PANIONION is opposite to the Samos Island on the northern skirts of the Mykale Mountain (Samson Mountain) where the famous Mykale War between the ancient Greeks and the Persians took place. Its historical remains are located within the borders of Güzelçamlı on the western skirts of the Otomatik Hill.
The Ionions established a federation of 12 city states during 700 BC. The delegates of this federation gathered in “PANIONION”, known as Güzelçamlı today, and took major decisions there related to the federation’s future, its increase of power, its dissemination and war.
In 1957-58, the excavations works of professor archaeologist Gerhard Kleiner from Frankfurt University revealed an 11 stepped structure in the shape of an antique theatre carved on the surface of a rock and proved this to be the centre of PANIONION and also the fact that this alter was dedicated to Poseidon Helikonios. It is also mentioned that the Panionion festivities were also celebrated here.
The Ionians who lived between the area of today’s Foça and Didim cities created the most advanced civilization of their time and established highly important 12 city states consisting of Phokia (Foça), Ephesus (Selçuk,efes), Klazomenea (Urla Yakınlarında), Priene (Güllübahçe) Erythrai (Çeşme Ildırı), Myus (Avşar Köyü), Labedos (Doğanbey), Miletos (Balat Köyü), Teos (Seferihisar), Sisam (Samos Island), Kolophon (Değirmendere), Chios (Sakız Adası). İzmir, known as Symirma at the time joined this federation at a later date.
(Panionia Festival or Panegyris), whose current reflection is the Olympic Games as we know it today is known to have originated from here as the commencement of these games are concurrent with the establishment of its first temple in 8th Century BC.
As Herodot, known as the father of history, said upon his visit to area: “The most beautiful place above the earth and beneath the sky where the sun meets the sea and history with nature; Panionion (Guzelçamlı).
Panionion, a unique history wonder filled with the magic of ancient civilisations, is visited by thousands of national and international tourists a year and experience the area through the eyes of Herodot.