Troy Is Best Known for the Trojan War as Told in Homer’s Iliad:
The ancient city of Troy, (or Troia) is best known as the setting for the Trojan War, as told in Homer’s Iliad. The legendarily beautiful Helen of Troy, the fight for love, feuding armies, mythical gods and the famous Trojan horse strategy of the Greeks are all elements of the great Legend of Troy. The city of Troia was long thought to be a mythical place. But fact or fiction, the Troy legend has kept historians, archaeologists, scholars, film makers, writers and travellers fascinated about this ancient city for centuries.
The Iliad – Fact or Fiction?
Troy is an archaeological site in the north-west of Turkey, to the west of Mount Ida. The modern name for the ancient Troy site is Hisarlik and it is located within the province of Çanakkale. Homer’s epic poem The Iliad sets Troy as the scene of the Trojan War. His story of the 10-year skirmish between the Trojans and the Greeks is interlaced with Greek legends and involved mythical gods, leaving many to assume that The Iliad is fictional, and to wonder if Troy ever existed.
It was not until 1865, that English archaeologist Frank Calvert excavated a field that he had bought from a farmer at Hisarlik. Calvert believed that Troy did exist and although he was the first to establish the location of Homer’s Troy, he was never acknowledged for this discovery. His work was carried on in 1868 by Heinrich Schliemann, a German businessman (or plunderer), who believed that he found Homer’s city. To-date, excavations have uncovered nine layers of civilization at Troia, making Troy one of the most excavated sites in Turkey.
The Trojan Horse
If you’re coming to “the ringing plains of windy Troy” to see the Brad Pitt version of this ancient city with its impregnable fortress walls, you will be disappointed. There are some bits of the ancient walls left, but nothing that will hold off even the smallest of armies. In fact, Troy the movie wasn’t even filmed here, but in Malta and other locations.
What you will see in Troy is a huge reconstruction of the Trojan horse. Whilst it’s not the real thing, it adds to the atmosphere and it’s also fun to climb to the top level for a view of the Troia site. There is an archaeological museum next to the Trojan horse where you can learn about the archaeological digs being carried out and the nine layers of civilization discovered.
Getting to Troy
Troy is an unoccupied archaeological site and the nearest town is Çanakkale.
- From Çanakkale – There are dolmus (minibus) departing from the Çanakkale bus station to Troy every 30-40 minutes in summer. If you’re doing it on your own, it’s advisable to go early in the morning to allow yourself time to get back on the dolmus.
- From Istanbul – You can join a 2-day tour of Troy and Gallipoli from Istanbul. The cost of the tour includes one night’s accommodation in Çanakkale. Troy is about 5 hours’ drive from Istanbul so it’s not advisable to try and do it in a day.
Hotels in Çanakkale
There are many fine hotels in Çanakkale, some situated on the seafront and others in the heart of the town. For those who need easy access to the ferry port, Helen Hotel, Anzac Hotel and Centinkaya are all about 100 metres away. For the complete list of hotels in Çanakkale, see Here.
Photos – We did a comprehensive walk of the Troia site on our previous visit and if Tony remembers where he stored those images, we’ll put them up. Meanwhile, these are a few photos taken of the Trojan horse and the archaeological museum from our most recent visit.
Map of Canakkale: