Efes(Ephesus)

30th, 2012
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Ephesus: This is the most spectacular ancient city in western Anatolia. The entrance to the ruins is on the Selçuk-Pamucak highway and the upper gate is at the Meryem Ana (Mother Mary) exit. When entering from the upper gate the eastern gymnasium, baths, palaestra (place for wrestling and physical training), the tomb of Saint Luke, a fountain, the state agora, and the odeon are the first series of sites before your eyes. Next comes the Baths of Varius, two temples in a square with three sides covered with columns, the Sacred Way that connects to the to Curetes Way, a monumental fountain, the Memmius monument, the avenue that links the Celsus library and the monument, the Fountain of Trajan on the avenue, the Fountain of Hadrian with the Scholastika baths right behind while opposite are ancient houses that can be entered by paying an extra fee.
There is the house of love on the intersection of Curetes and the Sacred Avenues; the Library of Celsus, considered to be the most beautiful structure in the city; the agora with the Temple of Serapis right behind it and which was converted into a church during the Byzantine era. On the left is the 24,000 seat ancient theatre of the city, and the Arcadian Avenue, which starts at the bottom of the theatre and continues down to the ancient harbour. There are pedestrian walkways made of mosaics along both sides of the avenue, sports facilities to the north of the avenue and the Meryem Ana Church (Church of the Virgin Mary).
The Selçuk Archaeology Museum in the centre of the modern city is one of the richest museums in the region. Selçuk castle, located on the top of Ayasuluk Hill within walking distance of the city centre, has the magnificent church of St John on its slopes, and was dedicated to one of apostles of Christianity. A little further ahead is the Isa Bey Mosque with some of the finest examples of Selçuk era stonework.
The remains of Temple of Artemis, once one of the Seven Wonders of the ancient world, are on the road between Selçuk and Kuşadası while the cave of the Yedi Uyuyanlar (Seven Sleepers) is on the slopes of Panayır Mountain on the way to Meryem Ana. From the upper Ephesus gate, seven kilometres away on Aladağ, is the house of Virgin Mary (Meryem Ana Evi) and the chapel of the Virgin Mary, considered as sacred and a site of pilgrimage by Christians.

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