Sunday, May 1, 2011

Ephesus? What is it? Where is it?

Ephesus was an ancient Greek city, and later a major Roman city, on the west coast of Turkey, near present-day Selcuk, Turkey. Ephesus, at its height, had a population of more than 250,000 in the 1st century BCE, which made it the second or third largest city in the world behind only Alexandria and Rome.

Ephesus was an important center for early Christianity. The Apostle Paul “hung out” between 53 and 62 AD. The Apostle John was also “in the neighborhood” until around 100 AD. The house of the Virgin Mary, about 4 miles from Selcuk, is believed to have been the last home of Mary, mother of Jesus. It is a popular place of pilgrimage which has been visited by three recent popes.

Our tour of the area was led by Hakan

We began by visiting the house of the Virgin Mary:

Mass Baptismal near Mary's Home
Prayer Wall with Notes
From Mary's we moved on to the ruins of Ephesus:

Main Street Ephesus circa 2011


Nike was a goddess who personified victory, also known as the Winged Goddess of Victory. Nike and her siblings were close companions of Zeus.

Can you she her swoosh? 

Gus and Joan Shopping on Main Street


According to Greek mythology,gazing directly upon Medusa would turn onlookers to stone. Nike, Joan, and Medusa, represented pretty strong women... wouldn't you say?  

Three Styles of Columns

Temple of Hadrian, the Roman Emperor


Venturing down Main Street past ancient shops, public toilets, and a hospital we next viewed the         wealthy area of the city. The residences were thousands of square feet large. Families were as large as 7-10 with as many as 30 attendant slaves .                                                                                      

Mosaic of Triton and His Beloved Mermaid

Triton is a mythological Greek god, the messenger of the sea. He is the son of Poseidon, god of the sea, and Amphitrite, goddess of the sea. He is usually represented as a merman, having the upper body of a human and the tail of a fish. Triton and the Mermaid served as the inspiration for Disney's movie, The Little Mermaid.

Frescos in Mother-in-Law's Guest Room

Mosaic in Gladiator's Home

Archaeology in Practice

View of Site from the Top

Library of Celsus


Next we went to the Ephesus Archaeological Museum . It houses finds from the nearby Ephesus excavation site. Its best-known exhibit is the statue of Artemis retrieved from the temple of the goddess in Ephesus.

She was the Hellenic goddess of the hunt, wild animals, wilderness, childbirth, and viginity.

Amazing Female Statue

Amazing Male Statue

We ended our day as we left the museum and the rain began to fall. Our driver

said it all...

After an early dinner and a good night's rest we were off again to the airport.

Countryside on the way to the Airport I

Countryside on the way to the Airport II

Exit to Izmir International Airport

Next stop Cappadocia...

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