Ephesus is the site of the most beautiful examples of ancient and natural architecture well preserved until the present day. The ancient city welcomes visitors from all over the world every year.
Established for the first time 8000 years ago, the antique city was restored several times even progressing further every time.
The amazing structures, majestic pillars and columns, the library, the streets and the temple, constructed with a view and technique ahead of the time, carry the deepest traces of the history of ancient times.
The Temple of Artemis, one of the most important monuments of Ephesus, retains its value as one of the Seven Wonders of the World since the ancient times.
The most important feature of this great temple is that it belongs to the Hellenistic period and is the first and largest structure entirely made of marble. Today, only few blocks of the temple are left. Yet, the structure still reflects its ancient glory as in the old times.
The Library of Celsius, on the other hand, is a structure of the Roman period that was both a library and mausoleum. Constructed with a technique ahead of its time, to preserve valuable books, this great library was built in the name of Gaius Celsus Polemaenos by his son and bears also Celsus’s tomb.
Saint John Cathedral which is one of the finest examples of Seljukian architecture was established by using the stone columns from the Temple of Artemis and Ephesus. Visitors of Ephesus should not leave before seeing the earliest example of both Turkish mosques with courtyards and Anatolian style mosques with columns.
Another site of Ephesus is the St John’s Basilica built in honor of St. John by Byzantine Emperor Justinian in the 6th century. It is assumed that the six-doomed basilica harbors also the tomb of St. John. The largest structure of the period, the basilica is located in Ayasuluk and of great importance to Christians.
The Magnesia Gate, Eastern Gymnasium, Odeon, State Agora, Prytaneion, Memmius Monument, House of Love, Hillside Houses, Theater, Ayasuluk Castle are among the other well-known structures of Ephesus still intact in the present day.
Of utmost importance to Christianity, the House of Virgin Mary, where Virgin Mary took shelter together with St. John after the death of Christ is located at Bülbüldağı. The House is situated amidst a majestic forest in pristine nature and is supposedly the site where Mary had lived until she died.
According to legend, prior to the legalization of Christianity, seven young people running away from the persecution of pagans took shelter in a cave and slept there for two centuries. The site was later on referred to as the site of Seven Sleepers and turned into a mausoleum in memory of the sleepers. The ruins of four-layered structure of the monument are partially preserved.
Enthusiasts of ancient civilizations should definitely not miss the opportunity to explore the fabulous monuments of ancient times!