"Assos - Greek legacy overlooking the sea" Top 5 Page for this destination Assos by Willettsworld

Assos Travel Guide: 49 reviews and 202 photos

Assos, also known as Behramkale, is a village in the northern Aegean Region of Turkey. It’s located on the northern coast of the Gulf of Edremit, across the northern coast of the Greek island of Lesvos. Though officially named Behramkale most people still call the town by its ancient name of Assos.

Assos was founded from 900-1000 BC by Aeolian colonists from Lesbos. The settlers built a Doric Temple to Athena on top of a crag in 530 BC. From this temple Hermias of Atarneus, a student of Plato, ruled Assos, the Troad and Lesbos for a period of time, under which the city experienced its greatest prosperity. Under his rule, he encouraged philosophers to move to the city. As part of this, in 348 BC Aristotle came here and married King Hermeias's niece, Pythia, before leaving to Lesbos three years later in 345 BC. This 'golden period' of Assos ended several years later when the Persians arrived, and subsequently tortured Hermias to death. The Persians were driven out by Alexander the Great in 334 BC. Between 241 and 133 BC, the city was ruled by the Kings of Pergamon. However, in 133 BC, the Pergamons lost control of the city as it was absorbed by the Roman empire. St. Paul also visited the city during his third missionary journey through Asia Minor, which was between 53-57 AD, on his way to Lesbos. From this period onwards, Assos shrunk to a small village, as it has remained ever since.

The Greeks left behind several ruins which lie over different levels of a hill that overlooks the sea. These include an Agora, gymnasium, temples, theatre and houses. The inhabited village lies right at the top of the hill and down the other side and features many wonderful old stone cottages and cobbled streets which are well worth a wander around. I came here on my way from Canakkale to Bergama.

  • Last visit to Assos: Jan 2010
  • Intro Written Mar 6, 2010
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