Ephesus 1, Turkey 10 – 5/2014

July 2, 2016

Ephesus, the Ancient City in Anatolia.

Sorry, more ruins, but really, this one is amazing. Aside from its physical presence, its history is fascinating.

In the Neolithic age the area surrounding Ephesus was already inhabited about 6000 BC. Must have been a nice place even back then. As time marched on, Ephesus was built on the site of the former Arzawan capital by Greek colonists. During the Classical Greek era it was one of the twelve cities of the Ionian League. Greek historians reassigned the city’s mythological foundation to Ephos, queen of the Amazons, a race of women warriors. Amazons, according to legend, also invented the Cavalry who fought mounted on horseback.

The famous Library of Celsus in Ephesus held 12,000 scrolls.

The famous Library of Celcus in Ephesus held 12,000 scrolls.

Then came the Romans, back to the Greeks, back to the Romans, the Cimmerians, the Goths, the Lydians, to the Persians, a series of tyrants, to the Arabs, the Ionians back to the Greeks, and finally to the Ottomans. All this following a number of wars and battles and sacks under the commands of a dozen or more generals, kings, queens, warlords, revolting mobs and emperors, including Alexander the Great. Even Genghis Khan may have stopped by for a piece of the action. Throw in a couple of major earthquakes and the list of conquests and disasters is longer than your arm.

Ephesus is one of the most important attractions in Turkey.

Ephesus is one of the most important attractions in Turkey.

Ephesus was one of the seven cities of Asia that are cited in the Book of Revelation. The Gospel of John may have been written here. The city was the site of several 5th century Christian Councils. The House of Virgin Mary has been considered to be the last home of Mary, mother of Jesus. It is a popular place of Catholic pilgrimage that has been visited by three recent Popes.

The city’s importance as a commercial center declined as the harbor was slowly silted up by the Kücükmenderes River. The resulting marshes caused malaria and many deaths among the inhabitants. The Turkey coastline is now 3-4 km (2 mi) away from the ancient Greek site with sediments filling the plain and the Mediterranean Sea.

The famous Temple of Artemis, completed around 550 BC, was said to be one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. The Goths destroyed the temple in 268 AD, but Emperor Constantine the Great rebuilt some of it only to have it destroyed by a mob in 401 AD led by St. John Chrysostom, Archbishop of Constantinople (now Istanbul).

The Fountain of Trajan built around 104 AD is one of the finest monuments in Ephesus.

The Fountain of Trajan built around 104 AD is one of the finest monuments in Ephesus.

During one of its many periods, Ephesians were surprisingly modern in their social relations. They allowed strangers to integrate, education was valued, and the city became a bastion of women’s rights. Ephesus even had female artists.

The city had one of the most advanced waters systems in the ancient world, with multiple aqueducts of various sizes to supply different areas of the city. They fed a number of water mills, one of which has been identified as a sawmill for marble. Ephesus also constructed an effective sewer system and municipal latrines. A series of 36 holes designed to handle your business stretched across three long benches, and a trough where relatively clean water flowed near your feet.

The Grand Theater is the largest in Anatolia and has 25,000 seats. It was not only used for concerts and plays, but also for religious, political and philosophical discussions and for gladiator and animal fights.

The Grand Theater is the largest in Anatolia with a capacity of 25,000 spectators. It was not only used for concerts and plays, but also for religious, political and philosophical discussions and for gladiator and animal fights.

Today Ephesus contains the largest collection of Roman ruins in the Eastern Mediterranean. Only an estimated 15% has been excavated. As we wandered through the ruins that are visible, we could imagine some idea of the city’s original splendor. The names associated with some of the statues and monuments are evocative of its former life.

51 Responses to “Ephesus 1, Turkey 10 – 5/2014”

  1. Ephesus, the Ancient City in Anatolia. Sorry, more ruins, but really, this one is amazing. Aside from its… https://t.co/h57MzTsbGY

  2. Ephesus, the Ancient City in Anatolia. Sorry, more ruins, but really, this one is amazing. Aside from its… https://t.co/uS6EwayRO4

  3. I’ve been there and I agree.

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  15. Ephesians live there! That must be a fantastic thing, to be in such a richly historical area.

  16. Yes, I liked it too!

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  25. We really loved it there. And the fact that we could camp for free on the beach just down the road made it perfect.

  26. It was pretty amazing!

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  37. Faszinierend dieser Bericht!
    Wäre nicht Erdogan könnte man direkt Lust bekommen dort hin zu fahren.
    Liebste Grüsse Dominik

  38. Olá. Gary tudo bem ? Espero que sim. Nós tivemos oportunidade de visitar Efesos já duas vezes. Cidade de mármore fantástica sobretudo pela sua história. Informação para o pagamento de impostos, bebidas, meninas, wc públicas, etc.etc. Turquia toda bela com a Anatolia, Capadócia, Istambul, Istambul e o Corno De Ouro, com vista desde o Bar/Café frequentado no início do século XX pelo escritor Francês Pierre Lotti localizado no interior do cemitério!!!! Enfim espero que tudo corra bem. Boa viagem, boas férias e um grande abraço.

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  45. Good for you. We never got to the beach but found save camping in the parking lot of the pottery school nearby.

  46. Obrigado por sua mensagem, Manuel. Realmente se a Turquia bem e só ter tido mais tempo antes de nossos requisitos de visto nos fez mover ao longo da Rota da Seda. Feliz viagens e um grande abraço de volta para você. Mantenha-se saudável! Gary e Monika

  47. Shadow of the past..

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