Located northwest of
Priene, on the northeast corner of Dilek peninsula, near todays
Guzelcamli, stood Panionion,
as an important
annual meeting place of the Ionian League. Panionion is significant for its being the
oldest unity of the colonies in the world. The league was a political union, and was
consisted of the members from the "12 Ionian Colonies". Years later, the city of
Smyrna(Izmir) joined the league.
meeting in Panionion was usually after the harvest. The members were sharing their or
problems about business, art, farming and sea trade for improving their own cities or
finding reasonable solutions to their problems.
Every year, in addition of the gathering of
the members, a traditional festival was held to the honor of the God Poseidon of
Helliconia. During the festival, young and strong men in Panionion were placing the
cattles into the temple to be sacrificed , by hanging their horns. During the Hellenistic
era, one day of the festival was decided to be celebrated to the honor of King of
Pergamon, Eumenes II.
Serious excavations conducted by the German
archeologist Th. Wiegard, have been revealed some very important artifacts from around the
region. The remains of a circular wall on St. Ilias Crest are considered to be the meeting
place of Panionion. On the south of St. Ilias Crest, stands a small church, named as
"Hegeios Demetrios" by Th. Wiegand. The church was once used for worshipping
Poseidon, the God of Sea and Earthquakes. The higher parts of St. Ilias Crest was
surrounded by the limestone walls, as to protect Panionion. A long thin structure stands
in the middle, measuring 18x4, reflecting the architectural style of 6 BC.
The eastern and the southwestern parts of
Panionion are not in good condition. Only, some sitting places and a Hellenistic turret
-once used for observing and protecting the area, exist in the area. There is also a
cistern to the further east of turret, including the clay-made pots in it, with the
traces of the Hellenistic Age.
How to Go?
Panionion is 25km south of Kusadasi.
minibuses pass through Guzelcamli, that is close to the ancient Panionion.
It may be a good stop on the way to National Park or a nice place to discover in a jeep
safari around Guzelcamli.