Experience the Marbles of the Classical World on the Turkish Riviera?

There are at least thirty Hellenistic and Roman cities in Asia Minor close to the sea with the remains of many fine buildings of greyish white marble.

It is the structures, sculptures and architectural mouldings of finely crystalline white marble that amaze the beholder.

The finest marble and marble workers came from Greece and the Aegean area, but some of the coloured and decorative marbles they used come from further afield.

The marble required special boats to transport the stones with special lifting devices and highly skilled marble workers to cut and fix the stones…

Well known artists like Praxiteles and Phidias were needed to design and carve well-known buildings like the Temple of Athena Polias at Priene and the Mausoleum at Halicarnassus and very famous statues like the naked Aphrodite of Cnidus/Knidos by Praxiteles.

The marbles used for buildings and sculptures were various in type:

White, often with light grey vein, the traditionally used material. The finest pure whites were from Carrara in Northern Italy, and used for statuary.

Parian, from the Greek Island of Paros, in the Cyclades, regarded as the finest.

Pentelic, from Mount Pentelikon in Greece (used from 4th Cent. BC to 4th Cent AD). Finely crystalline and translucent with greenish, pink or grey miceous faults.

Thasian, a brilliant white with coarse crystals from the Isle of Thasos in the Northern Aegean, and favoured for veneers in architecture and in statuary.

Preconnesian from the island of Marmara in the Sea of Marmara in NW Turkey. Medium crystals, translucent greyish white, or strongly marked with horizontal bands of grey and white. Not used in Rome till the time of Hadrian when it was used in large quantities.

Coloured marbles were used from the from early 1st century BC starting with rare Numidian yellow, black and red Lucullian, green Carystian and mottled reds through to the deep red Porphyry from Egypt, synonymous with Imperial Rome.

Then there are the granites but they are another story.

Take one of our gulet cruise holidays to visit the ancient Hellenistic and Roman cities and see the Marbles of the Classical World of the Turkish Coast. Odysseus Cruising’s website.