ANCIENT CITY OF TROY AND TROJAN WAR!
Hi everyone! We continue our blog series with one of the highlights of Turkey! The Ancient City of Troy is a real star-side with its history, culture, and importance from past till today!
This post will take you on a journey in the depths of history by providing you the details of Ancient City of Troy – Trojan War and will explain to you the most asked questions about Troy Ancient City!
MOST ASKED QUESTIONS
Where is the Ancient City of Troy?
The Ancient city of Troy was located on the west coast of a piece of land known as Asia Minor. Nowadays, it is located within the boundaries of the city of Canakkale in Turkey. In the past, it had a very important and strategic position, dominating the Marmara Sea, which connects the Black Sea and the Aegean Sea.
Who excavated the Ancient City of Troy?
The first archaeological excavations in the ancient city of Troy were carried out by Heinrich Schliemann in 1870. He is known as the merchant, however, he has carried out some archeological works as an amateur archaeologist.
Who discovered the Ancient City of Troy?
Heinrich Schliemann was the first person who has discovered the ancient city of Troy. Heinrich Schliemann was one of the very best merchants of his era. It is known that he was speaking about 11 languages at a very good level and conducted trade in many major countries such as; Italy, Germany, Soviet Union, etc…
The Iliad, which belongs to the famous ancient writer Homer, comes to hand one day and starts reading. In the book, Homer mentions a wonderful city from centuries ago and a war that lasted here for 10 years. Schliemann is very impressed by what he saw and read in this book.
He sets out to work with all his wealth to find it and bring it to light. He started this adventure in 1868, he faced numerous diplomatic and field difficulties. In 1870, when he was about to give up, he found the treasure of King Priamos in the 2nd layer of Troy and the discovery of Troy took place after he believed again that he was on the right track.
When was Troy discovered?
Troy is discovered in 1870 by an amateur archeologist Heinrich Schliemann.
Was the Trojan War real
According to the historical sources we obtain from Herodotus, Eratosthenes, and Homer, it is a real war.
When was the Trojan War?
It is said the Trojan War to have taken place approximately in the 12th and 11th centuries BC, as there is no exact date for this. The sources obtained from Eratosthenes and the dates obtained from the excavation area, indicating that a disaster happened in the city, are 1194-1184 BC.
What caused the Trojan War?
The kidnapping of Helen, wife of the Mycenaean King Menelaos, during a state visit to Sparta by Paris, the heir of Troy City, caused the Trojan War to begin.
How long did the Trojan War last?
The Trojan War lasted 10 years, which was said in the Iliad of Homer’.
Who fought in the Trojan War?
The Trojan War was between the Greeks and the people of Troy.
Who won the Trojan War?
At the end of 10 years lasted war, Greeks won the famous Trojan War.
ANCIENT CITY OF TROY
The ancient city of Troy, which is about 30km from Çanakkale center (about 350 km away from Istanbul), is located on the Hisarlık Hill on the Anatolian side of the Çanakkale Strait. The ancient city of Troy hosted 9 different civilizations between 3000 BC and 400 AD, thanks to its commercial location, harbor, and fertile lands. The city of Troy, which has 9 different layers, was destroyed many times due to natural disasters and is a mound built on the same hill again. During the long years of excavations, artifacts and settlement traces of each layer were found.
Especially the sea trade from Troy port is thought to cover the Aegean, Mediterranean, Marmara, and the Black Sea. Nowadays, it is not possible to see the harbor view when you visit to the ancient city of Troy. As in the Ancient City of Ephesus, alluviums filled the harbor in Troy too.
While visiting the ancient city of Troy, you will not see a complete and well-preserved Roman or Ancient Greek City like the one you see in Ephesus Ancient City or Aphrodisias Ancient City. But once you learn about its historical and mythological story, you realize how important and glorious place you visit at that moment.
The ancient city of Troy with a great reputation in the world not only in Turkey; It has managed to survive to the present day with its rich cultural heritage. And, was included in the UNESCO World Heritage List in 1998. 2018 was declared the year of Troia, as it is the 20th anniversary of the acceptance of the Ancient City of Troy to the UNESCO world heritage list.
FIRST EXCAVATIONS IN ANCIENT CITY OF TROY!
