There are an unbelievable amount of old Roman and Greek ruins scattered all around the Mediterranean Sea. Turkey has some of the most impressive and famous Roman and Greek ruins like the ancient cities of Ephesus and Hierapolis. But there are so many ruins everywhere that most are just not marked or excavated.
Turkey is a country that is internationally famous for only a few sites (like the ancient city of Constantinople-now-Istanbul, Cappadocia, Pammukale, and Ephesus). But Turkey has countless thousands of sites. The majority of these ruins are unmarked and perhaps most are unexcavated.
Ancient Greek City of Hamaxitus and Temple of Apollo Smintheus
One of the many ancient Greek cities in Turkey now forgotten by tourists is Hamaxitus. It is in the Troad region of Anatolia in Turkey and included the impressive and partially rebuilt temple of Apollo Smintheus.
The temple was holy in the ancient world and was built for the many springs in the region. It was mentioned in Homer's Iliad about the siege of Troy (whose archeological site has been identified as being only a short distance away). Mythical stories of the foundation of the city have it founded by Cretans of Trojan origins.
While in the region, be sure to visit Troy, Troy's adjacent museum, and the impressive gateway city of Cannakale (a city that even has the real Trojan horse used in the Brad Pit 2003 movie, Troy).
- Built: The Temple Was Built Around 150-125 BC
- Mentioned: The Site Is Mentioned In Homer's Iliad
- Apollo Smintheus: An Impressive Greek Temple Associated With Mice
Today parts of the ancient city and Hellenistic temple have been excavated and are very much worth a visit. One can see ancient Roman baths, a segment of an ancient Roman road, and of course, the temple of Apollo Smintheus.
Visiting The Temple Of Apollo:
- Summer Season: April to October from 8:00 am to 8:00 pm
- Winter Season: November to March from 8:00 am to 5:00 pm
The explanation boards at the site make reference to an old bridge on the approach to the site several miles away. But it does not say how to get there, and there are no markings - not on the road and not even on Google Maps.
Finding The Lost Roman Bridge
In the ancient world, people would come to the Temple of Apollo Smintheus to be cured of their ailments or to consult the oracle there.
Temple of Apollon Smintheion was located in a place rich in sources of clean water. These springs were crucial for the business of the Apollonian oracle. In ancient times, pilgrims would come here to the temple from all over the Aegean Sea region.
It is believed that they would walk to the city and had to walk across the bridge (an assumption based on the lack of chariot groves on the bridge).
The easiest way to find the bridge is by asking the locals where to go - although one will have trouble communicating with the locals if one can't speak Turkish.
The coordinate on Google Maps is at this address 39.577391, 26.129605.
- Coordinates: 39°34'38.6"N 26°07'46.6"E
- Arches: 5 Arched Bridge (3 Larger Ones)
- River: Has Changed Course, The Bridge Is Now In The Center Of A Farmer's Field
One will be very impressed by the state of the ruins. The arches of the bridge are still standing and there is no effort for preservation. All around the landmark, farmers are planting their crops and shepherds are herding their goats and sheep just as they have done for thousands of years.
The river has long changed course and is now located a few hundred meters away.
Today fertile soil is in the place where the old river once was and much of the bridge is now buried in the soil. Farmers even put their irrigation pipes under the bridge.
The Tip Of The Iceberg
One will be left with the impression that if a ruin in this great condition is left unmarked, just how many more are there in the country? Visit this old Roman bridge and one's appetite for searching out other ancient Roman ruins in Turkey will be whet.
- Roman & Greek Ruins: Most Of The Ruins Are Unmarked
- Tip: Go Sleuthing For Forgotten And Unmarked Roman Ruins in Turkey
Turkey is one of the most ideal countries in the world to sleuth around and discover completely unmarked ancient ruins. One can find ruins of theaters in the forests, foundations of ancient temples on hills, remains of ancient Roman roads in the country, and even ancient Roman stone bridges still standing in the middle of farmer's fields.