Though officially named Behramkale, most people still call the town by its ancient name of Assos. It was founded in the 8th century BC by colonists from Lesvos, who built the Temple to Athena in Assos in 530 BC. Hermias of Atarneus, a student of Plato, ruled Assos, the Troad and Lesvos for a period of time, under which the city experienced its greatest prosperity. Under his rule, he encouraged philosophers to move to the city. As part of this, in 348 BC Aristotle came here and married King Hermeias's niece, Pythia, before leaving to Lesvos three years later in 345 BC. This 'golden period' of Assos ended several years later when the Persians arrived, and subsequently tortured Hermias to death.
The Persians were eventually driven out by Alexander the Great. Between 241 and 133 BC, the city was ruled by the Kings of Pergamum.
St. Paul also visited the city during his third missionary journey through Asia Minor, which was between 53-57 AD, on his way to Lesvos. From this period onwards, Assos shrunk to a small village, as it has remained ever since. Ruins continue to be excavated.
Atop a hill surrounded by olive groves are the ruins of the Doric-style Temple of Athena, surrounded by crumbling city walls and an ancient necropolis (cemetery). Nearby is the 14th-century Ottoman Murad Hudavendigar Mosque. The hill offers spectacular views of the Aegean Sea and the nearby Greek island of Lesvos.
Down the steep seaward side of the hill at the water's edge is the charming hamlet called Iskele (meaning Dock or Wharf), with old stone houses now serving as inns, pensions and restaurants. The small pebbly beach makes for an excellent place to relax or simply sit in the restaurants and enjoy the succulent taste of fresh calamari