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ALEXANDRIA TROAS (DALYAN)

AtroasIf you're spending some time in the vicinity of the Biga Peninsula on the North Aegean coast, especially if you have access to a private car, you might want to visit the ruins of Alexandria Troas, a town dating back to Hellenistic times that sits on the hillside roughly one km above the small fishing harbour of Dalyan.

Backstory

Alexandria Troas was founded by Antigonus I Monophthalmos c. 305 BC  but was renamed after Antigonus was defeated by the Macedonian king Lysimachus at the Battle of Ipsus in 301. It soon grew fat as a result of access to an artificial harbour that enabled it to snatch much of the local trade from Troy.

St Paul visited the city twice and both Julius Caesar and Constantine are said to have considered making it their capital but over time it slowly ceded importance to Constantinople (almost unbelievably it was once known as Eski (Old) Stamboul).

By the late 18th century, although much of its walls still stood intact the town had been abandoned; stones taken from Alexandria Troas were reused in many other buildings including apparently the Sultanahmet Cami (Blue Mosque).

Around the site

So completely was Alexandria Troas mined for building materials that there is little left for visitors to admire today. Recently, however, work has been done on the excavanation of the agora and the temple overlooking it. There are also stretches of Roman road to be seen here. A number of monuments and sarcophagi survive in situ.Atroas2

The countryside around the site is very lovely, with poppies dotting the wheat fields in spring. 

Pieces of masonry preumably filched from the site form a frame around a bust of Atatürk down in the harbour.

Sleeping

Most people will pay only a fleeting visit but there is one pension in Dalyan itself.

Dalyan Pansiyon. Tel: 0546-226 3157

Hotel Sunset Troia, Dalyan. Tel: 0286-658 8585

Tashkonak Hotel, Odunluk. Tel: 0286-658 8800

Transport info

Minibuses from Ezine and Geyikli run out to Dalyan every hour or so in summer. 

The drive from Geyikli runs past a number of small beach resorts and through Odunluk, where a huge brick warehouse stands as a reminder of the days when this was the embarkation point for ferries to Bozcaada.

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