The mystery behind the stones spreads out from the narrow streets and houses and castle of Behramkale down to the meadows below and the vast sea beyond Cappadocia: Situated in the heart of Turkey, amidst a unique landscape of volcanic tufa rock sculpted by the continuous erosion of the elements. It is a biblical land, the land of St. Paul, where the first Christians carved churches and dwellings out of fairy chimneys and dug subterranean cities to evade the Uralo-Altaic invaders. Although Assos is a long seven-hour drive from Istanbul through Thrace and across the Dardanelles, this enchanting seaside village provides a restful and an intellectual retreat. Also known as Behramkale, the tiny village is divided into two halves stretching along the quays of the old harbor and climbing up the rocky hill above.
The temple of Athena, a majestic Doric ruin of grey stone, is one of the most important antique sites in the region. It stands atop the highest rocky outcrop of a cliff above the Aegean Sea and looks across to the Greek island of Lesbos. The agora and gymnasium are visible from the steep road that descends to the sea.
The mystery behind the stones spreads out from the narrow streets, houses and castle of Behramkale down to the meadows below and the vast sea beyond. Historians recall that the city of Assos was founded by Aeolians from the city of Methymna on the island of Lesbos (Mytilene) and that it was under Lydian rule from 560-547 B.C. and Persian rule from 547-479 B.C., later gaining its independence and becoming a member of the Athenian Naval League. Assos is ideal for days of pleasure and romance. In a successful attempt at architecturally sensitive tourist development, many of the hotels in Assos are built from local stone and blend in wonderfully with the village’s older buildings.
Assos (Behramkale, Asos), though an ancient Aeolian city, has made its mark as a tourist attraction only at the end of the 1980s. With a rocky hillside to lean upon, the city is set above the charming and unspoiled finishing village of Behramkale in the Aegian region.
If you are planning a quiet holiday far away from the maddening crowd, then this small, romantic Turkish province is the best choice. Assos (Behramkale, Asos) promises a vintage charm like never before.History of Assos
Aeolian colonists from Lesbos laid the foundation of Assos (Behramkale, asos) in the 7th century B.C., which passed under Lydian rule some 100 years later. In 546 B.C. when the Lydians were defeated in the hands of Persians, the beginning of Persian rule in Assos (Behramkale, asos) was marked. Some of the prominent Persian governors of the region were Ariobarzanes, Euboulos, Hermias. Hermius, who was a eunuch, was a pupil of Plato and a friend of Aristotle.
The later stayed in Assos (Behramkale, asos) from 348-345 B.C. Alexander invaded the city in 334 B.C. and later it was attached to the Pergamon kingdom (241-133 B.C.). Pergamon rule was succeeded by Roman rule and consequently by Byzantine Empire. After 395A.D., i.e. during the Byzantine rule, the city came to be known as Makhram. Finally with Murad I ascending the throne in 1359 A.D., Assos came under Ottoman rule, which ended in 1389 A.D.