EPHESUS TOURS


It can be said that Ephesus is one of the most beautiful ancient cities in the world. In ancient times its favourable location at the mount of the Cayster River made it the foremost commercial city of a coastal region that also included the cities of Miletus, Smyrna & Pergamon, but the silting up of its harbour gradually resulted in the loss this pre-eminence. The city has been excavated for more than 100 years; the extensive remains are predominantly from the later Roman Period.

Ephesus formed a focal point in the ancient world because of its protected harbour and as a starting point for the royal road via Sardis to Susa. It was also a cult center attracting thousands of pilgrims for traditional worship of the female, first Cybele, then Artemis and finally the Virgin Mary in the Christian period.


Ephesus Tour 001

Ephesus Tour 002

Daily Ephesus Tour 003

Ephesus Tour 004


INFORMATION ON EPHESUS VIRGIN MARY’S HOUSE:

The stigmatized German nun Anne Catherine Emmerich who had never been to Ephesus had a vision of the House of Virgin Mary and described it in detail to the German writer Clemens Bretano who later published a book about it. Catherine Emmerich died in 1884. In 1891 Paul, Superior of the Lazarists from Izmir read about her vision and found little building, which corresponded with Emmerich’s descriptions. Archaeological evidence showed that the little house was from the 6C AD but that the foundation were from the 1C AD. This place was officially declared a shrine of the Roman Catholic Church in 1896, and since then, it has become a popular place of pilgrimage, Pope Paul VI visited the shrine in 1967.

BASILICA OF ST. JOHN:

At his crucifixion Jesus asked his beloved disciple, John, to look after his mother. John and Virgin Mary went to Ephesus between 42 & 48 AD and lived there. John was martyred under the rule of the Emperor Trojan. There has been much discussion as to whether John the Apostle is confused with St. John the Theologian whose name. Hagia Theologos, gave the Turkish name first for the town and later only for the hill, Ayasuluk. A small church on the Ayasuluk hill was dedicated to him in the 2C AD. This church was replaced in the 6C by a huge basilica build by the Emperor Justinian, the impressive ruins of which are still visible.

The Basilica had a cruciform plan with 4 domes along its longitudinal axis and a pair flanking the central dome to form the arm of the cross. Under the central dome was the sacred grave of St. John. Pilgrims have believed that a fine dust from his grave has magical and creative powers. In the apse of the central nave, beyond the transept is the synchronic, semicircular row of seats for the clergy. To the North transept was attached the treasury which was later converted into a chapel. The baptistery is from an earlier period and now located to the north of the nave.

SIRINCE VILLAGE:

The charming mountain village of Sirince is situated in a remote spot among the mountain peaks 7 kilometre – 4 miles from the town of Selcuk. The village is so beautiful that, contrary to the general tendency, migration to the village is from nearby towns or cities. Sirince was originally a Greek Village. As part of the peace settlement after the Greeks were defeated in Turkey in 1922, a formal exchange of populations was agreed upon. As a result Turkey received about 500.000 Muslim Turks from Greece in exchange for nearly 2 millions Greeks who had been displaced since 1912. The Greek population of the Sirince Village migrated to Greece as part of this exchange program. Their houses are the same old houses, though some have been restored and others converted into guesthouses. Today the village is under conversation to retain its authentic appearance and offers visitors original views and nice experiences.

EPHESUS ANTIQUE SITE:

It can be said that Ephesus is one of the most beautiful ancient cities in the world. In ancient times its favourable location at the mount of the Cayster River made it the foremost commercial city of a coastal region that also included the cities of Miletus, Smyrna & Pergamon, but the silting up of its harbour gradually resulted in the loss this pre-eminence. The city has been excavated for more than 100 years; the extensive remains are predominantly from the later Roman Period.

Ephesus formed a focal point in the ancient world because of its protected harbour and as a starting point for the royal road via Sardis to Susa. It was also a cult center attracting thousands of pilgrims for traditional worship of the female, first Cybele, then Artemis and finally the Virgin Mary in the Christian period.

Ephesus was also home for the early philosopher Heraclitus.

Travel to Priene to see the remains of the magnificent Athena Temple, built in the 4th century BC with the financial help of Alexander the Great. Considered a model of the lonic style, this temple has played a significant role in the history of architecture. View the ruins of the oldest theatre in Anatolia (3rd century BC), which seated over 5.000 spectators. Also see the gymnasium, the stadium and the agora (marketplace). The center of commercial and political life, the agora richly decorated with statues, which are still visible today. Then they will continue their journey back in time to Miletus, an ancient city that once was linked to Didyma by a 10 mile long Sacred Way. Stone lions, sphinxes and statues of seated priests and priestesses flanked this holy way. Explore the ruins of Miletus, including the theatre, thermal baths and stadium. The stadium was built by the Greeks and later enlarged by the Romans to hold 15.000 spectators seated on elevated tiers. Continue on to Didyma where the guests will enjoy a sumptuous lunch featuring local specialty dishes and wine in a nearby Turkish restaurant before exploring the oldest park of the city. Marvel the majestic Temple of Apollo, one of the great monuments of antiquity. Legend says that Apollo was infatuated with a handsome shepherd named Branchus. In gratitude, Branchus built an altar to Apollo and received the gift of divination. He then established the first oracular shrine at Didyma. It is believes the first Temple of Apollo was constructed in 560 BC. This archaic temple was replaced by the Hellenistic temple, which is evident today. Begun by Alexander the Great, work on the temple continued for nearly 500 years, only to cease when Christianity forbade the consulting of oracles. Observe the Temple’s exquisite giant columns and the huge mass of marble.