Heredos Atticus Bathhouse and Aqua Complex

Huge aquapark of the Roman period

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The Heredos Atticus bathhouse and aqua complex, the second place to visit, is one of the remarkable buildings of the Roman period. Herodes Atticus’ bath complex is still among places to be seen in Alexandria-Troas.

Alexandria-Troas was like rebuilt, especially during the reign of the Roman Emperor Publius Aelius Hadrianus (August 10, 117 – July 10, 138). During the Roman period, especially the granite mines in the surrounding area started to be used at full capacity and granite construction materials and especially granite columns were started to be exported from Troas to all parts of the Roman Empire. The most famous of these mines is the one that is 700 meters from the village of Yahya Çavuş.

During this period, Herodes Atticus (birth 101 – death 177), who was a Greek aristocrat, sophist and also served as a Roman Senator and governor of all the independent cities in Anatolia including Troas, gave great importance to Troas. Troas was in a great droughtiness with its crowded population. As a solution to this problem, Heredos Atticus built a bathhouse, an aqueduct, a cistern and a water canal complex, the largest one seen in Anatolia during that Roman period. He virtually created an aqua park. In fact, when other Roman governors complained about him to Emperor Hadrianus, Herodes wrote an eloquent letter to the Emperor, voiding complaints against him, and collected the additional resources he wanted and even more. Thanks to Heredos, Troas got free from droughtiness, and the city entered the golden age with all development and housing activities. The Roman Empire, which began to weaken with barbarian attacks, was taken under the rule of Constantinus I, who increasingly expanded his domination, on July 25, 306. He was famous with the name of Constantine the Great (Dynasty: 25 July 306 – 22 May 337) among people. Constantine saw the great danger that the Roman city as well as the Roman Empire was at stake. For this reason, on one hand he united the disintegrating empire, on the other hand he began to search for a new capital, Nova Roma (New Rome) in a safer region for the Roman Empire. During this period, although he was offered many cities in Sicily, Corsica, Carthage and Spain, he refused. During this period he was offered many cities in Sicily, Corsica, Carthage and Spain, but he refused. Constantine, the first Christian emperor of Rome, was looking for a legendary place for his new capital. Eventually he came to Troas and decided to make this city the capital. Development and housing activities started first.

However, on his way back from an expedition to destroy another of his competitors, the legendary sign he saw on the Çamlıca hill in Üsküdar, a district of present-day Istanbul, decided to move his capital to the place where today’s Istanbul is located.

On May 11, 330, he moved his capital to Constantinople, made there Nova Roma, meaning New Rome, and declared it as the capital of the entire Roman Empire. Constantinople, today’s Istanbul, would be the capital of both the east and the west for a century until the Roman Empire was divided.

Since the city that connects the east and the west before the establishment of Constantinople was Alexandria-Troas, it was called as “Kestamboli, Kestanbol, Old Istanbul, Old Istanbul İçi. During the reign of Constantine, Troas’ marbles and magnificent columns were dismantled and used in the construction of Constantinople. Some of his nobles and people also moved to Constantinople.

As Troas was preserved as the center of bishopric in Byzantine period, there was always been a Troas bishopric in the Roman Catholic church.

Although it is not known exactly when the city was evacuated, it is thought that life continued until the 10th century. With the conquest of the region by Turks, the marbles and granite columns of the city were removed and used in the construction of new mosques and buildings.

There are many mosques and buildings in Istanbul where the columns can be seen. The most important of these is the elephant legs that hold the dome of the Blue Mosque, and many others, such as the Valide Mosque. Now we are going to the famous port of Alexandria-Troas where these columns were transported.

Virtual Tour


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