Priene is located side byside to the village of Gullubahce which is 15 kms. away from Soke, in the southwest corner of Turkey.
Panionion, the political and religious center of Ionia was inside the boundaries of Priene.This has resulted the Priene to become one of the earliest settlement points in Ionia. Still it is not known the exact location of this first city of Priene, but it is suspected to be on the coast of the Gulf of Latmos during the archaic age. It is mentioned by the ancient historians that the city of Priene participated to the Lade sea battle, supporting Miletus against Persians in 494 B.C. Famous philosopher Bias (6th century B.C.), considered to be one of the Seven Sages of antiquity, was known to be a citizen of Priene.
Later in time, as the aluvions coming from the Maender River accumulated in front of the harbour. The city was left too far from the sea port and lost its importance. The new city was constructed in 350 B.C. on the high Mycale Mountains with the help from Athenians and Alexander the Great.
Priene fell into the sovereignity of the Romans in 129 B.C. They did not pay enough attention to the city and because of this, never built new buildings on top of the existing ones. Therefore, Priene remained as a very good example of the Hellenistic style architecture until today.
During the Byzantine age (13th century A.D.), the city was abandoned after a major earthquake and a severe malaria epidemic.