Τhe Lion Harbour in Miletos

Τhe Lion Harbour
View of abandoned Ionic column drums in front of the partially restored Lion Harbour which was built in 50 AD by Tiberius Claudius Sophanes. The Lion Harbour originally had thirty five Ionic columns in front and nineteen shops at the rear. The road in front of it was the spectacular and processional 100 metre long sacred way which was built in the Roman period and connected the Harbour Gate and the Lions Harbour. The back of the Stoa shops were bounded by the Hellenistic gymnasium and the Vergilius Capito Baths.

Τhe Lion Harbour was situated between the Theatre hill and the north part of the Humei Τepe hill, and penetrated deep into the north part of the Miletus peninsula. It was the main military port of the city. It was named after the two sizeable marble lions adorning the narrowest point of its entrance since the 3rd century BC. The lions are not in their original position today; the one is in a very good condition and the other was found broken into pieces.

A long L-shaped Doric stoa (32 m), which was built in the Hellenistic years and accommodated shops and storehouses, was built on the waterfront. In the Roman years there were two significant monuments in the southwestern corner of the Harbour: the Large and the Small Monument.

The Lion's Bay is to the northeast and can be clearly distinguished when the river floods. This bay cut deeply into the peninsula and was flanked by two massive marble lions, the city's heraldic symbols. Across the head of the bay ran the 160m/175yd long harbor colonnade. In the angle between two colonnades stood the Harbor Monument erected at the time of Augustus; the plinth can still be seen.

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