The first excavations in the ancient city of Troy were carried out in 1870 by the amateur archaeologist Heinrich Schliemann. Schliemann, who was influenced by the epic of Homer’s Iliad, thought that the ancient city of Troy was located on the Hisarlık hill south of the Dardanelles and started to work.
Three years later, he found the Priamos treasure in the 2nd layer of the ancient city of Troy and smuggles it to Germany. Schliemann donated all the kidnapped artifacts to the Berlin museum before his death. However, all the works were captured by Russia during World War II. Today, the artifacts kidnapped from Troy are exhibited in the Pushkin Museum.
MYTHS IN TROY AND HOMER!
The city, which was established on the foothills of the Kaz mountains, has been engraved in minds with its mythological aspect too. The first beauty contest in known history(according to the ancient Greek myths), which was the cause of the famous Trojan war, was held here. The competition took place between Hera(the wife of Zeus), Athena(the goddess of intelligence), and Aphrodite(the goddess of love and beauty).
Aphrodite had cheated and promised to Paris, the jury of the competition, to have the love of the most beautiful woman in the world. In return of this promise, Paris chooses Aphrodite as the winner of the competition. He then kidnaps Helen(the wife of the King of Sparta), and the Trojan war begins(explained the Trojan War in the following section).
The biggest share in the Trojan legend being so known belongs to the famous Aegean Poet Homeros. The famous Ionian poet Homeros wrote and compiled the last 51 days of the 10-years long Trojan War. Still, Homer’s Iliad and Odyssey epics are among the most known and read works/books.
This world-famous work, of course, was a source of inspiration in Hollywood and was revived with the movie “Troy“, starring Brad Pitt. With the movie made in 2004, the ancient city of Troy gained more recognition and became a stopping point for millions of foreign tourists. The most indispensable part of the Troy trips should be the Trojan horse(in the center of Canakkale City), which the Truva movie company left as a gift to the Turks.
The Trojan Horse, which welcomes you in all its glory, is one of the most beautiful photo spots. It is possible to see a similar Trojan horse when you go to the ancient city of Troy too. You can even climb the Trojan horse, which was built by the Ministry of Tourism and Culture, and enjoy the view of the ancient city from the upper floors.
THE TROJAN WAR!
The Trojan War, which lasted for 10 years, is still being wondered about, even though centuries have passed. This legendary war, which in the past came to life from the pen of the famous writer Homer and was the subject of Greek and Roman artists, still blows everyone’s mind. It shouldn’t be too hard to guess why…
The Trojan War is a magnificent tale of love and passion, pain and loss, courage, and revenge. This great war, which took place in Anatolia and started with the abduction of the most beautiful woman of the period, is about the 10 years of pressure and the tragic end of Troy. It is such a great battle that not only mortals but also gods and goddesses took place!
BIRTH OF PARIS (Heir to the Throne of Troy)
In the 13th century BC, the Trojan King Priamos would have a son named Paris. A few days before the birth, Queen Hekabe had a dream that the flame coming out of her abdomen enveloped all of Troy. The oracles said that the dream does not signify a good future and that the newborn child will cause the destruction of Troy.
Upon this, when Paris was born, King Priamos leaves his son on the foothills of the Goose Mountains and leaves him to die. However, a shepherd family found Paris and raised him with their other kids. Young Paris, who lives as a shepherd, is very surprised when he learned that he will act as a judge for the goddesses of Olympus (3 beauties).
LEGEND OF 3 BEAUTIES
It all begins with Eris, the goddess of chaos and discord, not being invited to the wedding of the Goddess of Sea, Thetis. Enraged by this situation, Eris reveals an apple written on “to the most beautiful”. The candidates for the contest are Zeus’ wife Hera, Aphrodite(the goddess of beauty and love), and Athena(the goddess of intelligence). They apply to Zeus to be chosen as the most beautiful in 3 goddesses. However, Zeus, who does not want to be involved in this incident, chooses Paris as the referee.
Zeus hands Paris an apple and tells him to give it to the most beautiful. Not wanting to lose the contest, goddesses offer attractive bribes to Paris. Goddess Hera promised the Asian kingdom. Athena offers wisdom and success. Aphrodite says that the most beautiful woman in the world can have her love. The woman mentioned is Helen, wife of the Spartan king Menelaos. Considering the offers, Paris prefers Aphrodite.
