The ruins of Assos stand on the northern shore of the Gulf of Edremit facing the Greek island of Lesbos (Turkish Midilli). Built on the terraced slopes and summit of a not easily accessible trachyte escarpment between the sea and the Tuzla Dere, this ancient Greek city was once considered the most beautifully situated of any in Europe or Asia. In its heydey it covered an area of 2.5sq.km/1 sq.mile, part of which is occupied today by the village of Behramkale.In the second millennium B.C. Assos was the Lelegian capital, later becoming an Aeolian colony. Between 560 and 549 B.C. it belonged to the Lydians and in the fifth century to the Persians. Aristotle lived in the city from 348 to 345. It was also the birthplace of the Stoic philosopher Cleanthes (ca. 331-233 B.C.). In A.D. 58 the Apostle Paul visited Assos on his missionary journey south (see Acts of the Apostles 20, 13ff).Excavation has revealed remains of buildings spanning more than 12 centuries, including the 3km/2mi of city walls (mainly fourth century B.C.) which, originally 19m/62ft high, are among the finest examples of Greek military architecture. The principal buildings of the Hellenistic town have also been uncovered and, on the highest point of the acropolis, the foundations of a pre-Hellenistic Temple of Athena (art treasures in Istanbul and Paris) where some attempt at restoration has recently been made.Be sure to walk to the top of the hill. There is a superb wide-ranging vista, not only across the Gulf to Lesbos but over the hinterland as well.