Magnesia ad Maeandrum

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Magnesia ad Meandrum is located on the Ortaklar - Söke Highway, within the borders of Tekin village in Ortaklar quarter of the Germencik District of Aydın. According to the ancient resources and the myths, the city was established by a tribe which came from Thessalia and were called the Magnets. Nobody knows the exact location of first Magnesia, which was founded by Magnets who landed at today's Bafa Lake that was a small bay under the leadership of Leukippos and divination of Apollo; but it was estimated that it was located at the edge of the Menderes River.

The Magnets re-built a city near Gümüşçay in B.C. 400 because of the epidemics which arouse out of overflow of Menderes and because they had to defend themselves by building a more secure city against The Persians. Magnesia, which was dominated by Seleukos first and the Bergama Kingdom subsequently in the Hellenistic Period, maintained its importance in the Rome Period and had been the Episcopal centre during the Byzantine Period. Magnesia was a city surrounded by ramparts that covered a 1, 5 km diametre area, having a grating planned street and a road system and had been a commercially and strategically important location among triangle of Priene, Ephesos and Tralleis. The Magnesia Ancient City had not been subject to much destruction. The overflow of the river and the silt layer brought by rainwater from Gümüş Mountain had a great effect for this situation. The first digs in Magnesia were carried out by Carl Humann on behalf of the Berlin Museum in 1891. A Theatre, Artemis tempest and altar, an agora, Zeus tempest and prytaneion were found partially or completely during these digs which lasted 21 months.

The works found in Magnesia are being exhibited in Paris, Berlin and İstanbul museums. The digs were completed in 1893, and 100 years later, the digging activities re-started in Magnesia, which was about to disappear, in 1984 on behalf of the Ministry of Culture and the Ankara University. The fame of Magnesia results from Hermogenes, the architect of ancient times. According to the Architect Vitruvius, an author of the ancient times, Hermogenes is the first architect who applied an octagonal pseudodipteros tempest plan. Vitruvius states that the main work of Hermogenes is the Artemis Leukophryene tempest in Magnesia. The tempest of Hermogenes was built in the Hellenistic Period (the 3rd-2nd century BC), on the ruins of the Artemis tempest belonging to the Archaic Period (the 6th century BC). The tempest is the 4th biggest tempest of the Anatolia in Ion style with 8 x 15 columns and with 67,50 x 40 metres dimension. There was an altar in front of the tempest, which pioneered the Bergama Zeus altar with its "U" formed plan. The altar was ornamented with embossments and statues heights of which were two-man lengths. Another important structure in Magnesia is a theatre, which lies under the ground today. The Magnesia theatre (end of the 2nd century BC) is one of the unique works that complies with the general theatre plan given by Vitruvius. The Agora and Zeus tempests, which were supposed to be built by Hermogenes, are the other works that are re-covered with soil after the digs carried out 100 years ago. The front side of Zeus tempest located in the agora, which is considered one of the biggest shopping areas of the period with its 26,000 m2 area, is being exhibited in the Berlin Bergama Museum. The other buildings seen in Magnesia today belong to the Roman Empire Period. The other works known in Magnesia are as follows: a Gymnasium which is a training centre especially for sports, a bath which is small copy of the Faustian Bath in Millet, an Odeon between the theatre and Artemision, a stadium of 25.000 people capacity, an unfinished building with theatre plan, shopping area basilica, a Byzantine building characteristics of which are not known yet and a Byzantine rampart also surrounding Artemision. The 15th century Transversal planned the Çerkez Musa Mosque is the only Islamic building of the ruin. Tour around, see and introduce yourself to this ruin which is one of our ancient cities along with Ephesos, Millets, Aphrodisias and Hierapolis which are being studied by foreign teams.