Updated July 2020:
*Added a video of Roman pageantry
Ephesus was an Ionian city in ancient Anatolia (Asia Minor... Now Turkey).
The city was located in Ionia, where the Cayster River (Küçük Menderes) flows into the Aegean Sea, and was part of the Panionian League. Today's archaeological site lies 3 km south of the Selçuk district of Ýzmir Province, Turkey. The ruins of Ephesus are located near the port of Kusadasi.
Kusadasi is a resort town on the Aegean coast, and the center of the seaside district of the same name within Aydin Province. The municipality's primary industry is tourism and the cruise stop to visit 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 Ephesus 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. A superb place to visit. You can almost get a sense of being there...if you use a little imagination.
GODDESS NIKE- winged goddess of victory (yes, that NIKE)
Temple of Hadrian
The Temple of Hadrian dates from the 2nd century but underwent repairs in the 4th century and has been re-erected from the surviving architectural fragments. The reliefs in the upper sections are casts, the originals now being exhibited in the Ephesus Archaeological Museum.
The road to the port where Cleopatra once rode down... She spent some time in Ephesus. In those days the sea was much closer. The port was located at the end of this path.
The importance of the city as a commercial centre declined as the harbour slowly filled with silt from the river (today, Küçük Menderes) despite repeated dredges during the city's history.
Today, the harbor is 5 km inland. The loss of its harbor caused Ephesus to lose its access to the Aegean Sea, which was important for trade. People started leaving the lowland of the city for the surrounding hills. The ruins of the temples were used as building blocks for new homes. Marble sculptures were ground to powder to make lime for plaster.
Board-game table at the center of the picture. Excavation of Roman homes
The library of Celsus was built for Tiberius Julius Celsus Polemaeanus and completed in AD 135. Celsus? son, Gaius Julius Aquila built the library in honor of his father who was consul in AD 92, former governor of Asia in AD 115, and a wealthy and popular local citizen.
The library was built to store 12,000 scrolls and to serve as a monumental tomb for Celsus. It was unusual to be buried within a library or even within city limits, so this was a special honor for Celsus.
Ephesus became an important center for early Christianity from the 50s A.D. Paul used it as a base and spent there more than two years on his third missionary journey (Acts 19:8, 19:10, 20:31).
The Theater - At an estimated 44,000 seating capacity, it is believed to be the largest outdoor theater in the ancient world.
Back in Kusadasi.