Ephesus was one of the biggest metropolitan meccas of the ancient world. The city is thought to have originated around 6000 B.C.; however, its rise to power began primarily in the first century, when the city was home to almost 250,000 people! Ephesus was also home to the Temple of Artemis (one of the seven wonders of the ancient world) and the gladiator’s graveyard. Although some ancient sites have failed the test of time, there are many historical goldmines that are of interest to tourists. Below is a list of the top 5 must see sites in Ephesus.
Temple of Artemis
Once one of the 7 wonders of the ancient world, all that stands of the temple is a single pillar topped with a stork’s nest. The pillar standing today was actually reassembled from remnants found at the site. Most pieces of importance are scattered around the world in history museums.
Basilica of St. John
This elaborate Citadel style basilica was built in honor of St. John the Apostle who is buried on the south side of the building. The church is one of the Byzantine Empire’s largest churches, and although an earthquake mostly demolished the original facility, the ruins still provide a great visual of the shear mass of the original Basilica.
House of Virgin Mary
This is said to have been the last home of the Virgin Mary. The main building was originally erected in the 6th century; however, association with the Virgin Mother wasn’t established until the 19th century when a French priest discovered the ruins of a monastery that was associated with Mary.
This is the best-preserved (and most beautiful) site in Ephesus. The detail that are preserved on the building are astounding. The library was intended to hold more than 12,000 scrolls as well as be a memorial tomb for Celsus the governor of Asia.
The Grand Theatre
As its name suggests, this theatre is the largest standing structure in Ephesus. The amphitheater has withstood expanding and earthquakes to still stay in very good shape. Besides the library, this is the most impressive structure in Ephesus.
Of course this list is brief and in no way covers the extent of all there is to see in Ephesus. In order to get the most out of your trip, it is recommended to participate in an Ephesus tour.
This will maximize your experience, as you will be able to learn from an expert as you visit all the tourist hotspots. With twelve custom Ephesus shore excursions to choose from, you are bound to find one that suits your fancy.
For more information about private Ephesus tours and Ephesus group tours, or to book a tour, contact us through our contact page or book online now!