Ephesus; an Ancient Greek Icon


Ephesus, located in the west part of the Anatolia, in Izmir province, Turkey, is an ancient Greek city, also a homeland for Romans. In the classical Greek era, it was one of the twelve cities of Ionia. It’s construction dates back to BC 6000. The city flourished after it came under the control of the Roman Republic in 129 BC. According to estimates Ephesus had a population of 33,600 to 56,000 people in the Roman period, making it the third largest city of RomanAsia Minor after Sardis and Alexandria Troas. Every year approximately 1.5 million tourists visit this ancient city.

Being a port city, Ephesus hosted migrants from Greece and moved around The Temple of Artemis in BC 560. Todays Ephesus was built by one of the generals of Great Alexander, Lisihamos and it had its own autonomous rules, as well as its own money. The new Ephesus was built at BC 300, and planned according to the grid plan.24798 (1)
“The Marble Road” 

Ephesus had its brightest periods during Hellenistic and Roman eras, has become the capital of the Asia State in Roman Empire Augustus period, and its population exceeded 200.000 people. Every part of the city is dressed with monuments then. In the 4th century, Ephesus’ harbour was filled with alluvions and it moves away from the sea. In 7th century, it was attackted by Arabians and the Turkish takes the control in 14th century.

Ephesus’ 3000 years construction myth was written as “Androcles, the brave son of the king Kodros of Athens , wants to explore the other side of the Aegean . First, consults the oracles of Delphi Temple of Apollo city. They tell him to establish a city where the pig and the fish shows him. Androcles, thinking of the meaning of these words, sailed into the navy waters of the Aegean … They decide to disembark when they arrived at the river mouth of the bay Kaystros. They light a fire to eat fish when a wild pig emerging from the bushes snatching the fish and escapes . That prophecy has been realized. Here they decided to build a city …” in the Hadrian Temple.

“Hadrian Temple”

Ephesus is an important harbour city, also a door between West and East. This situation helped it to become the capital of the Asian State and political/trade center of its era. What was most important is, Anatolia’s ancient mother goddess (Kybele)’s Artemis cultured biggest temple is situated in Ephesus.

The first city completely built of marble is Ephesus, only an estimated 15% has been excavated and the major constructions are: 


Temple of Artemis : One of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World, is represented only by one inconspicuous column, revealed during an archaeological excavation by the British Museum in the 1870s. Some fragments of the frieze (which are insufficient to suggest the form of the original) and other small finds were removed – some to London and some to the Archaeological Museum, Istanbul.

House of the Virgin Mary : a well-known pilgrimage point for Christians. An image of the house is below. It is also known as MeryemAna.


Library of Celcus : The façade of which has been carefully reconstructed from all original pieces, was originally built c. 125 AD in memory of Tiberius Julius Celsus Polemaeanus, an Ancient Greekwho served as governor of Roman Asia (105–107) in the Roman Empire. Celsus paid for the construction of the library with his own personal wealth and is buried in a sarcophagus beneath it. The library was mostly built by his son Gaius Julius Aquila and once held nearly 12,000 scrolls. Designed with an exaggerated entrance — so as to enhance its perceived size, speculate many historians — the building faces east so that the reading rooms could make best use of the morning light.

Seven Sleepers : The story of the Seven Sleepers, who are considered saints by Catholics and Orthodox Christians and whose story is also mentioned in the Qur’an, tells that they were persecuted because of their belief in God and that they slept in a cave near Ephesus for centuries.


The Theatre : At an estimated 24,000 seating capacity, the Theater is believed to be the largest outdoor theater in the ancient world.

Basilica of St. John

Odeon : A small sized theatre having a capacity of 1500 people.

Temple of Hadrian

efes_turu_04“The Doors of August”

Feeling enthusiastic to visit Ephesus? Have a look at our page to investigate this marvelous city in İzmir. We offer the best rates online and get 3% member rewards on every booking. For further info visit our Facebook and Twitter pages.

“The Library of Celcus and Door of August on the right”


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