The Wandering Continues...

Thursday, April 20, 2006

Ephesus: The First and Greatest Metropolis of Asia

Bearing in mind a hint from Lonely Planet that Troy is dull without Brad Pitt running around it, we have decided to make a day tour to Ephesus instead. The journey began with a 6 am flight from Istanbul to Izmir and ended with a 9 pm flight back to Istanbul and with Jorge lost his fancy-and-he-can't-buy-it-again-because-they-don't-deliver-to-Germany-London-Fog-umbrella in Ephesus; 'A tribute to the city' I'd said.

Ephesus was one of a city of Ionian Greeks and a busy provincial capital during Roman times. The city was generally renowned for ist wealth and beauty due its direct access to Aegean Sea. The population of Ephesus has been estimated to be in the range of 400,000 to 500,000 inhabitants in the year 100 AD, making the largest city in roman Asia and one of the largest cities of the day. St. Paul and John preeched in this city and the Virgin Mary is said to have spent her twilight years here until she died.

The city was abandoned in the 6th century AD when the harbor completely filled in with river silt, removing its access to the Aegean Sea.

The Grand Theater
An open air theater that capables to host 25,000 people. It was used initially for drama, but during later Roman times gladiatorial combats were also held on its stage. It is still used to host lots of music concert today. Sting, Elton John and Diana Ross are among those famous musicians who have held their concerts in Ephesus' theater.

The Celsus Library
It has been reconstructed from all original pieces. The building was designed with only front windows and faced to the east to make use of the morning lights and to preserve the books. An underground tunnel leads from the library to a nearby building believed to have been a brothel. A lame 'I-am-going-to-study-but-I-go-to-a-brothel-instead' excuse that those ancient guys told their moms/wives.

The public toilet
Disregard if you are a General of the Army or just a normal peasant, you both will ended up meeting in the public toilets! Here is where the men of Ephesus met daily and spent hours chatting with each other. Recycling water from the bath runs under the seats.

The house of the Virgin Mary
It is about 7 km from Ephesus. It is said by the Roman Catholic Church to have been the last home of the Virgin Mary. The house is reconstructed from the original but the floor were still from 100 AD.

The Temple of Artemis
It's believed to be the largest building in the ancient world and one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. Unfortunately, it is represented today by only one inconspicuous column as most of the artwork from the temple currently resides in the British Museum.

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1 Comments:

  • I like the foto of Masjid...it's very unique. But I'm very suprise that you has a talent as writer..he..he....the good side your friends can "join" the experience, so...ciayoooo....

    By Anonymous Pidda, At 6:26 PM  

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