Alexandria Troas, Turkey

Formerly Sigeia, then Antigonia Troas, Alexandria Troaswas an important Roman city by the time (301 BCE) it received the name by which we know it.

Renamed for Alexander III of Macedon, it was the most important seaport for northern Asia Minor, with a population of perhaps 100,000.

If you were traveling between Roman Asia and Europe, you probably took ship at Alexandria Troas.

Today the ruins of this once great and prosperous city are strewn across 4 square kilometers (1.5 square miles), all the way from the village of Dalyan southeast to the Kestanbol Thermal Spa (Kestanbol Kaplıcaları; map).

The archeological site is about 9 km (6 miles) south of the Geyikli Feribot İskelesi (the port for ferryboats to the island of Bozcaada), and about 57 km (35 miles, 1 hour) southwest of Çanakkale.

Farmers’ fields and orchards cover the ruins of Alexandria Troas, but a few kilometers southeast of Dalyan an archeological dig is under way. You can visit and observe the uncovered structures for free, but you can’t enter the area of active excavation.

Follow the road from Dalyan to Kestanbol Kaplıcaları and keep your eyes open for “old stones.” You’ll see bits of wall, building foundations, arches, etc. poking above the earth here and there all the way. These fields were all part of the great city.

Folow the road south from Kestanbol to the village of Gülpınar (32 km, 20 miles, 45 minutes) to see the remains of the Apollo Smintheon, an ancient temple to Apollo.

Farther along is the impressive site of ancient Assos, and its modern seaside holiday enclave. More…

—by Tom Brosnahan

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