The ancient city is situated in Manisa
in the territory of ancient Lydia, at the foot of Tmolus Mountains, 72km
away from Izmir and 162km away from
Kusadasi on Izmir-Ankara highway where evidence has been found of human activity
as early as Paleolithic period. It was the ancient capital of Lydia
which was ruled by the King Croesus who had the fame to use coin exchange for
goods. However because of the earthquakes most of ruins are now under the ground
and the ones on earth are dating back to the Roman Times only.
The important remains of Sardis are the Temple of Artemis and the
restored gymnasium apart from the Synagogue from the 3rd
century with its mosaics and carved colored-stone panels. The ruins are now as
if they were spread on either sides of the Ankara-Izmir highway. The complex of
bath and gymnasium, synagogue and the shops are located in the north of the
highway. Today there are only four main areas that may be visited which are the
Sardian acropolis, the valley of the Paktalos River (now called Sart Cay), the
ancient city located around and along the highway and the tombs at Bintepe.
One can enter the complex of bath-gymnasium complex through a door which is
located in the center of the eastern section that leads into a
colonnade-encircled open courtyard which takes us to the synagogue located on
the north. The rooms on the northern side of the courtyard are for instruction
and training. The gymnasium was built during the times of Caracalla and Geta in 3rd
century AD. The baths were built in 161 AD where
one can enter through the doors opening into the courtyard. They were built
during the time of the king Lucius Verus. Along the southern sides of the
synagogue and gymnasium there lies the main street of the city with marble
blocks on the sides. There used to be shops along this street. Opposite of the
gymnasium there is Bronze House of the Infidels which was built around 550
AD and it might have been used as the bishop's palace. One can see
the ruins in Sardis which date back to the times of the Romans and the
Byzantines which are churches, stadium and Roman theater which could hold twenty
thousand people that was destroyed in an earthquake in 17
AD. The other ruins lie on the road along the river Paktalos which leads to the
Temple of Artemis. The temple had three stages while being built. the first and
the original temple was built in the 4th century BC, facing wet and was in the
Ionic order which consisted of an outer portico, an enclosure and a back
chamber. Because this temple was destroyed somehow the second one began to be
built between 175-150 BC.
However the construction stopped and if it had continued there would have been
twenty columns on the long side and eight on the short side of the temple. The
construction did not start until 150 AD.
When it was finished it had the measures of 45 by 97.94 meters. The temple was
used until the 5th century AD when it was
How to Go?
ancient city is located in Manisa, north of Izmir on Izmir-Ankara highway about 162km
away from Kusadasi. You can either catch a bus to Izmir where you can get on a
bus to Salihli and take a taxi to the city or have a tour arranged by one of the
agencies in Kusadasi.