Posted by: nancycurteman | March 21, 2016

Turkey’s Ephesus: From the Neolithic Period to The Turkish Era

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7411749-Celsus_Library-EphesusEphesus was an ancient Greek city located on the coast of Ionia near present-day Selcuk in Izmar Province. The area on which the city was inhabited as far back as the Neolithic period (6000 BC). Ephesus is the best-preserved ancient city in the Eastern Mediterranean area. It has been destroyed and rebuilt over the centuries. It weathered the Bronze Age, a Hellenistic period, Roman and Byzantine eras and finally the Turkish era. A visit to the Ephesus archaeological site is a walk through history.

Curetes Street is the main street of Ephesus. Hadrian Temple is one of the most beautiful structures on the street. Built before 138 AD, it was dedicated to Emperor Hadrian who visited Ephesus in 128 AD. Four Corinthian columns support the curved arch entrance. A well-preserved relief of Tyche, goddess of victory can be seen on the arch. Inside7044598-Hadrian_Temple-Ephesus the temple are friezes depicting ancient characters and stories—Medusa, Androklos shooting a boar, Dionysus, Athena and others. Of special interest are the friezes that depict the tale of the origin of Ephesus.

The house of Virgin Mary is purported to be the last home of Mother Mary. Outside the house are 3 fountains that Christians believed to provide health, love and wealth. There is a wall of wishes. If you write your wish on a piece of paper and a5908159-House_of_the_Virgin_Mary_Ephesusttach it to the wall it is sure to come true.

The beautiful Celsus Library was built between 117 and 135 AD as a tomb for the governor of the province. He was buried in a crypt beneath the library floor. The library was large enough to hold 12,000 scrolls. Sadly, it crumbled under an earthquake during the late tenth century and the books were lost.

Toward the end of Curetes Street is the Hercules Gate that dates back to the second century AD. Only two sides of the columns remain but it’s an interesting site.

Ephesus is a must-see site for a peek back in ancient times.

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