History and Location of Magnesia ad Maeandrum
Magnesia is located on the Ortaklar-Söke highway, within the borders of Tekin Village of Germencik District of Aydın Province. Although it is known that the city was first established by the Meander River, which it took its name, this first settlement has not been found yet. The new Magnesia is on the edge of Gümüşçay on the outskirts of Gümüşdağ in the 4th century BC.
Respectively; The city was under the rule of the Persians, Alexander the Great, Seleucid Kingdom, Pergamon Kingdom, the Roman Empire and Eastern Rome. It is estimated that the city was completely abandoned in the 1300s due to diseases and river raids. Some artifacts from the Ancient City were exhibited today in Paris, Louvre Museum and Berlin, Pergamon Museum.
According to the legend, the city was founded by Magnetes from Thessalia. The location of the first Magnesia established by Magnets, who came to Anatolia upon the prophecy and guidance of Apollo.
Stadium of Magnesia ad Maeandrum
The magnificent stadium for 30,000 people, which is the only reason for the Magnesia Ancient City to be known as the City of Races, seems to be enough to put this city on the list of must-visit places. One of the best preserved stadiums in the world, Magnesia Stadium, which is thought to be used until the 3rd century, has a track length of 189 meters. The reliefs on the arena and podium walls of the stadium in the southern part of the city, with a number of 150, generally describe the competitors, the awards and types of competition.
Hermogenes of Magnesia
The area of Magnesia was surrounded by walls, covering an area of approximately 1300×1100 square meters. Magnesia city had a grid planned settlement system. The reputation of Magnesia in our time originates from the architect Hermogenes, who is known today with his designs and applications. According to the ancient writer and architect Vitruvius, Hermogenes is the first architect to determine the temple plan according to the Pseudodipteros temple plan and column spacing. Vitruvius also says that the main work of Hermogenes is Leukophryne Temple in Magnesia. Hermogenes built this temple in the Hellenistic Period upon the ruins of the first temple belonging to the archaic period. The temple has 8×5 columns in Ionic order and is the fourth largest temple of Anatolia in the Hellenistic period with a size of 67.5×40 meters.
Excavations in Magnesia ad Maeandrum
As a result of the excavations carried out in the sanctuary of Artemis between 1994 and 2001, a marble floored ceremony area was uncovered located between the altar and the Agora. The area around the ceremony area is covered with god reliefs, the size of which reaches up to 3 meters, with sacrificial rings in front of it. Floor inscriptions indicating the places where the associations or groups to attend the ceremonies will stop are located on the floor blocks which borders both sides of the area. Sections from the stoa surrounding the sanctuary were unearthed.
Agora of Magnesia ad Maeandrum
One of the other important structures of Magnesia is its agora, which has disappeared by staying under sand today. The agora is entered through a sacred gate from the sanctuary of Artemis. Propylon has been completely uncovered. Agora is one of the largest bazaars of the period with its 26 thousand square meter size and 414 columns.
The building, which is thought to belong to the Byzantine Period in Magnesia, is the “Basilica” belonging to the Roman period, where the titles depicted with reliefs describing the adventure of the dog-legged Skylla we know from Homer’s “Odyseia” as a result of the excavations carried out in 1989-2001.
Other structures that can be seen partially in Magnesia are 32 people capacitied Latrina (public toilet), the baths, Odeon, Stadion, Gymnasion, Roman Temple, Byzantine Wall.
Tour Guide to Magnesia ad Maeandrum
Magnesia Ancient City is open every day of the week. Entrance fee of Magnesia is free of charge. Magnesia ad Maeandrum can be visited 08:30 to 17:00 in winter and 09:00 to 19:00 in summer. You can always contact me to learn more about Magnesia ad Maeandrum and write to me if you need to book a tour guide to Magnesia ad Maeandrum. See you soon, Hasan Gülday.