Many people--myself included--sometimes forget how extensive the ancient Hellenic empire was. It wasn't just what is now modern Greece. It extended all the way down to, for example, Spain. Today: Emporion.

'Emporion' (Ἐμπόριον) is ancient Greek for 'trading place', which is exactly what it was. In ancient Greek, 'Emporion' referred both to the various Hellenic and Phoenician city-states and trading posts in Egypt, North Africa, Spain, Britain, and the Arabian Peninsula. Included in this term were cities like Avaris and Syene in Lower Egypt, Thebes in Upper Egypt and the Red Sea ports of Elim and Elat. For the Hittites, it included Kanesh and Kadesh. For Phoenicia, it included Gadges, Carthage, Leptis Magna, and Cyrene, among others (although Cyrene was originally founded by Greeks). It was a place which the traders of one nation had reserved to their business interests within the territory of another nation.

Emporion was a town on the Mediterranean coast of the Catalan comarca of Alt Empordà in Catalonia, Spain. It was founded in 575 BC by Hellenic colonists from Phocaea and was later occupied by the Romans. In Catalan, the name for the city is 'Empúries', formerly named 'Ampurias' in Spanish.

Phocaea, or Phokaia (Φώκαια, modern-day Foça in Turkey) was an ancient Ionian Greek city on the western coast of Anatolia. Hellenic colonists from Phocaea founded the colony of Massalia (modern day Marseille, in France) in 600 BC, Emporion in 575 BC and Elea (modern day Velia, in Campania, Italy) in 540 BC.

The settlement was developped in two phases: first the Paliapolis, the ancient city, later the Neopolis, the new city. Little remainings from the ancient city, Paliopolis, as much was build over it at later times. It was supposed to hold a temple of Ephesian Artemis, a distinctive form of the Goddess. It is the form with globules around her chest that were first said to represent breasts but which are now interpreted as sacrificial bull testicles. The remains of the temple are now believed to be located under the medieval church of San Martí.

More remains of the Neopolis. Several walls and towers still stand. Temples that have been identified at sacred area of the town are a temple to Asklepios at which a statue of the God was found. Also located there was the 'Serapis Temple', devoted to Zeus Serapis, to Isis and to her son Harpocrates. It is well preserved. Its creator, we know, was Numas, an egyptian architect brought to Emporiom. Therefore, worshiped divinities have an egyptian origin. Apart from the temples, many civil and public houses remain identifiable, ranging from hosues to angorae, to markets and shops. 
It is generally accepted that Emporion became a true Hellenic polis, a city-state, perhaps in the 5th century BC. It is one of the few Hellenic emporia to do so. As a trading and harbour town, it prospered and when the Romans overtook the Hellenic empire, it eventually became a major military base and trading center for the expansion of the Roman empire. Most of the polis was eventually destroyed in medieval times.

For some truly stunning images of the ruins of the city, go here.