Türkiye’s UNESCO Sites - Troy: the City of Legends


5 Minute

Due to its geographical location, the lands of Türkiye hosted many historical events in which very vital developments in the history of humanity took place. As a result, Türkiye has become the protector of a unique cultural heritage that attracts the attention of the whole world. We continue to explore these precious cultural assets, which are on the UNESCO World Heritage List, together on the Turkish Museums platform.

Maybe you've read the book, maybe you've seen the movie. One way or another, chances are pretty weak that you've never heard of the famous epic of Troy. In this piece, we will talk about the city where the Iliad, one of the oldest known epics written by Homer, took place. Let's visit Troy which was thought to have taken place in the war described in the Iliad. Troy was included in the UNESCO World Heritage List in 1998. While visiting this city, you will get to know a place whose legends have survived, and you will even travel in time.

A Brief History of Troy 


When we look at the history of Troy, we see that the ancient city hosted many different civilizations uninterruptedly for 3,000 years. Because of its geographical location, Troy has become a cultural bridge between different regions as it is at the intersection point of Anatolia, Aegean, and Balkans. The city has been one of the most important centers of the region since the Late Bronze Age. According to the records in the Hittite tablets, a great war took place between the peoples of Wilusa and Ahhiyawa. Could this war be the famous Trojan War? Interestingly, we're not the only ones thinking about this issue. Even in Antiquity, people would visit Troy to pay their respects to the heroes mentioned in the Iliad. In other words, the city has been a favorite spot of tourists for thousands of years.

Monuments of Troy

Some of the impenetrable walls of Troy, which Homer mentioned in his epics, have survived to the present day and can be visited in the ancient city today. Legend has it that the strength of these walls came from the gods who built them, namely Poseidon and Apollo. But aside from the stories, the walls we can see in the ancient city draw attention with their magnificent craftsmanship. They may not be the same wall, but they sure are strong!

Other interesting structures you can see in Troy include the Temple of Athena, which witnessed great festivals in Antiquity, the Megaron structure, which is the first example to share the same order with many Greek temples that have survived to the present day, the Palace House that hosted the kings or important guests of the ancient city and the Sanctuary of the city. The Odeon building, which was financed by the Roman Emperor Hadrian, is also worth seeing.

Monuments of Troy is a center of great importance for the world of archaeology today. Here, you can get the chance to see different layers of the city! Do not forget to visit the area where different layers of the city can be seen, starting from the 3rd millennium BC to the Roman Empire Period.

Museum of Troy and Artifacts 

Speaking of places that you must see, another feature of this archaeological site is the museum located next to the ancient city. Dozens of priceless and unique artifacts found in the city are presented to visitors here. In Troy Museum, in addition to many sculptures, there are also remarkable works such as the Polyskena or Altıkulaç Sarcophagus. The museum hosts another small but very important artifact that should not be overlooked: the Luwian Seal. This small bronze seal is the oldest written document found in Troy, dating back to the Bronze Age. The tablet we mentioned above, which is likely to describe the Trojan War, is also in the museum. While this tablet is not conclusive evidence of the Trojan War, it is important and historical evidence pointing to it. Click here for more information about the Museum of Troy. 

Famous Trojan Horse 

Before we finish what we're going to tell you about Troy, a little advice for you. If you visit the ancient city, be sure to take a photo in front of the Trojan Horse at the entrance! As you can imagine, although this is not a real horse, it is a valuable replica made by a Turkish artist in 1975. We have never actually seen the horse and we only know from Homer's Iliad and Odyssey. This horse legend has such an important place in the history of humanity that even people who do not read epics or watch movies must know this tactic used in the Trojan War. According to legend, soldiers were hidden inside such a horse to enter the city of Troy, which resisted a 10-year siege. You can take a great photo in front of it!