/ / The ancient city Prien

The ancient city Prien

Near the Turkish resort of Didim is an ancient city Prien, one of the twelve most famous ancient cities of Asia minor. Polis is very well preserved to the present day, and now represents an excellent example of a Hellenistic city.

Preen was founded in the XI century BC by the son of Nelia Apicom and located at the foot hills of Mycale. This Ionian city was originally located on the coast Latiuscula Bay and had two harbours in which stood a small fleet. Preen belonged to the Union of the twelve Ionian cities, and was located only 17 kilometers from the famous Miletus. Ten kilometers from Polis was a river Meander. However, in the middle of the fourth century, owing to the deposits of this river, the shoreline went further into the sea, and the city was at a distance of several kilometers from the water line. Just at that time, Prien rebuilt again after the destruction by the Persians and the city had to be postponed. In 3-2 centuries BC Prien was part of the Seleucid, kings of Pergamon, then; later is a provincial city of the Roman Empire and Byzantium. In the years of finding policy under Byzantine rule, the city was the seat of a Byzantine Bishop. Later, because of strong subsidence of the soil caused by the deposits of the river, Prien lost its former importance. Perhaps this led to the destruction of the city. But at this point there are other versions. One of them claims that the cause of death Priene was an earthquake, another blames the epidemic of malaria.

The city existed until the XIII century, when the Turks ' attacks and an even greater retreat of the sea made it a small village, completely lost its former significance. Despite this, Prien is well preserved and contains practically no later reconstructions, such as Ephesus. That is why he is considered one of the best ancient monuments on the Aegean coast.

Prien is one of the few policies of Greece, who brought to our time full enough information about the urban planning of the Hellenistic period. The ruins of the city have the appearance of terraces, therefore, have been the subject of detailed scientific study of the English Society of Dilettanti in 1765 and 1768, and in 1895 - 1899, their thoroughly studied Theodore Wiegand for the Berlin Museum. In the late nineteenth century they were examined by Karl Humann, who found that the town was built according to the system architect Hippodamus. Prien were separated by six streets 80 mini-blocks, the dimensions of which were approximately $ 42 to 35 meters. The blocks were four houses, and the whole quarter is usually occupied public buildings. Affects the skill of the architect, who wrote such a strict rectangular composition of the city in mountainous terrain. Only in Pompeii but this plan of the city preserved in such pristine form, but it is at least three centuries younger than bryanskoi.

One of the first in Priene was built an ancient theatre, otherwise known as the Acropolis and Dating back to IV century BC. In the II century ad the Romans reconstructed it, in particular, they reconstructed the scene. The theater is located on the top of one of the spurs of the mountain, at the base of which lies the ancient city. It offers a magnificent view of the surroundings. The theatre is designed in the shape of a horseshoe in the classical Greek style and has a small size. Its highlight is that in the center is the altar that was previously used for sacred offerings to Dionysus. Initially, the theater had 50 tiers of seats and could accommodate 50 thousand spectators, and the scene length was 18 meters. The most striking feature of the structures is the presence of five large marble thrones for the local dignitaries. The theatre is well preserved. Behind the building you can see the ruins of the Byzantine Basilica.

The most famous monument Prana - the temple of Athena which is located on the backdrop of sheer cliffs and visible from a great distance. It was built by the architect Pifia, who was also the author of the Mausoleum of Halicarnassus. The temple was dedicated to Athena Polias, which translates as "Keeper of the city". The construction of the temple began in the middle of the fourth century BC, when Alexander the great liberated Prien from Persian rule. It was he who allocated money for the construction of the temple of Athena. The inscription with the dedication of the temple by Alexander the Great is preserved in the British Museum in the form of fragments of the huge cult statue of the goddess. The construction lasted for about two centuries. The length and width of the base of the temple is approximately equal to 37 and 20 meters. Colonnade of 6 rows by 11 columns surrounded the temple, but survived only five ionic columns. The proportions and methods of construction of the temple was used as a standard even in Roman times when the building is rededicated to Athena Polias and Augustus, the new Roman Emperor. At that time all existing shrines and temples Prana adapted for the placing of busts and statues of the Emperor, his family and ancestors. Before the temple of Athens are the ruins of a magnificent altar.

On the highest terrace of the city, just North of temple, is located the sanctuary of Demeter and Kore, who are a half-two centuries older than any other structure in the city. A little below the temple of Athena is the center of life in the city Agora (shopping area). It dates from the III century BC. The North side is the sacred hall with a length of 16 metres and on three sides limit its columned porticos. Nearby Bolivari (Parliament building), designed for 640 persons, near which is a place for the sacred fire - pretation. The temple of Olympian Zeus is located in the Eastern part of the Agora, and the market in the West. On both sides of the road connecting the Agora with the Western gate, are the once-rich houses, some of them have a thickness of up to 1.5 meters. Recently found on the stairs of the houses prove that in ancient times they had at least two floors. In addition, Priene you can see the ruins of the gymnasium, the stadium and the baths, which are in pretty bad shape.