The ancient city of Ephesus is one of the greatest archaeological sites in Turkey. At the time it was the center of culture and commerce of the Roman Empire. If you wonder about the city of Ephesus location, then it is located 3 km southwest of Selcuk town in Izmir province. So what to see in Ephesus ancient city and what the things to do in Ephesus Turkey? There are monuments like the Temple of Artemis of Ephesus (one of the 7 wonders of ancient world) and the Cave of Zeus in Ephesus. The holy place of pilgrimage for early Christians - the burial place of the Virgin Mary and the Apostle John are also located here.
Here are some interesting ancient Ephesus facts. According to the history of Ephesus ancient city was founded around XVI - XI centuries BC. It was originally Ionian colony. In the VII century BC city of Ephesus was destroyed including the Temple of Artemis of Ephesus by the Cimmerian tribes that was later restored by the king of Lydia – Croesus. Later the Persian king Cyrus conquered the city of Ephesus in the middle of the VI century BC.
Such violent twists and turns around the city of Ephesus eventually gave way to a peaceful and painless join into the Roman Empire. The value of the ancient city of Ephesus in Turkey today can be determined by references in the annals to frequent visits of such great Romans as Cassius, Antonius, Brutus and even Cicero. Dynasty of Augustus made the ancient city of Ephesus the capital of one of the Roman provinces - Asia. After that Ephesus began to grow and has become a bustling commercial center, the residence of the Roman rulers and became one of the five largest cities of the Roman Empire. After that ancient Ephesus was considered one of the most important cities of the Christian religion. The apostle John was conducting his sermons in Ephesus Turkey. He was buried there in the church that was named in his honor. In addition according to legends the Holy Virgin Mary has chosen Ephesus Turkey as her final resting place after the crucifixion of Christ where she lived with Apostle John who took care of her. One of the ancient Ephesus facts city is known is that it has been visited by the Apostle Paul. The third Bishop Ecumenical Council was conducted here in 431 AD.
The ancient city of Ephesus today is a kind of open-air museum, alluring, mysterious, incredibly beautiful even today. Some of the most popular tourist attractions of ancient Ephesus are Temple of Hadrian, Ephesus theater, Kuretes street, the Celsius Library in Ephesus and the Odeon .
One of the things to do in Ephesus ancient city is to visit the Temple of Hadrian the Emperor that is one of the most well-preserved buildings in Ephesus museum. The facade of the temple is decorated by beautiful curved arch supported by two powerful central columns. Once the entrance to the temple was adorned by four statues of great emperors - Maximian , Diocletian, Galerius and Constantius Chlorus . The surviving pedestals of these statues confirm this fact.
The ensemble of buildings is located opposite to the Temple of Hadrian and is titled simply "Houses on the Hill". The richest and most powerful inhabitants of Ephesus Turkey used to live in these beautiful houses.
Temple of Hadrian and the Houses on the Hill are located in a broad and beautiful Kuretes street that stretches from the ancient Ephesus library to Agora. There are the ruins of ancient houses, columns, statues, stone pedestals, capitals, friezes and the remains of shops on both sides of the street. The Kuretes Street is also notable because of the location of marble wall where all the laws of Ephesus are engraved.
On the slope of a hill not far from the Kuretes Street you can see a semi-circular (with roof in the past) building - the Odeon. Scientists are still arguing about the purposes for which the Odeon was built because the architectural design of the building is such that it can be both - the small theater for 1,400 seats and the place for the Senate of the city. But city of Ephesus already has the Great Theatre for 25,000 seats for artists and gladiator fights.
Another thing to do in Ephesus Turkey is to visit the one of the most magnificent and beautiful buildings of Ephesus - the Library of Celsius and it is definitely another thing to see in Ephesus Turkey. Ephesus library is one of the richest libraries of the ancient world after the Library of Alexandria and Pergamon library so definitely it is one of most popular tourist attractions in thr city of Ephesus. It counted more than 12,000 hand-written scrolls.