins at Priene include the well-preserved seating and altar of the 2nd century BC Bouleuterion (city council chamber, which could hold 650 people), more temples, the stadium (2nd century BC; 190m long) and a Upper and Lower Gymnasium.

Priene: The ancient harbour city of Priene probably changed its location when the silt of the Meander River threatened to bury it. Now it is nearly 16km from the sea. The original place of the city has never been found but it was probably a peninsula with two harbours.

Priene was laid out on a Hippodamian system of grid plan at the foot of a spectacular cliff on Mount Mycale, and contained many famous examples of Hellenistic art and architecture. All the streets intersect at right angles. Remaining small with about 4,000 or 5,000 inhabitants and never of great political significance, it shared the same history as the other Ionian cities.

The city was organized in four districts: the religious (Athena Temple), the political (Bouleterion and Prytaneion), the cultural (Theatre) and the commercial (Agora). In addition to the Athena Temple, the people of Priene built shrines dedicated to Zeus, Demeter and Egyptian gods.

The History of Priene

Town wall

Town wall