Sunday, January 22, 2017

T is for Troy in NW Turkey

After reading Homer's “Iliad” as teenager, I had high hopes to see the ruins of Troy in person.

So, on our drive to the Turkish wine island of Bozcaada five years ago, we stopped to see the UNESCO historical site of Troy, located along the Aegean Sea on the Çanakkale peninsula.

Sadly, due to earthquakes and archeological lootings over the years, Troy is not as impressive as I had hoped – piles of random stones here and there. If you want to be impressed, head to Pergamon or Aphrodisias instead. Still, Troy is impressive for its age as the oldest ruins date from 3000 BC.
At least you can still see part of the ancient theatre in Troy.
The fact that Troy even exists as a real city also is impressive. Until the 19th century, many people assumed that Homer's Iliad was fiction. In 1863 a British expatriate named Frank Calvert discovered ancient ruins at a place in western Turkey called Hisarlık and was convinced they were Troy. German archaeologist Heinrich Schliemann showed up in 1868, provided money for more digging, and took all the credit for discovering Troy. From what I understand, Schliemann took many of the Troy artefacts, including the “Treasure of Priam” back to Germany, which the Russians stole after WWII. Today, the treasure is still hidden somewhere in Moscow. It seems history is often filled with lots of drama.

Anyway, if you love a good Greek tragedy, it’s worth stopping by to visit Troy. But you’ll have to visit museums in Russia or Germany to see many of the valuable artefacts.

I’m linking this post to the monthly travel guide link up organized by Fiona, a fellow Australian blogger, at Tiffin Bite Sized Food Adventures. Each month features a new letter of the alphabet. This month is the letter “T.” Please pop on over to Fiona’s blog to read more travel stories or feel free to link up your own!

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2 comments:

Fiona Ryan said...

Snap! I knew Turkey would feature : ) I've been to Troy also. We caught the ferry from Cannakale after we visited the Gallipoli sites. It was interesting but as we didn't have a guide, we sort of had to guess a lot. Still, it was part of a wonderful holiday. Wait until I tell my friends about the wine island - they will be sorry we missed it!

sherry from sherrys pickings said...

oh dear that is a bit sad isn't it? it does indeed look like ruins. it's quite awful that so many ancient ruins have been pillaged by locals for building and by eager archaeologists from other countries. ah well at least we can still some of it in place even if it is fallen rocks. and yes there is always the British Museum!

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