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The main port of the Ionian League, and leader of the revolt against the Persians (500BC), Miletus lies on the north bank of the Meander and some of the site is under water for part of the year. The port, once guarded by stone lions, is still visible. The extensive baths of Faustina, wife of Marcus Aurelius, are said to be the inspiration for the Turkish hamam.

A Byzantine castle, above the large theatre, and a Seljuk caravansarai are records of the town’s continual use, as is the İlyas Bey Mosque (1403), constructed with coloured marble from the Roman buildings and with a beautifully carved mihrab. A superbly illustrated study has been published.

However, one of the site’s greatest architectural monuments, the Market Gate, is in the Pergamon Museum in Berlin

Dolmuş from Söke drops off at the end of a track 1km from the site.

Good places to stay
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Issue 66, December 2023 Turkey’s Centenary Issue
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