Priene is an ancient Greek city which lies between the popular holiday resorts of Kusadasi and Bodrum in Turkey. It is one of many important ancient sites in the area and is close to both Miletus and Ephesus. Even though it is a very small city, the real charm of the city lies in its quiet appeal and off-the-beaten-track atmosphere.
The origins of Priene are unknown, though legend dates the city’s founding to Athenian settlers in the 11th or 10th centuries BC. Although Priene itself may have never been a major power, its location in the heart of a region that constantly witnessed the clashes of empires ensured it saw an almost continual flow of conquerors, occupiers and ‘liberators’. Originally an ally of Athens, the city was conquered by the Lydians and then by the Persians in the 6th century BC. The city fought in the ill-feted Ionian Revolt against Darius (which would eventually lead to the Persian invasion of Greece and their defeat at Marathon) and, to punish the rebels, Priene was devastated. This destruction prompted one of many re-locations of the city that took place over the centuries and the new city was founded in around 350 BC.