#Tavel Diary 6 - Would you like to turn back to 10th Century B.C? - Ancient City of Ephesus

in travel •  last year  (edited)

Ancient city of Ephesus is one of the most important center of Ancient times. Starting from prehistoric, during the times of Helenistic, Rome, Byzantine, Ottoman Empire there have been nonstop settlements into this city. At all stages of history it has become a very important port city, a cultural and commercial center. It contains different architectural forms from each period. It enlightens also religion history. The population of the city reached 200.000 in the times of Helenistic and Rome which are the most glorious periods of this city. Most of the remains we have seen today belong to the Roman period.

Ancient City of Ephesus is in the borders of the village "Selçuk" in Izmir- (West of Turkey). The Roman city of Ephesus, well preserved from the Hellenistic period to the Ottoman period, is the only megacity that has not been rebuilt in modern times. In this city which is accepted as one of the most beautiful ancient city, excavations have been still taken place. Besides it was registered to the World Heritage on 5th of July 2015 by UNESCO. Every year approximately 1.5 million visiters come here. It is a magnificent place for whom want to travel in the time!

Ephesus was established in 10th Century BC in the Ionia region which is the west part of Turkey today. Acording to mythology, it was established on the front of a hermit by the son Androklos of king of Athen Kodros. Acording to their beliefs, to make a place a city, they have to take permission of hermits. After him during the history tyrants, Lydians, Persians , Romans conquered the city. In the early times they used to have a mother goddess Kybele. Starting from 1th Century, it became an important centre of the religion of Christian. It was visited by the disciples who tried to spread the faith of one god of Christianity and try to escape try from Roman cruelty. Saint Jean lived in Ephesus in the year 66 AC and died here. It is said that Jesus Christ's mother Mary lived and died near Ephesus.

Let's explore the city! I must say that you need to buy ticket to visit this city. It is 40 Turkish Lira for citizens and 70 Lira for foreigners. When you enter the city, you will see this calm road..

The Great Theatre

It goes back to a preceding structure of the Hellenistic Period 3th-1st century B.C. With very fancy, three-storey stage structure, 24,000-seat seating steps, this is the largest theater in the ancient world. This complex is greater than 12.000 square meters. it was also used as a gladiatorial arena in addition to theater shows. This place has hosted world stars such as Sting, Elton John, Joan Baez, Mikis Theodorakis, Ray Charles and the world's most famous orchestras.

The Celsus Library

Celsus Library, certainly the most well-known monument in Ephesus, was built between A.D. 100 and 110 by Gaius Iulius Aquila for his father, the senator Tiberius Iulius Celsus. There are 4 woman stat in the front. The library, which had 14,000 books at the time, was one of the libraries with the richest content of antiquity.The library can actually be interpreted as a heroon (hero monument) which was built over the burial chamber of the deceased. The library was destroyed during an earthquake in ca. A.D. 270 and was not rebuilt. The re-erection took place during the years 1970-1978 with the financial help of Anton Kallinger-Prskawetz. After the afternoon, the sun goes down behind the library, creating a visual feast to capture creative photographs.

Curetes Street

It is the most functional street of the city. the large sewerage system under the marble plaque covered floor proves the level of civilization that the city reached at that time. monumental buildings such as fountains and baths are on this street.

The Alytarchs' Stoa

It is a gallery dated to the late antique period 4th-5th century A.D. It is in the side of Curetes Street. A polychrome mosaic floor with geometric, floral and figurative desings covers the floor of the hall.

The Nymphaeum Traiani Fountain

The fountain building was donated Tiberius Claudius Aristion and his wife between A.D. 102 and 114 in the honour of Artemis of Ephesos and Emperor Trajan. The original height of the building reconstructed as an architectural trial is 9.5 m. The statue base of Trajan with a globe under his feet, stood over the water outlet in the middle. As I heard from a tourist guide talking in front of this fountain, here was the place for women to discuss morning news and gossip ;)

The Herakles Gate

The so-called Herakles Gate bordered the Curetes Street to the east. Its present appearance derives from late antique adaptations, and th pe appearance of the imperial gateway can not be reconstructed anymore. Both pillars, decorated with representations of Heracles, severely narrowed the passageway and blocked the street for wagon traffic.


The Temple of Domitian

It was dedicated to Emperor Domitian. But this emperor was a very cruel to his people. He used to throw the people he didn't like in front of the lions. Once he was killed, the temple was destroyed fully. Today it has almost disappeared. The temple, with its 8 * 13 colums constructed upon a six-stepped substructure, was erected on a terrace supported by mighty buttresses.

Necropolis (Cemetery)

the importance given to the tombs and tomb monuments in antiquity is a continuation of a tradition that goes back to the times. cemeteries are called necropolis, which means the city of deads.



I can say I spent a very fantastic day with my partner. We like to explore ancient cities. We tried to see everything here but unfortunately we made a mistake to come here on sunday. It was extreme crowded.. There were many groups of tourists especially from Asia. After Asian I saw mostly Spanish tourists. They were having their tourist guides. There were still monuments we couldn't see because of both crowd and tiredness. The sun was on the top of our head also. But anyway it was worth to see this magnificent place. It was smelling history.

I hope you like my trip. I appreciate your support. I would like to hear your ideas too.

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Beautiful and historic place. Turkey is a lovely country.


Thank you so much for your nice words..

Beautiful place! I was on road trip with my wife back in 2007 and visited Ephesus and Pergamos. wonderful post! You brought some memories back... Thanks!


I am glad to remind you nice memories..

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