Priene, in the Hellenistic period a small city of 4,000 inhabitants, is situated near the village of Gullubahce in the southwest of the district of Soke. It was discovered in the 19th century. After the excavation of the English in 1868 and those of Thomas and Rayet in 1873, its steets and buildings were finally brought to light by the thorough excavations carried out for the Berlin Museum by C. Humann and later T. Weigand from 1895-8.
If the statues, reliefs, fragments of decoration, friezes, earthenware vessels, ceramics, weapons, various tools, marble vases, tablets, medallions and coins which were found at Priene and are now in the museums of London Paris, Berlin and Istanbul, could be reassembled In Priene itself, they would constitute the most interesting museum of the Classical Orient.
The Walls: If one walks from the German Tower in the village of Gullubahce towards the mountain, one sees that the city walls, well-preserved in places, have a front and rear face of smooth-hewn rectangular stones…>>
The Streets: The streets of the city, built in the period up to the fourth century B.C. according to the principles of Hippodamus of Miletus, were laid out regularly in draughtboard pattern, pointing to the four cardinal points and crossing one another at right-angles…>>
The Agora : Right in the center of town is the Agora, the heart of commercial and political life. One first passes through a little square, lined on 3 sides by shops which sold various kinds of goods…>>
The Prytaneum: Behind the Sacred Portico, and to the North of the Main Street, was the Prytaneum, an open courtyard with rooms giving off on all four sides. This was both the working place of the city magistrates, and the city’s public meeting-place…>>
The Ecclesiasterium: At the western extremity of the Prytaneum and behind the Sacred Stoa, is a rectangular hall, built in 220 B.C., with marble staircases on 3 sides. This building shows to advantage the remarkable skill and taste of the Prienian architects…>>
The Gymnasium: As in Athens, the children and youths of Priene spent most of their time in open places like the Gymnasium and the Stadium, where they did their lessons and physical training and also had their amusements. There were two gymnasiums in Priene…>>
The Temple of Athena Polias: This temple is situated south of the main street which divides the town in two from the center. Of this building, the most famous in the city, only the foundations remain..>>
The Theater: The theater of Priene, next to the Temple of Athena, is, with its eight tiers of seats, the armchairs for those at the front of the orchestra, the side-entrances (Parodoi), and its doors, proscenium and stage in excellent condition, the best-preserved of all ancient Greek theaters…>>