No any ancient city in Turkey could compare with Ephesus. It is the most beautiful and large in scale. More than a million visitors was attracted to come to this place every year? This huge ruin area is just about 3.5 kilometers away from city of Selcuk.
I have some good tips on traveling to Ehesus , or Efes in local language , that must be very useful for you. Check it out.
- Public transport
The only public transport to Ephesus is a mini van(Dolmus).You could take it from bus station on the map. There are three operators. But the recommended one is the line Selcuk-Pamucak , which it would drop you to the closet spot to Ephesus. Other two would drop you on the main road. This service cost 2.5-3 Lira.
You could walk from the city to Ephesus. But off the main road , there is no big tree at all. It could be very hot and sunny and you still have a long way to walk around ruin site.
- Two entrances.
There are two main entrances of this site. The first is at a sub road of the main street , Dr.Sabri. The second is on the way to Virgin Mary house. The mini van would drop you to the first entrance.
But if you rent a motorbike and want to walk down the hill. The second entrance is the best choice as it is quite a bit steep to explore Ephesus from the first entrance.
Opening hour : 8.00-19.30 Last entry : 18.30 Fee : 25 Lira
Duration : 2-3 hours. There is an exchange currency from the post office at the first entrance and plenty of souvenir shops.
- Rough information about Ephesus.
Ephesus was built in the 10th century BC on the site of the former Arzawan capital by Attic and Ionian Greek colonists. During the Classical Greek era it was one of the twelve cities of the Ionian League. The city flourished after it came under the control of the Roman Republic in 129 BC. According to estimates Ephesus had a population of 33,600 to 56,000 people in the Roman period, making it the third largest city of Roman Asia Minor after Sardis and Alexandria Troas.
The city was famed for the Temple of Artemis (completed around 550 BC), one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. In 268 AD, the Temple was destroyed or damaged in a raid by the Goths. It may have been rebuilt or repaired but this is uncertain, as its later history is not clear. Emperor Constantine I rebuilt much of the city and erected new public baths. Following the Edict of Thessalonica from emperor Theodosius I, what remained of the temple was destroyed in 401 AD by a mob led by St. John Chrysostom. The town was partially destroyed by an earthquake in 614 AD. The city’s importance as a commercial center declined as the harbor was slowly silted up by the Cayster River.
Ephesus was one of the seven churches of Asia that are cited in the Book of Revelation. The Gospel of John may have been written here. The city was the site of several 5th-century Christian Councils. It is also the site of a large gladiators’ graveyard.
- Some interesting spots in Ephesus.
There are plenty to see in Ehesus. If you want to explore all around in every details. You have to spent at least two days to do it. There is still excavating and new pieces still be found today. It is interesting that you might see new discovered stuffs for the next time you come to visit Ephesus.
The Church of Mary.
It was the first church that was built to offer to Virgin Mary. The third meeting of the world Christian council was held here. So another name of this church is “The council church”
At the end of Harbor street , there is a big theatre which its capacity is 25,000 people , 18 meters tall , and used to organize the gladiator fights. It was built around 300-100 BC.
The Library of Celcus.
The highlight of this place is The Library of Celcus. People have to stop by to take photograph here.
And yes , it worth to do that as this big library is the only few piece that still remain perfectly from the past. It has eight marble pillars for each two storey. The library was built to store 12,000 scrolls and to serve as a monumental tomb for Celsus. Celsus is buried in a sarcophagus beneath the library, in the main entrance.
There are lot and lot to see in Ephesus. Click here if you want to read more….