Ephesus Turkey, Ephesus Vacations, History Ephesus
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Ephesus which was established as a port, was used to be the most important commercial centre. It played a great role in the ancient times with its strategic location. Ephesus is located on a very fertile valley.
Ephesus, once, the trade centre of the ancient world, a religious centre of the early Christianity and today, Ephesus is an important tourism centre in Turkey.
The ancient city Ephesus is located in Selcuk, a small town 30km away from Kusadasi.
Ephesus – The ruins of Ephesus take on a value and a special significance among the numerous sites of an archaeological interest. This is due to its inestimable artistic patrimony, its titanic heritage of history and culture, and the inexhaustible beauty and charm of its archaeological site.
The original site of Ancient Ephesus was most likely established on the Aegean coast, on the shores of that sea which today is located 8 km. away from the archaeological excavations. Over the centuries, in fact, the rubble brought onto the plain of the “Kucuk Menderes” has enlarged the alluvial plain surrounding the archaeological zone, leaving behind in actual fact the shores of the Aegean.
Ephesus was founded as an Attic-Ionian colony in the 10th century BC on the Ayasuluk Hill, three kilometers from the center of ancient Ephesus. The mythical founder of the city was a prince of Athens named Androklos, who had to leave his country after the death of his father, King Kadros. According to the legend, he founded Ephesus on the place where the oracle of Delphi became reality.
Androklos drove away most of the native Carian and Lelegian inhabitants of the city and united his people with the remainder. He was a successful warrior, and as a king he was able to join the twelve cities of Ionia together into the Ionian League. During his reign the city began to prosper. He died in a battle against the Carians when he came to the aid of Priene, another city of the Ionian League.
Androklos and his dog are depicted on the Hadrian temple frieze, dating from the 2nd century. Later, Greek historians such as Pausanias, Strabo, the poet Kallinos, and the historian Herodotos reassigned the city’s mythological foundation to Ephos, queen of the Amazons.
The Greek goddess Artemis and the great Anatolian goddess Kybele were identified together as Artemis of Ephesus. The many-breasted “Lady of Ephesus”, identified with Artemis, was venerated in the Temple of Artemis, one of the Seven Wonders of the World and the largest building of the ancient world according to Pausanias.
Pausanias mentions that the temple was built by Ephesus, son of the river god Caystrus before the arrival of the Ionians. Of this structure, scarcely a trace remains.
Ephesus contains the largest collection of Roman ruins in the eastern Mediterranean. Only an estimated 15% has been excavated.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. The theater dominates the view down Harbor Street, which leads to the silted-up harbor.
The Library of Celsus, the façade of which has been carefully reconstructed from all original pieces, it was originally built c. 125 AD in memory of Tiberius Julius Celsus Polemaeanus, an Ancient Greek who served as governor of Roman Asia (105–107) in the Roman Empire.
Celsus paid for the construction of the library with his own personal wealth, and is buried in a sarcophagus beneath it. The library was mostly built by his son Gaius Julius Aquila and once held nearly 12,000 scrolls. Designed with an exaggerated entrance — so as to enhance its perceived size, speculate many historians — the building faces east so that the reading rooms could make best use of the morning light.
A part of the site, Basilica of St. John, was built in the 6th century AD, under emperor Justinian I over the supposed site of the apostle’s tomb. It is now surrounded by Selçuk.
The Temple of Artemis, one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World, is represented only by one inconspicuous column, revealed during an archaeological excavation by the British Museum in the 1870s. Some fragments of the frieze and other small finds were removed – some to London and some to the Archaeological Museum, Istanbul.
The Odeon was a small roofed theater constructed by Vedius Antonius and his wife around 150 AD. It was a small salon for plays and concerts, seating about 1,500 people. There were 22 stairs in the theater. The upper part of the theater was decorated with red granite pillars in the Corinthian style. The entrances were at both sides of the stage and reached by a few steps.
The Temple of Hadrian dates from the 2nd century but underwent repairs in the 4th century and has been reerected from the surviving architectural fragments. The reliefs in the upper sections are casts, the originals being now exhibited in the Ephesus Archaeological Museum.
A number of figures are depicted in the reliefs, including the emperor Theodosius I with his wife and eldest son. The temple was depicted on the reverse of the Turkish 20 million lira banknote of 2001–2005 and of the 20 new lira banknote of 2005–2009.
The Temple of Domitian was one of the largest temples in the city. It was erected on a pseudodipteral plan with 8 x 13 columns. The temple and its statue are some of the few remains connected with Domitian.
At an estimated 24,000 seating capacity, the Theater is believed to be the largest outdoor theater in the ancient world.
The Tomb/Fountain of Pollio was erected in 97 AD in honor of C. Sextilius Pollio, who constructed the Marnas aqueduct, by Offilius Proculus. It has a concave facade.
There were two agoras, one for commercial and one for state business.