The City Of Thales
Miletus is situated in Soke's Balat village. In ancient times it was on the coast and the most famous of Ionian harbours. Its name in Hittite records was Millawandash. It was famous in the classical period which the scholars called "fusiolog". Herodotus wrote that it was founded by the Cretans and Carians. It was an important Micanean colony towards the middle of 2000 B.C., however in the 7th century B.C. it had more than 80 colonies from the farthest corners of the Mediterranean and the Black Sea. After its destruction by the armies of Darius in 494 B.C. it was reconstructed. It was under Persian rule for two centuries. With the conquest of Alexander the great, it became one of the greatest metropolis of Aegean Anatolia and remained its importance during the Roman period as well. In the Byzantine period despite the fact that the sea. had withdrawn, the commercial port could still be used thanks to the ships which sailed through the Menderes river. Because the remains of antique building resembled palaces. It went by the name Palatia for some time; and during the last days of Byzantine rule, it became a shelter of pirates.
|La mosquée d'Ilyas Bey|
The systematic archaeological digs in Miletus were started by T.Wiegand in 1899, Carl Weickerd headed the one in 1939 and the latest ones took place under the direction of G. Kleiner.
Most of the works of art found in the excavations during the Ottoman rule, unfortunately are to be found in foreign museums now. Miletus which had a very important in history, was completely destroyed by frequent raids and disasters and thus does not have too many relics left with the exception of its theatre and Faustina Baths, some of the relics left can be listed as follows.
period relics: The archaic relics belonging to the old Miletus, destroyed
by the Persians were found around Kalabak Hill. The temple of Athena can
be classified as fifth century B.C.
The Theatre: It is one of the oldest theatres of western Anatolia, built in fourth century B.C., renovated in the Hellenistic period and a stage building was added in the Roman period. Use was made of a natural incline of a slope in the selection of its location. Its front facade was 140 meters, proscenium 230 meters and stage was 34 meters long, the capacity of seating in the cavea was 15.000 , and of the four columns of the king's box behind the orchestra only two are left. The skene built in the Roman period was a three storey building with columns and statues.
The Southern Agora: It is the largest of the three agora's of Miletus, started in the Hellenistic period, and completed in the Roman period, surrounded by long stoas with columns. Its monumental door was taken to Berlin and was reconstructed there.
The Faustina Baths: These baths, bunt in the reign of the Emperor Aurelius, and located between the theatre and the southern agora, are well preserved. Such parts as apoditerium, frigidarium and caldarium which were the main sections of Roman baths were very well-planned. Some of the statues found in the excavations were taken to the archaeological museum in Istanbul and some remained on the premises.
The Stadium: It is between the theatre and the harbour. It's believed that it had a capacity of seating 15.000 people in athletic races.
Bouleterion: It had a courtyard surrounded by columns which was entered through the propylon and into the covered auditorium. It was built in the 2nd century B.C. and has a capacity for seating 1500 people.
The ceremonial Path and Ionic Stoa: A path going from the Bouleterion to the harbour, a stoa whose restoration was started in 1976 is place east of the ceremonial path. Behind this was a lean-to with 35 ionic columns containing 19 shops. Ceremonies were held along this street.
was built during Emperor Titus reign in 70 A.D, a monumental
three storey building 20 meters in length and 17 meters high,
filled with statues placed between columns. Water flowed from
the mouths of the slanted anaphora's
and fish statues on the first floor.
Delphinium: It was a temple dedicated to Apollo Delphinus, with traces of religious relics dating back to the archaic age. It was built in the Hellenistic age and renovated in the Roman period. The temple area was encircled with Doric stoas in Hellenistic period and Corithiai in the Roman period.
Gymnasium: It is east of the North agora and is entered by a stair with four steps. From a big door, halls surrounded by Doric and Ionian columns are entered. It has a courtyard around which there are five exercise-rooms.
Serapis Temple: It was built in the 3rd century A.D. formed of 5 columns in two rows. The walls of cut stone, date back to earlier times.
The Byzantine Tower: It was built during the Byzantine period on the hill on whose slopes stood the theatre building. Many of the ramparts of the castle which was used both by the pirates and the Turks, were built over the theatre. During the first excavations while the theatre was being cleaned, many of these were taken away.
The Great Church: It was built in 534 on a foundation
of 3rd century B.C. and another one of 2nd century A.D. The floor
mosaics of the Martyrion and baptizing rooms are in the Miletus
As for the buildings belonging to the Menteseogullari period in the ruins of Miletus, they are as follows:
Ilyas Bey Mosque and complex: The mosque, forming a complex with its seminary and baths, is based on a square plan with a single dome, and measures 18.30 X 13.30 meters. Its walls are covered with a finely ornamented marble both from the inside and outside. The northern entrance has the appearance of a crown door with its pointed and arched niche. Within this niche, mounted on two columns and with frontal pieces are three low-arched passages. The passages on both sides are made into windows with very delicately wrought marble work and the central passage forms the entrance of the mosque.
whole structure was woven first from the walls to an octagonal bracelet
with stalactite trumps and then to the tile-covered dome. The altar is an
example of exquisite marble workmanship. The pulpit, of equal craftsmanship,
was taken to Ilyas Aga Mosque in Soke towards the end of the 19th century.
The Caravanserai: It Is a rectangular building measuring 24 X 30 meters. The toner courtyard encircled by vaulted rooms measureslO.67 X 16.09 meters. A stairways leads to the second floor of the caravanserai.
The Turkish Baths: It is squeezed between the Ionic stoas of the antique age, measures 24 X 18 meters. The various ship drawings
on its walls drawn by sailors are of interest.
The Mosque of forty steps: It was built of rubble stones in the 14th century. Its name comes from the fact that there are forty steps outside its wall leading to the minaret.
The Miletus Museum, a local museum on a small scale was opened in 1973 under the auspices of the general Directory of antiques and Museums, mainly for the purpose of exhibiting the archaeological findings dug up in Miletus. It consists of a hall with a pool opening into the main hall and another smaller
Ceramics dating back to the 15th century B.C. and belonging to the Mycenae period are on exhibit in the main hall, and in the show cases behind them, small items and ceramics belonging to archaic, classical. Hellenistic and Roman periods are exhibited. Between the stands and window cases are mosaic pieces and statues of the same periods. The small hall exhibits objects starting from the Roman period, to the Byzantine, Seljuk and Ottoman periods. Here coins of all periods are available as well. Tombstones and pieces of mosaic are nailed to the walls of the hall with the pool. On each side of the door of the main hall two Branchid statues are placed and other parts of the hall are decorated with statues, tombstones and architectural pieces. The other bigger pieces and statues are exhibited on the colonnaded terrace around the museum and in the garden.
important tips while visiting Milet Ancient Town:Theres no regular minibus transport service between Akköy and Milet.
If you are travelling individually and if you think you cannot manage to walk to milet (which is 3-4 kilometres far from Akkoy) don't worry. We have mobile phone numbers of Balat Birlik minibusses. Drivers can come up to Akköy and pick you up. We call them for you or you can call them (Turkish speaking Balat Minibusses Association Driver) Mr. Mehmet Focalilar 0 537 419 45 10
You can come in to our Art Gallery Cafe Olive for more information open between 09:00 am 19:00 pm all week days including Sundays all year around winters and summers.