Miletus which is in the vicinity of Söke (nearby Kusadasi, in the Aegean region of Turkey), was on the seashore in the ancient times. The Miletus people who had founded about 90 colonies in the Mediterranean and Black Sea regions, after 650 B.C., had resisted the Persian invasions in Anatolia, but they were defeated finally and the city was destroyed by the Persians in 5th c. B.C.
When you arrive at the zone of the ruins, the magnificent theater of the city appears in sight at first. The theater had been constructed during the Hellenistic period and, it acquired its present characteristics by means of the annexes made during the Roman period. The walls of the front facade of the theater, are 140 m long and 30 m high, and are an interesting example of stone workmanship. This theater was large enough to hold 24.000 people, and a fortress was built upon it during the Byzantine period seizing its capacity to 15.000 people.
On the opposite side of the theater there is a Selcuk Caravanserai and the baths built for Faustina the II., wife of Marcus Aurelius (161-180 A.D.), are situated adjacent to the theater. The Temple of Serapis, belonging to the 3rd century A.D., is behind the baths. The rectangular buildings seen on one side, are warehouse buildings. The adjacent Southern Agora building which has dimensions of 164 x 196 m and is surrounded by stoas, belongs to the 2nd century A.D. and its southern gate is at the museum of Berlin today.
When you go out through the northern gate of the Agora, you see the Bishop's Church, Martyrion belonging to the 5th century A.D. beside it, and the ceremonial road which is 100 m long and 28 m wide, extending in front of the Agora. On the east side of it, there is a fountain in the Public Square (Nymphaion) belonging to the 2nd century A.D., and Bouleuterion (the Senate Building) is situated opposite to it. It is known that this building had been constructed during the years 175-164 B.C., and the Temple of Asklepios and the Sacred Place are situated at its side. At the side of these, the Northern Agora extends along the sacred road and at the right hand side of the sacred road, there is the Gymnasium belonging to the 2nd century B.C. the entrance of which has been brought to an erect position at present.
The baths that Vergilius Capito had ordered to be constructed during the time of Claudius, are situated north of the Gymnasium; and some of these baths were used during the Selcuk Period. at the northern end of the Ceremonial Road, the Harbor Gate which was a passage with 16 columns is situated; and on the east of this road there is Delphinion which is a work of the Archaic period.
When you go towards the north from here, the port stoa, the Harbor Monument built in the year 31 B.C., the Small Harbor Monument and the Synagogue are located at the left hand side. The statues of the lions on both sides of the port were used to block the entrance to the Military Harbor by a chain. On the opposite side, the Roman Baths are seen.
The remains of the Stadium, Western Agora and the Temple of Athena belonging to the 5th c. B.C., are located south of Miletus. The only ancient Turkish work in Miletus is the Mosque of Ilyas Bey, ruler of the area at that time. The mosque was built in the year 1404 A.D. and it can be visited today