We are used to seeing ancient Roman and Greek cities in Turkey. However, did you know that there is vast city built by the ancient Macedonians on a plain, surrounded by deep valleys in Western Turkey?
Blaundos Ancient City
Blaundos Ancient city is located 40 km away from the Western Turkish city of Uşak, which is a part of the Aegean area of Turkey.
Blaudus was established by the Macedonians, who stayed in Anatolia after Alexander the Great’s military campaign in the area. The Macedonian folk of the city called themselves the “Macedonians of Blaundus”. After Alexander the Great’s reign, Blaundos became part of the Kingdom of Pergamon, and later, was occupied by the Romans. The city reached its golden age in the Roman times.
The city of Blaundus is built on a vast plain surrounded by deep valleys and canyons, so it resembles a peninsula.
A temple, theater, stadium, rock graves, a colonnaded street and the well-preserved city walls are the most notable sites in Blaundos Ancient City.
Blaundos Ancient City is free to visit. There is no security so there are no specified visiting hours. You can visit it anytime, which we confirmed by calling Uşak Municipality, although, a signboard in front of the city entrance says that you can not visit the site after 7 pm.
Blaundos has a free parking lot.
There is no public transportation to Blaundos Ancient City. You have to go there with your own vehicle.
Story Of The Discovery of Blaundos
In 1834, British traveller and antiquarian, Francis Vyvyan Jago Arundell, visited the area and made an elaborate drawing of the city. Here is that very accurate drawing.
Upon examining the coins found around Blaundos, Francis V. J. Arundell assumed he had found the ancient city of Klannudda (or Alaudda), which actually stands in the northernwest direction of Blaundos.
This inaccurate assumption was changed, when the British geologist, William John Hamilton, found inscriptions on a slab which said “Blaundeon Makedonon” in 1845. And it was clear that what Arundell had thought to be Klannudda was the ancient Macedonian city of Blaundos.
German researcher, K. Buresch, who visited Blaundos in 1894, reported that the Ottoman officers had used a considerable amount of the ruins of Blaundos for the construction of military barracks in one of the surrounding villages.
Arriving at Blaundos
When heading towards the city, a couple of hundred meters before the parking lot and the city entrance, there are two notable sites that you must stop to see. It is not possible to miss them since there are big sign boards on the sides of the road.
The Monumental Tomb
This structure is dated back to the second half of the first century C.E. It is the tomb of one of the important figures of Blaundos. The ruins of the tomb are quite dilapidated and covered with vegetation. However, it is still possible to see ornaments and stylish rock carvings on the broken pieces.
The Arch & Aqueducts
A couple of meters after the monumental tomb, on the right side of the road, there is a big arch. Behind the arch you can see what remains of the long aqueducts that once provided water to Blaundos.
The Ancient Theater
The ancient theater of the city was built on the side of the cliff, however, it is not possible to go all the way down the cliff to actually see it. You might be able to see the remains of it from the edge of the cliff top.
The City Gate & City Walls
The first two things that welcome you upon parking your car are the huge city wall and the big gate that once served as the main city entrance. It surprised us greatly to see that such high walls survived through the centuries and the harsh winds of the high plateu where Blaundos stands.
The Colonnaded Street
The surviving remains of the colonnaded street indicate that the city center was well-planned and constructed in a grid pattern. Only a few columns of the doric portico on both sides of the street survived.
The Demeter (Roman Name: Ceres) Temple
A couple of steps before the colonnaded street, on the right side of the trail, you can see the ruins of a huge temple. This is the Demeter Temple of the city. The dilapidated blocks and parts of the temple are scattered around. It is possible to see many rock carvings, patterns and ornaments on the broken pieces of the temple building. The marble floor of the temple is quite well-preserved. In fact, the marble slabs are still very smooth and shiny. If you roam around the temple and look carefully, you can still see some rocks with name Ceres (Roman equavilent of the goddess Demeter) written on them.
It is built on the northern cliff of the city. Aside from a few seating rows, not much survived through the centuries.
The State Building
Often called the Stonehenge of Anatolia, this is the structure which Blaundos is known for. It is thought to be the remains of what was once a state building where official affairs were discussed. Upon looking at the photo of the remains, I guess you can understand why is it called the Stonehenge of Anatolia.
Rock Graves Down In The Valley
When you reach the remains of the state building, with the main gate behind you, walk leftwards towards the edge of the cliff. There, you will see the rock grave rooms at the bottom of the valley. During the excavations, archeologists found dozens of rock grave rooms with well-preserved paintings of animals and plants in different colors on the walls.
Unfortunetely, going down the rock graves is almost impossible. The cliff is very steep and the ground is not that firm. What you can do is to simply enjoy the view from the top of the plateu where the city is located. Or, you might as well zoom in with your phone camera which can serve as makeshift binoculars.