The ancient city of Miletus ( Milet ), is normally visited after Priene and whilst en route to Didyma. Since it is only 33 km from Söke and 22 km from Priene you can easily do all three in a day. The Miletus Museum can be found nearby at Akköy.
This ancient site is on the edge of the Meander River. The ruins are near the village of Balat in the Aydin province of Turkey. This used to be one of the richest Greek cities until it fell under Persian rule in the 6th century BC. One of the most impressive buildings here is without doubt the ancient theatre. Like many other archaelogical sites in Turkey there is still much to be discovered.
The city was rebuilt after the Persians captured it. Alexander the Great captured it in 334 BC and Julius Ceaser is known to have raised a fleet here in 75 BC. This was a prosperous port city but today it is inland since the port silted up. This had a very significant effect on its trade and it declined slowly in the same way as Priene which suffered the same fate.
Known as the city of philosophers such as Thales, Anaximander, Anaximenes, and Hecataeus, this Ionian city with its 15,000 seat Roman Theatre, Baths of Faustina, Temple of Apollo, hold many secrets and yet undiscovered treasures. You get a taste of how it might have been in its heydey.
This is not one of Turkey’s most visited historical sites and there are not many visitors compared to some of the more popular archaeological sites such as Ephesus. There is a cafe on site but this is only open during the summer season. Most visitors come with organised tours from Kusadasi or Seljuk.
In fact, it is worth mentioning that there is no public transport available so if you do not come here with a tour operator you will need your own transport. Once you have visited the ancient site of Miletus you can pay a visit to the Milet or Miletus Museum. This small, and yet impressive museum, was recently renovated and includes many exhibits that have been found around the ancient city of Miletus as well as from Priene and Didyma.
Within the archaeological grounds of Miletus there is a the Ilyas Bey Mosque which is certainly worth a visit. Not far from the museum and down a dirt track the mosque is located near the ruins of a villa that dates back to Byzantine times.
Part of a madrasah religious complex it would have been a basie for religious education and had a hammam. The main prayer hall is covered by a dome of some 14 m in diameter. The minaret collapsed in 1955 due to an earthquake and has not been restored. The mosque is a good example of Seljuk architecture with Persian influence. In fact, the mosque is a blend of many architectural features with Greek, Roman, Byzantine and Ottoman influence.