Alinda Archaeological Site is 59 km (36 mile) far to Aydin centurum. The archaeological site at Alinda must be one of Turkey’s most magnificent not only for the quality of its ruins but because of its spectacular setting high up above the village of Karpuzlu amid a wonderful rocky landscape that may put British visitors in mind of Dartmoor. Yet for some mysterious reason it receives almost no visitors and there is no admission charge.

If you visit on a Saturday you will find an unexpectedly large market for a settlement of 2,000 people filling the streets of Karpuzlu.

Alinda even has a backstory to match its setting which draws in not just one but two iconic figures from the ancient past: Alexander the Great and Queen Ada, the sister of Mausolus, the man who was laid to rest in the famous Mausoleum of Haicarnassus (Bodrum).

The site here is believed to have been settled by the Carians but only really stamped its mark on history when Queen Ada of Halikarnas was usurped and took refuge in the mountain city. Inn 334 BC Alexander the Great appeared on the scene and Ada offered not just to surrender the city to him but also to help him against her treacherous relatives. Finally, she offered to adopt Alexander as her son and heir. He declined to take Alında from her but accepted her offer of help and eventually named her queen of all Caria. He also accepted her adoption offer.

Otherwise very little for sure is known about the site’s history; even the claim that it had a temple to Adonis endowed with a statue of Aphrodite by the sculptor Praxiteles is unconfirmed.

The city appears to have survived at least into early Byzantine times when it was a bishopric under Stauropolis (Afrodisias). Later, though, a decision must have been made to move to a new site further down the slope. On its flanks there are shells of pretty little stone houses like those at Stratonikeia that date from late Ottoman times. Karpuzlu itself looks entirely modern.

Open daily between 08:00-17:00
Address: Karpuzlu –  Aydin
Tel: +90.256.225 2259
Admission: Free

* Ticket booths are closing 30 minutes or an hour before the museum closing time*

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