The first of Sardis’s two sites lies just north of the road on the eastern edge of Sartmustafa. Entry is via a partially revealed, marble-paved Roman avenue, which passes various shops, though low walls with discernible doorways are all that remain.

A break in the shopping mall leads into the restored synagogue. The walls are covered with copies of the original coloured stonework, now housed in the Manisa Museum; the extensive floor mosaics are, however, original.

Adjacent to the synagogue, the gymnasium and bath complex was once the city’s most prominent building. Its Marble Court, the entry from the palaestra to the baths, has been spectacularly restored to its appearance when first built in 211 AD. The walls behind the columns would have had marble revetments and the podia would have supported statues, forming a splendid multistorey facade implying association with some imperial cult. Behind the court are the remains of a plunge-pool and rest area.

Travel offers; book through Rough Guides

Turkey features

The latest articles, galleries, quizzes and videos.

Budget trips: 20 of the cheapest places to travel

Budget trips: 20 of the cheapest places to travel

1. Thailand There’s a reason why Thailand remains so popular with backpackers – it’s got idyllic islands, a rich culture, beach-huts aplenty, tantalising…

21 Aug 2015 • Emma Gibbs camera_alt Gallery
The film that will inspire your next trip to Turkey

The film that will inspire your next trip to Turkey

The allure of Istanbul is hard to beat. This thrilling city bridges two continents with a history spanning more than 2000 years. And with Istanbul’s Atatürk …

05 Aug 2015 • Eleanor Aldridge videocam Video
Video: why Cappadocia is best seen from above

Video: why Cappadocia is best seen from above

The ethereal landscape of Cappadocia is one of Turkey's top attractions, and the fields of naturally-hewn "fairy chimneys" and mysterious rock caves here hav…

03 Jun 2015 • Eleanor Aldridge videocam Video
View more featureschevron_right

Join over 60,000 subscribers and get travel tips, competitions and more every month

Join over 60,000 subscribers and get travel tips, competitions and more every month