Ephesus: the fascinating history of the legendary Turkish city
One of the seven wonders of the world is at the archaeological site of Smyrna. Check out our post about the Ephesus museum:
Ephesus, the capital of the ancient city of Anatolia, is an extremely splendid metropolis. This ancient metropolis, whose unique architectural monuments have existed for thousands of years, has entered the list of world heritage sites.
Based on the tradition of the mother goddess of Anatolia (kybele), the temple of Artemis, one of the seven wonders of the ancient world, also increases the importance of Ephesus. The archaeological site has symbols of organizing urbanization, architecture, and religious history belonging to different civilizations, mainly Hellenistic and Roman.
A political and commercial center
Ephesus, since prehistoric times and throughout the Hellenistic, Roman, Byzantine (Eastern Roman) and Ottoman periods, has always been inhabited and served as a political and commercial center.
The city has played an important role in science, culture, and art throughout its history dating back to 7,000 BC, and was one of the most important metropolises in the ancient world. In addition, it was an important gateway and a port city between East and West (Asia and Europe).
The history of excavations in the old city, which receives an average of 1.5 million visitors a year, is approaching 125 years. Ephesus, which has not yet been fully discovered, continues to bring new dimensions to Anatolian archeology.
Library, old theater and more
The library has two gates, three kilometers apart. The library is the most famous vestige identified with the archaeological site of Ephesus, which is stunning with its huge columns. This 2nd-century library is one of the most important antique libraries in the ancient world, classified after Alexandria
Hadrian’s gate and temple are among the prominent structures on Kuretler Street, built in the name of Emperor Hadrian.
The other ruins that are worth seeing are; Artemisio (the temple of Artemis), one of the seven wonders of the ancient world, the great theater with a capacity of 25,000 seats, stadium, commerce and state now (market), pritaneum with the temple of Hestia (sacred fire), odeon assembly hall and concert hall) with capacity for 1,800 seats and the old port.
Thousands of years of history in one of the oldest cities in the world. Check out
Ephesus is a millenary city, which served as the capital for several empires kept several wonders of the ancient world and served as an important pole for centuries past.
The city is home to the most important ruins in Turkey, a grand center of antiquity whose beautiful history begins thousands of years before Christ, being one of the oldest cities in the world.
House of the Virgin Mary
An example of the attractions that fascinate visitors is a small hovel, just 9km from the city, which is believed to have been the last residence of none other than Virgin Mary, mother of Christ, taken there by St John a few years after the crucifixion. Countless faithful and religious visit the place every year.
The simple stone house is surrounded by green and tranquility. Although there is no irrefutable confirmation, all evidence suggests that she would have spent her last years there.
After all, at the beginning of Christianity, churches were only built where there were martyrs or saints, and always in their name. And in Ephesus, there was the only church attributed to Mary that can still be visited today. Archaeologists have also confirmed the date of construction.
Ephesus holds more than countless fascinating religious stories. The history of humanity itself passed through the city because this place is one of the cradles of ancient civilizations. It was part of the Persian empire before Alexander the Great.
It passed through Egyptian dominion until it fell into the hands of the Romans, becoming the “capital” of Asia Minor and one of the most important cities in the Roman Empire due to its very well located port. Ideal to expand the trade of the time.
In the Byzantine period (395–1071) it continued to be the most important city, even though in 614 it was almost destroyed by an earthquake. The famous and important port was silting up and gradually people started to leave the city.
Then disputes began between Arabs, Seljuk Turks (a nomadic tribe) and Byzantines. After the turbulent period, the region was incorporated into the Ottoman Empire in 1425.
And with all this history, it is to be expected that the the city is practically an open-air museum attracting lovers of the theme and religious who want to know an amazing side of Turkey.
Today, the current the archaeological site of Ephesus houses the ruins of ancient buildings, such as the Grand Theater, dating from 3 BC, which housed gladiatorial fights and plays.
Wonders of the ancient world
One of the seven wonders of the ancient world is just 3 km from the city!
The ruins of the Temple of Artemis are in Selçuk, of its more than 100 colossal columns only one remains, but the visit is worth it to go back to the glory years of the Greco-Roman people, at least in imagination.
English guide in Ephesus
We are Guide in Turkey agency, and we are located in Istanbul, but we offer tours to various destinations in Turkey. Our workers can speak fluent English and can give several nice tips for those who want to know Ephesus, Cappadocia, Istanbul, and many other Turkish paradises.
How can Guide in Turkey help me?
If you are in Turkey, we can schedule these visits on a private tour. Also, we offer other packages to the main destinations in the country, transfers, accommodation, and much more.
Contact: +90 536 273 59 61