Ancient Greek city of Ephesus

We awoke early in Selçuk the following morning after a pleasant stay at the Australian New Zealand guesthouse, run by a Turkish Australian man who had lived in Perth for eight years. Our first stop was the Aqueduct which then led us to the 6th century Basilica of St. John the Apostle which some believe, is built on the site of the Apostle’s tomb. It is believed that the Apostle John fled from Jerusalem to the city where he remained for the rest of his life, writing his gospels.  We spent some time wandering around the Basilica grounds – it was serene and peaceful with no other tourists around.  From the Basilica we could see the grand fortress of Selçuk on Ayasoluk Hill and the İsa Bey Mosque.

Byzantine AqueductRestored ruined pillars which supported the aqueductRestored ruined pillars which supported the aqueduct
Travis at the Gate of PersecutionRuins of Basilica of St. JohnRuins of Basilica of St. John
The Tomb of St. JohnIsa Bey MosqueSonya at the ruins of Basilica of St. John
The Tomb of St. JohnGrand fortress Ottoman castleLooking west across the interior of the Basilica of St. John

Ephesus was our next stop located about four kilometres from the city. When we arrived a few tour buses had already unloaded. We decided on opting for a guided tour and were approached by an English speaking guide, Volkan, who held the record for longest tour (51 days) in Turkey.  The history of the Ephesus site spans thousands of years, beginning in the Neolithic age (around 6000BC) across the Bronze, Dark ages, Hellenistic, Roman and Byzantine eras before being conquered during the Ottoman Period and abandoned.   Now, Ephesus contains the largest Roman ruins in the eastern Mediterranean and only 25% of the site had been excavated.

Highlights of Ephesus include the Library of Celsus, a façade of which has been carefully reconstructed from original pieces, the Theatre which has a 22,000 seating capacity, the outdoor/communal latrines which were also a key social area, The Temple of Hadrian, The Temple of Domitrian and the agora (market places).  After the tour we decided to also visit the recently excavated Roman apartments, the living compounds of where wealthy Romans lived. They were surprisingly spacious, bright and airy and beautifully decorated with mosaics covering walls and floors. The rooms were also huge and numerous.

Varius BathsOriginal Roman ceramic drainage pipesStoa of the State Agora
Gaius Memmius MemorialWinged Angel of VictoryLooking down Curetes Street towards the Library of Celsus
Curetes Street with the Library of Celsus in the backgroundSonya with Curetes Street in the backgroundSonya and the Gate of Hercules
Greek writing along Curetes StreetTrajan FountainStoa of Alytarches mosaics
Temple of HadrianRoman public latrineLibrary of Celsus
CrossSonya and the tour guide with a SarcophagusHadrian Gate
Ephesus Brothel AdvertInside the Great TheatreTravis and Sukey looking down the Arcadian Avenue
Sonya and Sukey looking down the Arcadian AvenueLooking down the Arcadian AvenueLooking up at the Great Theatre
Greek writing on stone blocksCat on ancient stone blocksLooking over Commercial Agora
Library of CelsusSophia Greek wisdomSukey and the Library of Celsus
Travis and the Library of CelsusLibrary of CelsusSonya and the Library of Celsus
Sonya inside Gate of Mazaeus and MithridatesPutting together the mosaics of the apartmentsClose-up of restored marble
Sukey and Sonya inside the Palaces on the SlopesRestoration worksTravis and Sonya inside the Palaces on the Slopes
Lion floor mosaics in the Palaces on the SlopesRestoration worksDionysus God of the Wine mosaic
Bird paintingNereid and Triton MosaicFloor mosaics in the Palaces on the Slopes
Travis and the Library of CelsusTravis and Sonya the Library of CelsusSonya and the Library of Celsus
Statue of Alexandros on Curetes StreetSukey and Sonya at Kahvalti RestaurantGozleme

After our morning in Ephesus we decided to taken on Voltron’s recommendation and visit one of the local restaurants nearby to the Seven Sleepers, for some Gözleme (pancakes / crepes) before heading off to our next stop, Pamukkale.