city, southwestern Turkey, near the Menderes River (the ancient Maeander). It is an important trading centre on the Afyon-Izmir highway and rail line. Nearby is the site of ancient Tralles, said to have been founded by the Argives. Aydin was called Guzelhisar ("Beautiful Castle") under the Turkmen Mentese emirs in the 13th century. Renamed for the 14th-century ruling dynasty of Aydin, it was annexed to the Ottoman Empire about 1390. Timur (Tamerlane), who conquered it in 1402, reestablished the principality of Aydin; but it was soon recaptured by the Ottomans. The city was heavily damaged in September 1922 when the retreating Greeks set it afire as a final gesture before they surrendered to the Turkish nationalists. The city's historical buildings include mosques and a theological school. A Roman gymnasium (4th century BC), a marble column, and the theatre are the only remains of Tralles. Pop. (2000) 143,267.
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