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History of the Ancient Ephesus

Celsus Library in Ephesus

Great Theatre in Ephesus

Hadrian Temple in Ephesus

Goddess Artemis of Ephesus

Map of the Ancient Ephesus

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History of EPHESUS
EPHESUS,once the most important commercial center western Anatolia,is 18 km far from Kusadasi.The city was established as aport on the mounth of the river Cayter and was one of the foremost cities of the world for its being on a strategic trade route in Anatolia.
Ephesus was ruled by the Lydian king,Kreisos,in teh mid 6th century BC.The city reached the "golden Age" and became o good model to the Antic World in culture and art,as well.Ephesus was controlled by the Romans in 190 BC.The city was given to the Bergamian kings for a time.With the death of King Attalos3 in 133BC,the city was re-ruled by the Romans.and the city became the capital of the new Asia.By cleaning the river Caystros from the alluviums,the great trade port of Ephesus,a gateway to foreign countries,enriched the prosperity of the of the city and countinued to thrive with commerce and culture.The city was constructed,adding new models to the former magnificence of Ephesus."Celsus Library" clearly exemplifies with the delicate details of the construction.
Well-known from earliest times, this city was established on the delta of what is now called the Lesser Menderes River. The sheltered harbor of that period was the beginning of a royal road the ended at the gate of Susa, the capital or the Persian Empire, which secured the city its importance. It became the capital of the Roman province of Asia under Augustus and had a population of perhaps 200,000 in the second and first centuries BC. In the 6th century BC science, art and culture were prominent here along with Miletus. The famous philosopher Heraclitus, interpreter of dreams Artemidorus, the poets Callinos and Hipponax, grammarian Zenodotus and the doctors Soranus and Rufus were all from Ephesus.
The oldest finds are from the Neolithic Age dated 6000 years before Christ, found at the Çukuriçi Höyük. There was a Hittite settlement on top of Ayasuluk Hill from the Old Bronze Age. The name was then Apasus, according to Hittite inscriptions found there. Linguists believe the name Ephesus came from this Hittite name.
Under Roman rule the city became the largest and richest in the province of Asia thanks to both land and sea trade. There were marble monuments everywhere in the city. It was the first city built entirely out of marble. In the 4th century AD trade had declined because the harbor was silting in. The Emperor Hadrian had the harbor dredged several times. The harbor was finned in by silt from the Marnas River and the Lesser Menderes coming from the north. In time the city was increasingly distant from the sea. In the 7th century Arabs attacked the coastal areas. The city moved to Ayasuluk Hill for better defense. When the Turks came in the 13th century Ephesus was just a small village. They built mosques, caravanserais, and baths typical of Turkish civilization.
There are two entrances to the city today. For an easy tour, begin at the Magnesia Gate (Upper Gate) located on the road going to the House of Mary.Your Taxi will drop off your here for a comfortable tour you will walk down.This is one of your Adwantage to using our Taxi Cab service for your Ephesus tour
What you ll see :
Immediately to one side is the East Gymnasium at the foot of Panayir Mountain. The first monumental work one comes to is the Odeion with the Varius Baths beside it. Ephesus had a bicameral legislation, the first being the Congress of Councillors, which met here, hence the name "Bouleterion". In front of the Odeion was business council called the "Basilica." Beside this was the Municipal Building, the "Prytaneion" with its massive columns. The Prytan functioned as the mayor of the city. His most important function was to keep alive the flame that had been burning in the building for centuries. This was done in the name of the local deity Hestia. The Artemis statues on display in the Ephesus Museum were found in the vault of the Prytaneion.
The area in front of the Odeion was the State Agora (Upper Agora). In the middle was a temple to the Egyptian goddess Isis. In 80 Laecanus Bassus erected AD a fountain in the southwest corner of the agora. From the agora one proceeds to the Square to Domitian where things like the Pollio and Domitian fountains, the Memmius Monument and the Heracles Gate are clustered together.

The famous Avenue of the Curates leads west from the Upper Agora. Things along this avenue include the Trajan Fountain, the façade of the Temple to Hadrian and the Scolasticia Baths. Immediately beside the Temple to Hadrian are the Bordello and the Latrines. On the left side of the avenue are the "Terrace Houses." These houses are the most beautiful examples of peristyle houses and were as comfortable as houses are today. They all had frescoed walls and mosaic floors. Each had a heating system and bath. These houses are eminent in archeological literature and well worth seeing. At the end of the avenue is that most beautiful structure of Roman times, the Celsus Library. When Ephesus governor Celsus died in 106 AD, his son had the library built as his monument and grave. The sarcophagus is under the west wall of the library. One of the most interesting structures in Ephesus is the Temple to Serapis, immediately behind the Library. Beside the Library is the Mazeus Mithridates Gate that leads in the Market Agora (Lower Agora).
Agora is the starting point for the Marble Avenue. This is where St. Paul preached. At the end of the avenue is the world's largest theater, the Grand Theater, with a seating capacity of 24,000. Presently the theater is the site of months of various cultural and musical activities. At the corner of the theater is the Hellenistic Fountain, the smallest structure in Ephesus. The Theater Gymnasium and Baths across from it were built in the 2nd century AD.
The longest street in Ephesus is the Harbor Avenue (Arcadian Avenue) once lined with statues, and stretching from the theater to the presently silted-in harbor. The Four Apostles' Monument was in the middle of the avenue. At the end of the avenue was the Harbor Gymnasium and Baths next to the ancient harbor. In the complex there stands the Church of Mary, site of the General Church Council of 431 AD.
At the city's northernmost point is the Vedius Gymnasium with Byzantine walls beside it. There is also a stadium built in the time of the Emperor Nero..

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