Sardis was the capital of the ancient kingdom of Lydia. It has been occupied for over 5000 years and has always been known as an important city. Archaeology shows the development of Sardis from a prehistoric lalkeside community to a major Roman and Byzantine city.
The most spectacular structure at Sardis is the Temple of Artemis. Originally built in 300 BC by the ancient Greeks, the temple was renovated by the Romans in the 2nd century AD. During the Roman period it served also as a temple of the imperial cult.
The Marble Court is a grandiose entrance to the Roman gymnasium, constructed in the 2nd century AD. The remains of the largest ancient synagogue ever found are in a large hall on one side of the gymnasium. Both the rich floor mosaics and elaborate geometric wall designs are made of small piecies of marble. To the south side of the bath-gymnasium complex lies the House of Bronzes, which owes its name to the bronze vessels and utensils found inside, including an embers shovel decorated with a cross and two dolphins.