Biblical Ephesus

Trip Start Feb 01, 2005
Trip End Dec 31, 2020

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Flag of Turkey  , Turkish Aegean Coast,
Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Another series of local buses took us to Kusadasi, a resort town reasonably close to the ancient site of Ephesus which was on our "want to do" list for Turkey. The Temple of Artemis is one of The Original Seven Wonders Of The Ancient World. It took us all day long to get there only arriving in Kusadasi at nightfall. The next day we were picked up for a full day guided tour of Ephesus.

The city, founded around 3,000 BC originally was a centre of worship for the Anatolian Goddess Diana and was an important Port in the ancient world. We saw the temple of Hadrian, Marble Way (where the rich lived) and the amazing library of Celsus which has niches for storing the papyrus scrolls. The real highlight of the site was the great theatre built very early AD under emperor Claudius. The theatre seated 25,000 spectators and was first used for all types of productions/theatre including gladiator fights. It is largely intact as it was.

Of special interest is that St Paul came here and delivered his message to the Ephesians in the period when Christianity was banned and he had to be secreted away after his sermon.

The sad thing about the site of Ephesus is that a great deal of the statues and artifacts have been moved to museums around the world. Turkey hopes to be able to get some of these back as it readies itself for application to the EU.

Another site we visited in the general area was what is deemed to be the house where Mary Mother of Jesus lived out her last days. The bible backs up the fact that Mary moved to Ephesus (as does the Koran) with the Disciple John who set up the underground Christian Church. Later when Christianity became accepted, a Basilica was built over St John's tomb at Ephesus.

At the end of the day our tour guide took us to Izmir Airport where we caught a domestic flight back to Istanbul. This is a crazily paced tour but we are up to it!

Footnote: Ephesus features in the book Unforgettable Places to See before you die.
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