Best things to do in Ephesus
Find out more about those top places in Ephesus
While Turkey is packed with world-class ancient treasures, those at Ephesus outshine them all. Overlooking the turquoise waters of the Mediterranean, only 20% of Ephesus has been excavated but even so it claims the title of Europe’s largest classical metropolis. During its heyday, Ephesus was the fourth largest city in the Roman Empire and today many of the city’s finest buildings remain near completely intact. The Temple of Artemis was one of the ancient wonders of the world and its Corinthian columns remain evocative until now. However, the best-preserved building is undoubtedly the Library of Celsus, which was the third largest library of the ancient world, and still stands proud over the city. While many Roman cities are little more than rubble, the ancient world truly comes to life at Ephesus.
This temple is one of the seven wonders of the ancient world as it was the first marble temple to be built. The Westward facing temple was built in 6BC on the order of the King of Lydia. Although the temple lies in ruins today, it still receives thousands of tourists and pilgrims all year round.
According to the Bible, the Virgin Mary, the mother of Jesus, was brought to Ephesus after the resurrection of Jesus. Virgin Mary lived out the rest of her life at this new location, and a long time after she had died a church was erected on the same spot where the house had been. The history backing up this site makes it a favorite spot for not just tourists, but pilgrims as well.
The Library of Celsus was one of the largest libraries of ancient times. Although you might not find it looking as glorious as it used to be, the library still has its charm even in the ruins it lies in. An interesting fact about the library is that it was once rocked by an earthquake before it was set ablaze by invading Goths. Despite all these, the library still attracts a good number of tourists.
After the death of St. John, the famous apostle who was the only disciple of Jesus to escape martyrdom, Emperor Justinian ordered that a monument be built on top of his grave. After, when the Basilica was built, it became one of the biggest monuments. Today, the Basilica lies in ruins but tourists and pilgrims still gather here to see it.
The steam locomotive was a great invention in its time as it greatly reduced the stress of transportation. The Camlik Museum of Steam Locomotives has about 24 steam locomotives displayed. Also, Atatürk was said to have his headquarters in this town and kept his own personal train at this station before he died.