"Ephesus" Ephesus by mikelisaanna
Ephesus Travel Guide: 514 reviews and 1,956 photos
Ephesus is one of Turkey's top tourist sights. Founded by the Greeks, it became one of the largest cities in the Roman Empire, with a population of more than 200,000 people. Many people know it due to St. Paul's letter to the Ephesians (people of Ephesus) in the Bible. At its peak, Ephesus was a thriving port city with large public structures, including an ampitheatre that seated over 20,000 people and a stadium that was even larger. It was also the site of numerous baths and temples, including the temple of Artemus, which was one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World.
Unfortunately, Ephesus was rocked by a series of earthquakes, sacked by the Goths and Arabs, and then its harbor silted up. As a result, it fell into decline and was ultimately abandoned for a more defensible site further inland (the site of the modern-day town of Selcuk).
Over the past century, archaeologists have begun to excavate the ruins of Ephesus, and have discovered some fascinating structures. A 2 km long series of streets is open to tourists, which takes you past the city's library, its ampitheater, one of its baths, a number of temples, and a neighborhood of homes where wealthy families once lived. Only about 10% of the city has been excavated to date.
Admission to Ephesus was YTL 15 per adult. For a few lira extra, audio tapes are available which describe each structure along the way. Definitely spend the money for the tape. Also, there is an extra charge for admission to the terrace houses, where wealthy families had mosaic floors and frescoed walls. This is also worth the extra fee to see.
Ephesus gets crowded, so go early or late in the day to avoid the crowds. Otherwise, you will find yourself amidst large tour groups from the cruise ships that dock in nearby Kusadasi.
- Pros:Impressive ruins, tons of history
- Cons:Crowds and heat
- In a nutshell:One of the top historic sites in Turkey
The Temple of Hadrian is a small temple that was built to commemorate a visit by Emperor Hadrian to Ephesus in the 2nd... more travel advice
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