Tralleis in Caria




Remains of the Gymnasium complex, called Üç Gözler (Three eyes)  

Tralleis was founded after Strabon by Argivians and Thracians. The city was considered the richest and most populous city of the Lyder (ca. 1216 B.C. to 541 B.C.) Its wealth was legendary.


Reconstruction of the huge gymnasium complex  

After the conquest by Antigonos in 313 BC, the city came under Seleukid rule and was named Seleukia. In the late third century B.C. it received various privileges of a polis from Antiochos III. In the peace of Apameia (188 BC) Tralleis was awarded to the Attalids, the ruling dynasty of Pergamon, and appears in inscriptions under this name. During this period it was the site of an important sanctuary of Zeus Larasio. By inheritance, the city became Roman. After an earthquake in 26 BC, it was temporarily renamed Caesarea Tralleis in gratitude for Augustus' reconstruction aid.


The latrine of the Gymnasium  

Tralleis produced some famous sons. Anthemios von Tralleis, an excellent mathematician and famous architect, built the church Hagia Sophia in Constantinople from 532 to 537 AD on behalf of the Eastern Roman Emperor Justinian I. together with Isidor von Milet. The Theodosian Wall of Constantinople was planned by him. Theodosian Wall is regarded by some historians as one of the most successful and best-thought-out fortifications in the history of war technology.


The baths of the Gymnasium  




Other famous men from Tralleis were:
Apollonius of Tralleis, sculptor (2nd/1st century BC)
Phlegon of Tralleis, writer (2nd century)
Alexandros of Tralleis, physician (525-605)



Rooms below the large hall  



Tralleis is located two kilometres north of the centre of today's city Aydın on the hill Topyatağı. There are excavations of a Roman gymnasium, an agora, a stadium, a theatre, a row of columns, several temples and a huge tunnel system.





The entrance to the "Arsenal"


300 metres north of the Gymnasium lie the partially restored remains of a complex known as the "Arsenal" in an incision in the valley. They indicate that Tralleis was probably a military garrison town in Byzantine times. The first floor of the three-storey building was built in Hellenistic times. In the following periods, the complex was extended by two further floors, giving it monumental dimensions. The tunnels resemble a labyrinth. The height of the tunnels reached 9 metres in some places and 4 metres in others. Equipped with air shafts, the tunnel system of the facility extends over approx. 1000 metres towards the centre of today's Aydın. To this day, the site has not been completely excavated.

Photos: @chim, Jürgen P.    
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Source: Wikipedia and others