Assos is a small village located in the Ayvacik town on a hill, about 87 kilometers or an hour’s drive from Canakkale. The ancient city of Assos, one of the most significant settlements of the ancient world, is surrounded by 4-kilometer city walls and sits at an altitude of 240 meters or 1120 feet above sea level. It was originally founded as a military post and naval base on the andesite hill opposite the island of Mitillini. During this time, Plato, one of Aristotle’s students, lived in Assos for three years and established a school of philosophy.
The city was established by the Aeolians from Lesbos in 1200 BC and became a satrap of the Lydian Kingdom in 560 BC. In 478 BC, it joined the Ionian Federation to defeat the Persians, but was eventually conquered by them in 405 BC. Alexander the Great defeated the Persians in 334 BC, and Assos became a city of Pergamon in the 3rd century BC before becoming a Roman city in 133 BC. St. Paul, the apostle, visited the city twice during his missionary journeys in the 1st century AD, and the inhabitants of Assos accepted Christianity. After the split of Rome in the end of the 4th century AD, the city became a Byzantine town. It was destroyed during the Crusades and ruled by the Crusaders for 20 years before being taken over by Ottoman troops in 1330.
The first excavations in Assos began in 1881 by American archaeologists and were resumed in 1981. Visitors can still see the city walls, which are approximately 4 kilometers in length and 20 meters in height and date back to the 4th century BC, with two main gates as entrances and exits. In front of the city gates, there is a necropolis, a cemetery, where the dead were buried in terra cotta jars. The Athena temple, located on the highest point of the hill, was built in the Doric order and still attracts visitors today. Unfortunately, the statue of Athena was illegally removed by the Americans after the excavation.
The amphitheater, which had an estimated capacity of 2500 people, was built by the Romans in the 1st century AD. However, it was destroyed several times during earthquakes and later used as a source of rocks for many buildings in the village. It has since been restored by archaeologists and now serves as a venue for festivals and events during the season.
The agora, or shopping center, is one of the most lively and vibrant centers of ancient cities in antiquity and is surrounded by two Roman stoas, built at different times for shoppers. Stoas were colonnaded walkways or porticos that protected people from rain and sunburn.
Assos has been excavated by Canakkale 18 Mart University since 1995 and is open to visitors from 08:30 a.m. to 07:30 p.m. from April to October.
At one time, Assos was surrounded by oak tree forests. Acorn, which was one of the important raw materials of the paint industry, was exported from Assos until the 1950s. Stone buildings in the harbor area were built as warehouses to store acorns. After the discovery of vinyl paint, acorn lost its importance and was no longer used. The villagers then used the oak trees to make charcoal, and the buildings were converted into boutique hotels in 2005.
Assos is a hidden gem that is waiting to be discovered by visitors from around the world. With its rich history and stunning natural beauty, this village has something to offer for everyone. It is the perfect destination for history buffs, nature lovers, and anyone looking for a peaceful and serene escape from the hustle and bustle of everyday life.
The ancient city of Assos is surrounded by 4 km long city walls and elevated 240 meters above sea level, making it an ideal place to explore the rich history and culture of the Aeolians and the Antic Ages. Visitors can marvel at the well-preserved ruins of the city, including the Athena Temple, the Amphitheatre, and the Agora. The city walls, which are 4 km long and 20 meters high, are a testament to the city’s military strength and prowess. The Nekropol, a cemetery located in front of the city gates, is another must-see attraction, where visitors can see the death buried in terracotta jars.
In addition to its rich history, Assos is also surrounded by stunning natural beauty. The village is surrounded by oak tree forests, and visitors can take a leisurely stroll through the peaceful and serene landscape. The views from the top of the hill are breathtaking, and visitors can take in the panoramic views of the Aegean Sea and the neighboring islands.
Tour Maker Turkey offers tours to Assos Canakkale that are designed to help visitors fully experience the best that this hidden gem has to offer. Our knowledgeable and friendly tour guides will lead you through the village, providing insights and information about the history and culture of the area. They will also help you discover the hidden treasures of the surrounding forests and enjoy the breathtaking views from the top of the hill.
So why not visit Assos in Canakkale today and discover this hidden gem for yourself? Book a tour with Tour Maker Turkey and experience the rich history and stunning natural beauty of this magnificent village. With our tours, you can be sure of a truly unforgettable and enriching experience that you will cherish for years to come.
Book your tour now with Tour Maker Turkey and experience the beauty and history of Assos in Canakkale Turkiye!