"Ephesus" Ephesus by Lyndra
Ephesus Travel Guide: 508 reviews and 1,922 photos
Anyone who has an interest in archaeology and history must visit the site of Ephesus. This ancient city, destablished in the 7th century BC, is now situated many miles from the coast of the Aegean where it began - silting up of the channels to the harbour over many centuries have moved the coastline further and further away to its current position a few miles away from Ephesus, and then the ports of Izmir and Kusadasi took precedence. In its day however Ephesus was a vital port city with a massive population.
It has been home to a succession of invaders and inhabitants of the major civilisations of the near east. The Persians, the Greeks, who built the Temple to Artemis (goddess of fertility), which would become one of the ancient wonders of the world. The Romans who made Ephesus into the second largest outpost of the empire and the centre of slave trading - the city was at the height of its wealth during the lengthy Roman reign and the Library pictured above was constructed during this time. The Goths, the Byzantine...the list of civilisations goes on and each left their mark on the development of Ephesus.
Famous people who spent time here included the Egyptian pharoah Ptolemy XII, Anthony and Cleopatra...
For Christians this site has added significance since St Paul worked tirelessly in the establishment of the early Christian Church at this city. To an massively uninterested audience initially (This place was the centre of worship for Artemis after all!) he delivered the word of God in person during three Missionary journeys and sent letters to the community here to keep them updated about doctrine. Eventually the city became fully Christian.
The Virgin Mary and St John (the Evangelist - Gospel writer and prophet who wrote the Book of Revelation) are alleged to have moved to a small area not far from Ephesus to see out the end of their days (see tip about Mary's House).
This magnificent site requires a day ideally for a thorough visit of the main excavations, the houses on the hill and the peripheral sites that add context to the whole picture of life in this part of the world. You do need a certain degree of patience as you follow the traditional route around the site as there are so many tour groups.
A good itinerary for the day would include:
* Ephesus (main site)
* Houses on the Hill
* Archaeological Museum at Selcuk
* Mary's House
In addition to this you also have the Isa Bey Mosque, some Ancient bath houses, Temple of Artemis and Basillica of St John the Evangelist within a 10 mile radius. The key to geting the best from a day in this area is haveing a great guide or preparing yourself well...I have visited Ephesus on all my visits to Turkey but 2 and feel I know as much as the lay person could know - and yet the site is still giving up its secrets. Gota love archaeology!
The large coastal town of Kusadasi is a short drive from Ephesus and is an ideal base for this area of the Aegean. The town is very busy and resort like, heavily built up but has some endearing features.
- Pros:Well preserved and beautiful site, still revealing its history after 27 centuries!
- Cons:To many guides who are bad at their jobs crowding the site!
- In a nutshell:So much more than rocks and ruins!
There is a current excavation in Ephesus that has brought to light a group of houses built into the hillside along the... more travel advice
The mosque in Selculk was built in 1375 and is special because it is the oldest known mosque with an additional... more travel advice
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- "THE WONDER OF EPHESUS"
- "Ephesus - Ancient city"
- "The Inspiring Roman Ruins of Ephesus"
- "Ephesus the open air Museum"
- "Ephesus (Efes) and Nearby Selcuk"
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