Explore The North Aegean
The site entrance is by the car and coach park. Here and at nearby shops you can buy a map/guide, A Tour of Troia by Dr Manfred Korfmann, the archeologist who, between 1988 and his death in 2005, oversaw the site’s excavation.
Just beyond the gate stands a 1970s reconstruction of the Homeric wooden horse. You can climb a ladder up into the horse’s belly and look out of windows cut into its flanks (which presumably didn’t feature in the original design). A few paces west, the city ruins cloak an outcrop overlooking the Troad plain, which extends about 8km to the sea. A circular trail takes you around the site, with twelve explanatory panels going some way to bringing the ruins to life. Standing on what’s left of the ramparts and looking across the plain, it’s not too difficult to imagine a besieging army, legendary or otherwise, camped below.
Most impressive of the extant remains are the east wall and gate from Troy VI (1700–1275 BC), of which 330m remain, curving around the eastern and southern flanks of the city. The inward-leaning walls, 6m high and over 4m thick, would have been surmounted by an additional brick section. A ramp paved with flat stones from Troy II (2500–2300 BC), which would have led to the citadel entrance, also stands out, as does the nearby partially reconstructed Megaron Building (protected beneath a giant canvas roof) from the same era, the bricks of which were turned a bright red when Troy II was destroyed by fire. Schliemann erroneously used the evidence of this fire to conclude that this had been Homer’s Troy and that the hoard he discovered here made up “Priam’s treasure”.
The most important monument of Greco-Roman Troy VIII-IX, or Ilium, is the Doric temple of Athena, rebuilt by Alexander the Great’s general, Lysimakhos, after Alexander himself had visited the temple and left his armour as a gift. The most famous relief from the temple, depicting Apollo astride four pawing stallions, is now in Berlin. Troy was an important religious centre during Greek and Roman times, and another sanctuary to the Samothracian deities can be seen near the westernmost point of the site, outside the walls. East of this are a Greco-Roman odeion and bouleuterion (council hall).