Everyone wants to visit this exceptional site !
Ephesus was of one of the most illustrious and important cities of ancient Greece and Rome. Once the capital of Rome's Province of Asia, second only to Alexandria, and with a population of 250,000 it was famed for its beauty, wealth and decadence as well as its fabulous Temple of Artemis, one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World.
As aptly put by "Let's Go Turkey":
"Short, fiery and intense, Ephesus' history has all the makings of an ancient tragedy. Out of devotion to its patron goddess Artemis, it stayed close to her colossal temple rather than sidestep certain death as its harbour steadily filled with silt. Despite desperate attempts to battle the Cayster River's indefatiguable silt-depositing tyranny, the recession of the sea had sealed the city's fate by the 6th Century. The harbour deteriorated into a marshy morass, which eventually became infested with with malaria-carrying mosquitoes, triggering a massive epidemic that resulted in nearly 200,000 deaths ...."
An important site of early Christianity, it is mentioned in the New Testament of the Christian Bible (Acts 19v23* and the Epistle to the Ephesians) and was the site of the third Ecumenical Council that determined the status of Mary as the Mother of God in 431 AD and found Bishop Nestoridas a heretic for disagreeing. St. Paul lived there for 3 years from 50 AD. Jesus' mother Mary and Apostle John are other famous former citizens.
90% of people need 2 - 4 hours to see Ephesus; enthusiasts of classics, archeology and theology will want much more !
Private Guides, Tour Groups and "DIY" Guide Books are all available and are all good in their own way, depending on your budget and what you want.
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