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The Ancient City of Troy (Marmara, Turkey)

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The ruins of the ancient city of Troy in Marmara region of Turkey.

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      06.08.2011 10:26
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      See the underwhelming ruins of the city of Troy

      The ancient city of Troy.

      Most people will be familiar with the mythological story of Helen of Troy and I was looking forward to visiting the city of Troy or Troia as it is written in Turkish to try and put some of the story into some kind of perspective.

      The city of Troy is in the Canakkale area of Turkey approximately 15miles from the regional Capital of Canakkale near the tiny village of Hisarlik.

      There had been a settlement of some sort since the Bronze Age and became quite a prosperous town due to the sea shore coming quite close to the settlement. However over time it became silted up and now the sea is approximately 2-3 miles away. Some parts of the settlement have been dated to between 2,500- 3,000BC.

      The site of Troy is not just of Troy but consists of nine different settlements built one on top of another. In recent times a German Archaeologist and Historian managed to dissect some of the layers of the different towns and discovered the outer defence walls of the city of Troy. Excavations of the site have been going on since the early 1800's right up to recent times.

      Walking around the site there is not an awful lot to see as it is completely in ruins however there are some relics of buildings scattered around the compound amongst the small hillocks which can give some indication about how it used to be. Sadly one would need a very good imagination to be able to visualise the ancient city in parts as some areas are practically unrecognisable.

      However in some ways it turned out to be quite a disappointing visit to discover that the city was in total ruins due to earthquakes that are quite prevalent in Turkey and have over the centuries destroyed many of the beautiful ancient cities throughout the country. Fortunately we had a very good tour guide with us who was able to bring the story alive and also knew a lot about the area.

      There was a small barely recognisable amphitheatre and an acropolis that remained in ruins. The guide was able to point out the various areas of the different settlements some of which were round and the fortifications were just small mud banks to the uncovered walls of the city of Troy.

      There is a small shop and toilet facilities at the entrance of the site and a massive wooden replica of what the horse could have looked like. The horse being on wheels and the centre of its body would have carried the troops that invaded the City according to the story.

      I am glad that I have had the opportunity of visiting this ancient site but I would not bother going back as there are far more interesting sites to visit in Turkey.

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