Ephesus, the archaeological jewel of Asia Minor

Ephesus, the archaeological jewel of Asia Minor

The city of Ephesus is one of the 12 Ionian cities located in the Aegean Sea, and in the helena era it became an important commercial, cultural and cult center although it was with the romans when he lived his time of maximum splendor.

Proof of this is the Temple of Artemis, goddess of fertility and hunting, which was one of the 7 Wonders of the Ancient World although today only a few stones remain.

For Christians it also has its importance as it houses the House in which the Virgin Mary lived her last years taken care of by Saint John the Evangelist and because she was visited several times by Saint Paul. Today, Ephesus is the best preserved city in Ancient Asia Minor, an authentic open-air museum, essential on a route through Turkey.

Selcuk, city of entry to the ruins of Ephesus

Selcuk, in the province of Izmir, has become an important tourist center thanks to its proximity (less than 3 kilometers) with Ephesus. It also has some of its own attractions such as the aforementioned House of the Virgin Mary, the Museum of Ephesus, the 11th century Basilica of St. John the Evangelist or the Mosque of Isa Bey. It is also worth walking through its souk and taking the pulse of the local population.

¿How to get?

The closest airport to Ephesus is Izmir International Airport, Adnan Menderes Airport, is about 65 kilometers from Selcuk (about 45 minutes by car) and connects it with the main tourist spots in the country. More practical is the bus station, we make all the trips within the country by bus. We arrive at Selcuk from Pamukkale (about 4 hours to travel a little less than 200 kilometers) and leave for Istanbul on another night bus.

¿Where to sleep?

In Selcuk there is a wide variety of accommodation for all tastes and budgets, it is located on the outskirts of the city, about 4 kilometers from the center, it has new rooms with bathrooms at a very good price but the best are its facilities with swimming pool and A chill out area. They will even pick you up at the station.

How to visit its ruins

As we have already mentioned, the ruins of Ephesus are about 3 kilometers from Selcuk, if we stay there it is enough to take a taxi to get closer to them, but in our case we walk from the hotel, but not before getting lost on a couple of occasions , and although it took us a little longer than expected, this helped us avoid tourist buses and be able to enjoy the visit practically alone.

Ephesus rose between the Bulbul and Panayir mountains, the first excavations date from the 19th century and were carried out by English archaeologists.

The ruins that we can visit today are incredibly preserved and can be accessed through two doors, the main one, closest to the Theater and the secondary, which we access and the one we recommend since we will see the most points in the end Featured The visit can last about 2-3 hours if we walk in peace.

We continue the visit through the gate of Hercules and the Trajana fountain, dedicated to the Emperor. It is worth leaving the main road and approaching the terraced houses or terraces, to enjoy the mosaics, frescoes and latrine areas.

Back on the main road we begin to walk along the Via de los Curetos, one of the most prominent points of Ephesus, it is a Roman road, flanked on both sides by dozens of columns and where you can see the old sewer and the remains of public toilets.

Finally, the most important building in Ephesus, The Library of Celsus

It was built in honor of Tiberio Julio Celso Polemeano, to be used as well as a library as a monumental tomb. Inside, up to 12,000 manuscripts were saved.

It has two floors of Corinthian-style columns, and was chaired by four statues representing wisdom, knowledge, intelligence and virtue.

The reading room was built in such a way that it seemed larger and oriented east to take advantage of the maximum hours of sunlight.

No doubt his image is something we will not forget about our trip through Turkey

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