Aegean Coast Attractions
Ephesus Library © Adrienne Bassett
Ephesus is the biggest and best-preserved ancient city in Turkey and is one of the world's most spectacular historical sites. The city and its harbour were established on the mouth of the Cayster River and, in the 2nd century BC, became the most important port and commercial trading centre in Anatolia. Alexander the Great ruled over it during the Hellenistic period and it was once capital of Roman Asia under Augustus in 133 BC. Ephesus declined during the Byzantine Era and by 527 AD it was deserted. Ephesus is also important as the early seat of Christianity, visited by Saint Paul, whose letters to the Ephesians are recorded in the New Testament. Guides are available and can offer a rich insight into the history and architecture of the ruins. Chariot-worn streets contain amphitheatres, murals, and mosaics, as well as baths, fountains, and columns. Highlights include the enormous Library of Celsus, the Temple of Hadrian, and the Grand Theatre where Paul preached to the Ephesians. The city was originally dedicated to the goddess Artemis and her once-magnificent temple is considered one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World.
Address: Efes Örenyeri, Selçuk/İzmir.; Post code: 35920; Telephone: +90 444 6893; Transport: Ephesus is a nine hour bus ride from Istanbul. Travellers should fly to Izmir Airport and take a shuttle from the airport to Selcuk - from there Ephesus is easily accessible.; Opening time: Daily: 8am-6.30pm (in winter the site closes at 5pm); Admission: TRY 60
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