A city with its history dating back to 6000BC
As one of the best preserved and restored cities of the Ancient era, it’s no wonder the ancient city of Ephesus was inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List in 2015. Located about 80km south of modern-day Izmir, Turkey, this city is home to one of the seven churches of Revelation mentioned in the Bible. Its rich history dates to 6000BC and comprises temples, theatres, libraries, statues and houses.
Considered to be strategically located in ancient standards, this monumental city centre was once an esteemed port city and an important cultural and commercial centre in the Mediterranean region. This site boasts the remarkable Library of Celsus, the Great Theatre that could seat about 24,000 people, the Temple of Hadrian and the Temple of Artemis, one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. Uncovered at the ancient city of Ephesus were also Terrace Houses of Roman nobles and the Cave of Seven Sleepers, aqueducts, commercial and state buildings, agora, and other significant monuments and embellishments, including even public toilets and a brothel.
Even though the region was destroyed by the Cimmerian invasion early 7th century BC, Ephesus was one of the wealthiest cities in the Mediterranean world while ruled by the Lydian kings. Furthermore, the city was regarded as a centre of learning, and women enjoyed equal rights and privileges to men. Throughout history, Ephesus survived numerous attacks and was conquered many times over, and its archaeological remains thus include Hellenistic and Roman settlements.
The ancient city played a crucial part in the spread of Christianity, from Saint Paul and Saint John visiting and reproving the cults of Artemis in 1st century AD and succeeded in converting many to Christianity. Additionally, Mary, the mother of Jesus, was believed to have spent her last here with Saint John – you can even visit her house and John’s tomb there.
Watch to see how beautiful this ancient city is: