Disclaimer: I took a TON of pictures when we were in Ephesus. I tried to narrow it down, but it’s tough!!
While we were in Turkey, we hired a private guide to take us to the main sites in Ephesus. It was only $70 per person and that included a guide and driver for 8 hours plus entrance to all the sites and lunch. It was a great deal and much cheaper than anything the cruise line offered.
We docked in Kusadasi (Coo-Shuh-dah-see) and then drove about 20 minutes to Ephesus.
I saw these signs everywhere. And I laughed every time I saw them. Talk about an oxymoron….
Ephesus is an ancient Greek city, that is only partially uncovered. It was one of the largest cities in the Mediterranean world with a population of over 250,000 in the first century BC.
This is Odeon, a small theater constructed around 150 AD.
We walked the ancient rode in the main area of Ephesus. This part used to be right on the Mediterranean, but over the years, a delta was built up and now the sea is now 3 miles away. It was fascinating to be surrounded by so much history. They had pictures of what this looked like in the 1960’s versus today, and they have uncovered quite a bit more in the past 50 years, but they aren’t even 15% done uncovering everything that’s been buried in the hillsides of hundreds of year.
Honestly, I was too busy taking pictures of everything to really hear what the guide was saying, so I don’t know what some of this stuff is. I do know that again, it was REALLY hot and I was sweating like a pig.
The detail of these structures was amazing. I can’t even begin to imagine how beautiful it was before it was all buried.
This is a carving of the Greek goddess Nike, which was the goddess of victory. Do you see Nike’s “swoosh” symbol in her clothing? That’s where the idea came from Nike’s world renowned logo.
This is a better picture of the road we were walking along. You can see the very large Library of Celsus at the end of it. (Our guide is the guy in the grey shorts and white polo and hat in the picture on the right.)
This is the temple of Hadrian, who was a Roman Emperor.
These are pictures of the terrace houses they are in the process of uncovering. It was amazing to see all the paintings on the walls and the really old mosaic tile floors. They are covered right now by a big structure they built over them, and they still have lots to uncover. I couldn’t imagine finding all of these pieces and then trying to put them all back together in some semblance of order.
Here is more of the road that leads to the big amphitheater.
The Library of Celsus was completed in 135AD. Although it looks like it was two stories, it was actually just one. At one point it housed over 12000 scrolls, but they were all destroyed by an earthquake/fire in 262. It was later completely destroyed by another earthquake, but they have been rebuilding it since the 1960’s.
Everywhere you looked there were either pillars or arches standing, or pieces of them all over the ground. I wonder if they will ever be able to fully reconstruct what this place looked like back in it’s prime.
The amphitheater is one of the most impressive structures of Ephesus. It is said to house between 25000 and 44000 people and is the largest from the ancient world. It is thought that this is where the confrontation between St. Paul and the followers of Artemis took place.
That’s enough for one post. I’ll post about the rest of our time and tour in Ephesus in the next blog!