The Ancient City of Blaundus
Blaundus Antik Kenti
/ By Josh
Great for: Alexander the Great, Greek History, Ruins, Macedonians, Discount Stonehenge
The city of Blaundus (sometimes written Blaundos) is really a minor footnote in the epic history of Alexander the Great. When Alexander the Great arrived in Asia Minor (now Anatolia or Asian Turkey) in 334 BC he not only conquered Persian territory, but he was setting into motion a cultural revolution, bringing a more unified Greek culture into these territories. While there were a number of factors that led to this change in culture, one of the ways it came about was by establishing new cities and filling them with immigrants from Greece. The city of Alexandria in Egypt is the best example of this by far.
While Blaundus never became particularly important, it’s a city founded in the wake of Alexander, and populated with immigrants from Macedonia, the homeland of Alexander himself.
Blaundus was built on a narrow, cliff-ringed spit of land jutting out into the canyons of Ulubey, one of Turkey’s largest canyon networks carved by the Banaz and Ulubey rivers. The city sat on the border of Phrygia and Lydia, two ancient regions of Asia Minor.
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The remains of the city are unfortunately scant, and you should only visit if you’re a major history buff or in the area anyways. Of the temples, colonnades, theater, stadium, and other public buildings very little remains. The theater is now little more than overgrown depressions in the earth and the stadium a long flat open space with scant remains of the ancient seats that would have once ringed the space. A wall guarding access to the city still stands though it is a rather squat, unadorned piece of utilitarian fortification.
Excavation work is ongoing, though minor. What has been done has restored the semblance of some of the structures, uncovered step-platforms and re-erected pillars giving some sense of what the city would have once been like.
Looking out at the cliff faces below and across from the city you can see the numerous openings of cave-tombs carved into the rocks.
If you search Blaundus online the most popular sight by far is the stacks of standing stones built in strange arrangements. Pictures of the stones with a starry night sky (taken in spite of the “no entry after 7PM” sign no doubt) are particularly striking and popular. While they are photogenic, they are not nearly as large or impressive as some pictures make them appear. Exactly what they were built for and how they’ve seemingly managed to defy gravity still seems to be a mystery.
How To Get There
There is bus service to the town of Ulubey from the city of Uşak, though from there you will need to take a taxi as Blaundus is fairly remote. Remember you’ll will have to arrange for the taxi to wait for you to drive you back to Ulubey to get back. The distance from Ulubey to Blaundus is about 15 kms.
By car drive south from the city of Uşak down the Uşak – Ulubey road (31 kms). At the entrance to Ulubey town you’ll see a brown sign directing you to turn right onto the Eşme Ulubey rd, follow this for about 9 kms then turn left following the signs marked for Blaundus. Blaundus is 4kms down this mixed paved/gravel road.
For more about car rental and driving in Turkey make sure to read our full drivers guide.
Where To Stay
We weren’t able to find any official accommodation options in the area of Blaundus or the Ulubey Canyon area, though camping in the Ulubey Canyon should be possible. The closest hotels that we were able to find were in the city of Uşak, 31 kms to the north.
Planning on visiting Blaundus? Make sure to check out what other sights are in the region!
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Have any tips or info to add? Spot any mistakes? We’d love to hear about it.