Tour the Majestic City of Sardis, Capital of the Ancient Lydia Kingdom

Out of all the ancient ruins found on the Aegean coast of Turkey, Ephesus is probably the most famous and popular places to visit. This is understandable because it was known as the second largest city of the Roman Empire. But if time is no restriction, there are many more historical sites to visit which includes the capital of ancient Lydia, called Sardis which is still relatively unknown. Located about 60 miles east of the Izmir peninsula, it is easily reached within an hour from any of the surrounding areas making it ideal for taking a Sardis ancient city tour.  Read More...

Tour the Majestic City of Sardis, Capital of the Ancient Lydia Kingdom

Take a daily Sardis tour which is located in the modern-day town of Sart occupied from 1300 B.C and is commonly known as the first city to produce coins. The most famous ruler of Sardis was King Croesus, (560 to 546 BC) who notoriously misinterpreted an oracle prediction that he would win a battle against the Persian king. He lost, and the city was then absorbed into the Persian Empire, later giving way to Alexander the Great, Byzantine and Roman rule. Ottoman Turks then invaded Sardis in 1306, but by 1402, the city had been deserted and left to ruins. Thank to impressive archaeology work undertaken during the 19th century, we can see the main monuments that have been excavated and restored on private tours to Sardis.

Standing on the banks of the Pactolus River, it was also one of the seven churches of Asia that was communicated in the New Testament book of Revelation. It was called the church that fell asleep as it referred more to the manner of Christian citizens that lived in the city, rather than the actual church congregation itself. The temple of Artemis indicates a time when pagan worship was prevalent. Building started in 334 BC, but was never finished and of course natural wear and tear over the years, means very little remains. The focus should be on its significance than the size because if it had ever been completed, it probably would have been the fourth largest Ionian temple located on the Aegean coast.

The Jewish synagogue that dates from the 3rd century AD highlights the sizeable Jewish community that once lived in the region. Historians claim this is the large synagogue that was ever excavated and just the Greek and Hebrew inscriptions, walls, floors and columns, and mosaics, remain, but this is enough to get an idea of when this synagogue was at its most magnificent on a private Sardis tour. One of the most impressive structures you can see is the marble court entrance which leads into the bathhouse and gymnasium. Built in the 2nd century AD and was more than 5 acres, and the architecture displays the trends of that time with large, columns and vaulted ceiling for the bathhouse and open courtyard for the gymnasium.

If time allows you could also visit the archaeological museum in Izmir to see some ancient artefacts that were recovered from Sardis. You could also try some Turkish cuisine in the local and traditional restaurants in Sart that will also serve dishes of the region, combing your historical Sardis tour with culture.

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Let the Sardis activities begin!

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