Ephesus was an ancient Greek and later a Roman city, in the 1st century BC it had a population of more than 250.000,making it one of the largest cities in the mediterranean world. The ruins that are visible give some idea of the city's original splendor, and the names associated with the ruins are evocative of its former life. Walking around Ephesus is like a step back in time, this ancient city is so well preserved and restored that it gives you a clear insight into how this ancient city would have looked and felt.
This cities claim to fame is the fact that it is home to The Temple of Artmenis (built in 550 BC) and known as one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. Ephesus is also cited in the Bible as the Gospel of John may have been written in the heart of this historic Turkish city.
Visit the Celsus Library, this library is one of the most beautiful structures in the region. Built in 117 A.D. It was a monumental tomb for Gaius Julius Celsus Polemaeanus; a man who was the governor of the province of Asia. History notes that scrolls of manuscripts were kept in cupboards in niches on the walls. There were double walls behind the bookcases to prevent them from the extremes of temperature and humidity. The library is said to have held around 12,000 scrolls. It was the third richest library in ancient times after the Alexandra and Pergamum. Other historic sites include The Virgin Mary House, the museum and the theatre. The theatre is also one of Ephesus’s most fascinating gems; known as one of the largest theatres of its time, it has a capacity of 25,000 seats. The inner circle (cavea) of the theatre has sixty six rows of seats which are divided by a walkway. Many years ago the theatre was used for plays, concerts, religious/political discussions and for gladiator and animal fights. A day out at Ephesus, will take you on an historic journey of an interesting and beautiful terrain spread across what feels like a city that takes your right back in time.
The House of the Virgin Mary is located on the top of the "Bulbul" mountain 9 km ahead of Ephesus, the shrine of Virgin Mary enjoys a beautiful atmosphere hidden in the green. It is the place where Mary may have spent her last days. Indeed, she may have come in the area together with Saint John, who spent several years in the area to spread Christianity. It’s said that Mary preferred this remote place rather than living in crowded place. Meryemana (Mother Mary) house is located in a municipal park, 5,5km from the Upper Gate entrance to Ephesus. It is a popular place of Catholic pilgrimage which has been visited by three recent popes.
This historic archaeological site is set 3 kilometres southwest of the town of Selcuk, which is part of the Izmir province of Turkey. The ruins are an international tourist hotspot, which welcome masses of tourist’s year upon year. Many people visit Ephesus as it has many biblical connections. The city is a great place to check out if you’re staying in Izmir or Kusadasi. Many people hire cars or jump on a bus and visit this historic area for the day. There are also many guided tours and coach trips that can take you to Ephesus and help you learn about the various historic stories and heritage behind the iconic ruins.