Explore The Ancient City of Ephesus!
The ruins of the ancient city of Ephesus was a chosen excursion on our Eastern Mediterranean cruise. I had heard it was amazing, but truth be told, I am not a huge history buff and didn’t think that I would be as enthralled with the city as I was.
As you come into the excavation site you’ll see some ancient ‘baths’, fountains, statuaries and the ruins of a basilica. At first, you wonder if that’s what you’ve traveled to see. While it was cool. Eh… maybe not worth the drive time from the port.
Turning a corner you wander down a path and head through the marble-tiled street, once the main street of the town. With the remnants of old shops bordering the sides of the street, you begin to picture the shops filled with silk, fruit and provisions for sale. And as you continue walking, the magnificence of this ancient city unfolds, virtually towering all around you!
The Terrace Houses were interconnected ‘condominiums’ for the rich. This excavation site is extremely well-preserved with beautiful tile work on floors and walls still visible! One of the most amazing things was the clay pipes running through the floors and behind the walls that carried heat through the house. Not only were these houses heated, but they had hot and cold running water.
In the center of the city across from the library is a large area of communal toilets. It seems that this was a social gathering place for men and women alike. Interesting. The guides told us that townspeople would have their slaves sit before them to warm the stones. Do you ever wonder how they verify this information?! LOL
Some of the main ruins are the Artemis Temple, Celsus Library, the House of the Virgin Mary, and The Great Theatre, an outdoor theatre much like those we see in the movies, that could seat up to 25,000 people. Oh yea, let us not forget the Brothel which is very much a part of the tour although there really isn’t much to see as they’ve moved the statue with the giant phallus to the museum.
We had lunch at Oz Urfa Kebab House. We didn’t know what to order, so the owner decided and served us family style, the food was great!! I highly recommend it!
All in all, this was a great excursion. Thinking back, at the beginning of the tour I had viewed a picture showing the area in the early 1960’s. Before excavation it looked like a mountain with trees. And there lying beneath centuries of dirt and brush was an amazingly preserved classic city of Roman times.. I might not be a history buff, but that’s pretty awesome! Totally worth seeing and I would do it again! It is still under constant excavation with much of the city yet to be revealed. If your travels bring you to the port of Kusadasi or another nearby area of Turkey, you need to explore the ancient city of Ephesus!