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Ancient City of Ephesus
After a flight to Izmir, we took a tour of the ancient city of Ephesus, which was a thriving commercial center in the Roman Empire. The apostle Paul stayed in Ephesus for over two years.
The main Agora street was lined with shops and monuments, when Paul visited Ephesus.
Here is a view of small theater in Ephesus which was used by the orchestra, the city council and theater plays.
The streets, buildings and walls were all constructed of stone. Within this ancient city was the temple of the goddess Artemis (Greek) or Diana (Roman).
Public toilets and baths were a communal activity.
Near the city center was the Celsus library. This was the third largest library in the world at that time.
The large Theatre Gymnasium is located on the east side of the city. It had lobbies, warm bathing pools, frigidarium, recreation rooms and halls for training
Home of Virgin Mary
About 5 miles from Ephesus on the top of the "Bulbul" mountain is located a small house, which is reputed to be the place where Mary (mother of Jesus) may have come with the apostle John and spent her last days. It is called the “House of Virgin Mary” and the site has been labeled a Catholic shrine.
Interestingly, outside the house is a sign in several languages which lists the excerpts from the Muslim Quran concerning the Virgin Mary.
Lining the walls by the house, visiting Catholics have written prayer requests and stuck them in the cracks in the wall.
Home of Apostle John
It is believed that the apostle John had spent his last years in the region around Ephesus and buried in the southern slope of Ayosolug Hill. Three hundred years after his death, a small chapel was constructed over his grave. The church of St John was changed into a marvelous basilica during the region of Emperor Justinian (527 -565 AD). Rampart walls were constructed around the church for protection from the Arabian attacks in the 7th - 8th centuries AD. With the invasion of Turks, the chapel was used as a mosque in the 14th century; unfortunately Basilica of Saint John became unusable due to a serious earthquake in the same century.
Near Ephesus, we toured a silk-weaving factory. The cocoons of silk worms are soaked in very hot water, so that the silk threads can separated and spun.
It takes months for ladies to weave silk rugs by hand.
Views of Aegean Sea
From our hotel room, we had a great view of the sea and incoming cruise ships.
To see more pictures of our Turkey Travels, click on one of the links below:
Arrival in Istanbul, Travel to Bursa and Uludag
Istanbul Mosques and Cathedrals
Istanbul Palaces and Historic Sites
Streets of Istanbul
Aspendos, Perge and Side
Antalya and Konya
Cappadocia – Day 1 Morning
Cappadocia – Day 1 Afternoon
Cappadocia – Day 2 Morning
Cappadocia – Day 2 Afternoon
Final Day in Istanbul