Ancient city of Ephesus – a pearl of western Turkiye

Baku, March 31, AZERTAC

Turkiye’s cultural and historical diversity is stunning to many, as every square inch of this land, known also as the “cradle of civilizations,” abounds with history, and the ancient city of Ephesus – a pearl of western Turkiye is a vivid example of this.

Ephesus is undoubtedly the most renowned historical attraction in Turkiye and is situated in the colorful seaside city of Izmir on the west coast of the country.

Included in UNESCO’s World Heritage Sites List in 2015, Ephesus attracts thousands of visitors every day from around the world and, in 2019, with approximately 2 million visitors, it was the most visited ancient city in Turkey.

A principal city of science, culture and art of its era, Ephesus had been a residential area starting from the pre-historic era and through the Hellenistic, Roman, Eastern Roman periods and also under the Ottoman Empire for about nine millennium without interruption

The Temple of Artemis, which was considered to be one of the Seven Wonders of the World, is situated on the edge of this small town. The city which was situated at the beginning of the Persian Royal Road has survived sufficiently enough to enable us to understand the ancient way of life in Ephesus. It is one of the cities which played an impressive role in the beginnings of Christianity and during the period of its proliferation (St. John Church and the shrine of the Virgin Mary). It contains one of the most spectacular examples of religious architecture of the Seljuk Period.

Located within what was once the estuary of the River Kaystros, Ephesus comprises successive Hellenistic and Roman settlements founded on new locations, which followed the coastline as it retreated westward.

Excavations have revealed grand monuments of the Roman Imperial period including the Library of Celsus and the Great Theatre.

Since the 5th century, the House of the Virgin Mary, a domed cruciform chapel seven kilometres from Ephesus, became a major place of Christian pilgrimage. The Ancient City of Ephesus is an outstanding example of a Roman port city, with sea channel and harbour basin.

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