TROJAN WAR BEGINS!
Years pass and Paris returns as the heir to the kingdom of Troy. Paris, who went to Sparta for a state visit, was enchanted by the beauty of Queen Helen and kidnapped Helen while returning to Troy. Upon this, Menelaos, who wanted to save the broken honor and take back his wife, organized an expedition to Troy with the help of his brother Agamemnon.
According to what Homer told in the Iliad, very striking events took place between the Spartans and the Trojans, who could not cross the powerful Troy walls for 10 years.
Although Achilles, the most important hero of the war, favored the Greek troops, he withdrew from the war when Agamemnon captured Bresis as a reward of honor to Achilles. However, he later becomes enraged when his close friend Patroclus is killed by Hector and rejoins the battle.
Achilles quickly killed Hector, who was avenged, and dragged him behind the chariot. Achilleus, who did not return Hector’s body to the Trojans, surrenders Hector’s body to his family after the Trojan king Priamos, who came secretly to his tent, pleaded with him and offered him a ransom. The death of Hector is mentioned in the last part of the Iliad.
THE DEATH OF AKHILLEUS
Mourned by the death of Hector, a great warrior, the Trojans continued to defend their walls and city! Akhilleus and his team had a big share in the war that was going on in favor of the Greeks. Achilleus had learned from his mother Thetis before he joined the war that he was destined to die young.
Indeed, his death was from Paris, who kidnapped Helen and started the war. Paris shoots Achilles in the heel(coincidently), which is his weakest point. According to the story, Thetis bathed his son Achilles in the Styx River to make him immortal, so his heel did not touch the water, so it was believed that his weakest point was there. For this reason, the tendon in the heel of the foot is called the ‘Achilles tendon‘ today!
THE FALL OF TRUVA
The Greeks pretend to withdraw from the war and put into action the genius plan designed by Odysseus, the King of Ithaca. They place their soldiers inside the wooden horse they prepared and leave it at the door of Troy as if it was a gift from the gods. The Trojans accepted the gift and took it inside the walls. While the Trojans were asleep at night, the Greek soldiers captured the women and brutally killed everyone who remained. And thus Troy fell down!
HOW YOU CAN GET TO TROY TODAY?
The Ancient City of Troy is located on the Anatolian side of the Dardanelles. There is no airport and no train transportation to Troy. The only way you can get to Troy Ancient city is by Road Transportation. It is 30 km away from Çanakkale City Center, roughly 400 km away from Istanbul, 300 km away from Bursa, and 310 km away from Izmir.
If you are thinking to Travel to Troy from Cappadocia or Antalya (such cities far away), it is smarter to take a flight to Istanbul, Bursa, or Izmir. Then, take road transport to Troy. This road transport might be private transfer, or renting a car since there are no direct busses which will take you to the entrance of Troy Ancient City!
The Ancient City of Troy is a very important destination that started from the Ancient Greeks and hosted many Anatolian civilizations. As mentioned above, there are 9 separate layers. Each of these layers carries traces from a different period and a different community.
The first layer is dated between 3000 and 2500 BC. The last (9th) layer is dated to the Eastern Roman Empire and carries traces from between the 1st century BC to the 1st century AD. That is why it was the subject of Homer’s epic The Iliad and Hollywood. Today, millions of travelers visit this Ancient site, which is also included in the Unesco World Heritage list.
The most important advice we can give you might be: Troy Ancient City is not a well-preserved and complete destination like Ephesus Ruins. If you prefer to travel on your own, and you do not have advanced archeology knowledge, you may not be very pleased with this visit!
Therefore, you can choose one of our Private Guided Tours to Troy Ancient City. Departing from Istanbul, Bursa, Izmir, Selcuk, or Kusadasi; There are tours that include transportation, guiding, entrance fees, parking fees, and lunch. When you book one of these tours, you don’t have to worry about anything else. Our professional team will take you from the door of your hotel, you will have a wonderful experience and you will return to your hotel again…
In any way, we hope that you can collect some useful information from this content and create your smooth-running Travel Plan to Troy Ancient City. We also highly recommend you to read our post about Cappadocia, one of the most popular destinations of Turkey, before planning your Trip! If you liked our posts, do not forget to share it with your friends!