Balat Travel Guide

  • Theater at Miletus; Imperial box inside columns
    Theater at Miletus; Imperial box inside...
    by mtncorg
  • Inside Miletus theater; Byzantine fort above
    Inside Miletus theater; Byzantine fort...
    by mtncorg
  • The play begins
    The play begins
    by mtncorg

Balat Things to Do


    By the time Turks reached Miletus, the city’s glory days were long gone. Still, the town was not completely dead as is shown by the construction of this fine mosque which dates to 1403. Recent conservation efforts netted a EuropaNostra award in 2012.


    Miletus was the gateway for pilgrims on their way to the nearby oracle at the Temple of Apollo in Didyma. This oracle rivaled the oracle in Delphi in ancient world notoriety. The temple dates to at least the 8th Century BC and was in the charge of a priestly caste known as the Branchids. Following the unsuccessful Milesian support of the Ionian...


    The theater faces one of Miletus’ two harbors, the Theater Harbor, where the ticket office stands today. This is where the original Minoan colonists landed. The other harbor was behind the theater hill and was known as the Lion Harbor. A large monument was erected in honor of Pompey’s victory over the regional pirates in 63 BC. The monument used to...


    Built originally in the 4th Century BC, the theater was enlarged during the reign of Emperor Trajan in the 2nd Century CE to be able to hold 25,000 people. Seat numbers can still be found on the seats. In the center of the first two rows was a special imperial box. On the fifth row along the south side were seats inscribed as reserved “for Jews...

  • The necropolis

    In various places in Miletus there are necropoli dating from different period and presenting different types. The lower slopes of the hills of Kalabaktepe is the area the biggest part of the tombs are located. Necropoli of the Archaic, Classic, Hellenistic and Roman periods lie on the lower parts of the south ard south-west slopes of Kalabaktepe in...

  • The Byzantine Citadel

    The extant walls and the tower standing on the cavea of the theatre, are the walls for the citadel built during the Byzantine period. The citadel walls have been fortified with turrets and towers. The citadel has two gates, one on the east and the other on the west.

  • The Caravanserai

    The caravanserai is located on the south-eastern part of the theatre and was built in the 15th century. The two-storey caravanserai includes a courtyard and rooms for lodging. The lower floor of the building was used as stables, and the upper floor to lodge travellers.

  • The Sacred Gate (The south gate of the...

    The Sacred gate is standing in the central part of the walls surrounding the south of Miletus. Here was the place where the Sacred Road leading to the Apollo Temple in Didyma started, that's why this name was given to the gate. The gate, which is 5 meter wide with strong towers on each side, was built during different periods, from the Archaic...

  • The Theatre

    The Theatre, erected on the south-west slopes of the hill of Kaletepe is the best preserved building of Miletus. It was built in the 4th century BC but suffered different modification during the Hellenistic, Roman and Byzantine periods. If during the Hellenistic period the theatre could accommodate 5,300 spectators in the Roman period reached a...


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  • Diana75's Profile Photo

    by Diana75 Updated Mar 25, 2006

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Favorite thing: The name, which is Miletos in the lonic dialect and Milatos in the Doric one, is said to be related to the city of Milatos situated on the island of Crete.

    The geographer Strabo and the historian Epheros have written that the city was first founded by Cretans, whereas according to Homer it was founded by Carians.

    Although situated on extremely fertile and arable land, Miletus was an important harbor, the main activity being the maritime trade.

    A sign of Miletus prosperity is also the fact that the city was paying taxes of 10 talents while Ephesus, one of the most important cities of lonia, was paying only 7.5 talents.

    When Alexander seized Miletus the city attained a high development rate and regained its commercial importance.

    In the Byzantine period, the city boundaries were quite reduced, and buildings were mostly clustered around the theatre.

    The region was subjected to Turkish assaults after the battle of Malazgirt (1071) and gradually weakened. On coins issued in this period, the city is mentioned as Palatia, but this name was changed in a short period into Balat.

    In 1424 Balat was taken inside the boundaries of the Ottoman Empire by Murat II. During the time that elapsed until the proclamation of the Republic, the city gradually turned into a village and was completely abandoned in the 17th century.

    Balat was destroyed completely in the earthquake of 1955 and was moved into the new settlement area, about 1 km to the south of Miletus.

    View of the theatre
    Related to:
    • Archeology
    • Arts and Culture
    • Historical Travel

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