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A + 15 : Knidos, City of Aphrodite

We are on the way to Knidos or Cnidus at the tip of the Datça peninsula. Cnidus was one of the members of the Dorian Hexapolis, a powerful trade alliance which included amongst others Kos (the Greek island) and Halicarnassus (Bodrum) and dominated much of the sea borne trading in Ancient Greece.

This photo shows the North Harbour on the right and the South Harbour on the lef). The North Harbour could be closed by a chain and was designed to accommodate up to twenty war galleys or Trireme. The South was the commercial Harbour

The South Harbour has good depth and can accommodate any sailboat - some of the Quai walls are still standing

Knidos was founded in the 7th century BC by Dorian settlers. It has a length of 1 km and large sections of its walls are still intact, specifically the ones around the Acropolis (top right on photo)

Could not find out how many people lived in Cnidus at its peak. I guess the number must have been in the range of 100'000. The town has a rectangular street plan with big market places. They must have seen a lot of goods flowing through. The shelter from wind and weather that the two harbours provide is almost perfect.

Site Map of Knidos - it is a bit outdated but still gives a good idea of the size of the ancient town. Knidos was settled until Byzantine time and then disappears from the records. I guess that with the collapse of long-distance trading the town lost its revenues and supplies and people had no alternative than to pack up and settle somewhere else.

The theatre has a capacity of around 5'000 seats. There is a second theatre further up the hill which is even larger but less well preserved. The town looks rather wealthy if it could afford two large entertainment places.

It also had an important Aphrodite Temple which was revered in antiquity. Knidos was a place people pilgrimed to.

The town looks today like a giant quarry and is probably the most plundered place in history. Everybody went here to remove stones. It was so convenient. Arrival by boat, short distance to the harbour. It occurred to me that the powerful Knights of St John could have fetched the stones for their mighty walls in Rhodes from there. They had little men power and were able to erect the massive walls very quickly. Maybe we find out on this journey.




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