THE ANCIENT CITY OF TROY, Turkey

Troy is a real city that used to be on the coast and was inhabited for over 3000 years. Weapons and efforts of defence have been found there, so there have been many battles there. The best Trojan Horse is by far the one at the port. The one at the ruins may allow you to climb into it, but it can be roped off. The third horse is at the roadside on the way to the museum.

The site of the ruins is NOT a tour for those with mobility problems, and if you are in doubt the film of the ruins and the museum are advised. The museum is wheelchair friendly, but the ruins are not.

The movie Troy starred Brad Pitt and Eric Bana. The site was found by an early archaeologist who like others, was driven by the desire to find gold and treasure. He no doubts found some, and some treasures are said to be in Russia. There is still very much to unearth, like the amphitheatre.

The site is normally a twin visit with the museum, and we enjoyed doing the museum first.

Legend has it, in Greek mythology, that the Trojan War was an attack on the city of Troy by the Achaeans (Greeks) after Paris of Troy took Helen from her husband Menelaus, King of Sparta. The movie Troy starring Brad Pitt and Eric Bana is based on a tale first written down in the epic poem The Iliad, written by the Greek author Homer in about 750 BC. In short, the Greeks give the Trojans a parting gift, a large Wooden Horse. It is taken inside the city walls and the Trojans (People from Troy) party. When drunk and asleep, the many Greeks come out from inside the horse and attack them. The rest of the army was hiding on an island nearby, thought to have sailed away. The Trojan Horse may be fictional, but Troy is a real place and there were many battles there. 

A Bronze Age city buried beneath a huge mound in northwest Turkey is thought to be the ancient city of Troy because gold treasures were found there in 1868. They were thought to be the gold of Priam, the King of Troy. However in the mad rush to dig the gold, they almost ruined the clues in the dig. The gold went to Russia and has never been returned, and it was from the wrong age. Although 6km inland, in that period the Aegean Sea went that far in, so the city was on the coast near the Dardanelles Strait and directly across from Greece. It is the right size for Troy, with about 10,000 inhabitants. Since 3000 BC nine different cities have been there. The one that fits the time in Homer’s poem is known as Layer Six and dates to around 1250 BC. The city by the sea is also close to the island of Tenedos, said to be where the rest of the Greek Army hid when they pretended to sail away. It is also close to Mount Ida, where, in the story, the gods Zeus and Hera sat and watched the Trojan War unfold.

Many weapons have been found at the dig of the city whose walls were five metres thick and nine metres high, with towering gateposts. So, there were definitely battles there. The last people to occupy this area were the Romans, up to about 500 AD.

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