My brother-in-law and sister-in-law, also accompanied us on this trip. Here's a photo of the whole family. From the left is my little grandson, my daughter, my little granddaughter, my son-in-law, me, my husband, my son, his fiancé and my sister-in-law and brother-in-law.
We embarked on our cruise ship in the port of Pireaus and our first stop was Kusadaci in Turkey. We visited the ancient site of Ephesus. This ancient city was discovered by the British architect John Turtle Wood back in the mid 1800's. Excavations were later carried out by a German archaeologist.
This is the Temple of Hadrian which was built sometime around 118AD to 138AD. It is located on a street named Curetes Street which was one of the main streets in Ephesus.
This is the ancient great theatre in Ephesus. It began construction in the third century BC. It has a capacity seating for 25,000 people. It was used for concerts, plays, various discussions and also for gladiator fights.
I think the "shining star" of Ephesus is the Library of Celsus. It was originally built in 117AD to 125 AD to house manuscript scrolls. The scrolls were kept in niches on the walls. The library's capacity could hold up to 12,000 scrolls. It was named for Gaius Julius Celsus Polemaeanus, whose tomb was beneath the ground floor.
Upon entering the ancient site of Ephesus, you see this stone carving of the Goddess Nike. Again, I was quite taken back to see how this has survived all these many centuries.
A visit to the ruins of the Basicilia of St. John was also on the agenda. I even found original tile floors from the time when this basicila was built in the sixth century.
Above is a photo of the tomb of St. John the Apostle, the writer of the Bible's fourth gospel and the book of Relevation.
Speaking of the Bible, in the middle of this photo you can see a single column; it is what is left of the Temple of Artemis, AKA Temple of Diana. The Apostle Paul speaks about this temple in Acts 19.
It was a very warm day when we toured Ephesus but well worth it. I would love to go again and see something that maybe I didn't see the first time. It brought a smile to my face to see this lovely Ephesian cat :)
There are so many things about Ephesus that I feel I've barely scratched the surface. But, here are a few more interesting facts:
1. Today, Ephesus is near the present day city of Selcuk, Turkey in the Izir Province, off the coast of the Aegean Sea.
2. Ephesus is cited in the book of Revelation as one of the Seven Churches of Asia; book of Revelation 2.
3. Ephesus was the site where three ecumenical councils where held; 431AD, 449AD and 475AD.
4. According to the oral tradition of the Orthodox church, St. John took the Virgin Mary to live with him upon Christ's crucifixion and they made their way to Ephesus, Turkey. You will find the House of the Virgin Mary where Mary may have spent her last days there.
5. Originally, Ephesus had a harbor on the Aegean Coastline. The harbor was slowly silted up by the Cayster River.
I've never traveled to the Holy Land and hope to one day, but the opportunity to see this ancient city was the next best thing. I hope to go back again one day for a longer visit.
Thank you for stopping by today. There's lots more I have to share with you another day. I've missed hearing from you and wish you all the very best.
With my best wishes,