Exploring the Ancient City of Ephesus A Journey Through Time and Travel
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Exploring the Ancient City of Ephesus A Journey Through Time and Travel

Issue 17 - 2023
Exploring the Ancient City of Ephesus A Journey Through Time and Travel

Every day we see new airlines are starting to fly to Türkiye from new destinations of Europe. Izmir Adnan Menderes Airport is one of the preferred airports for these airlines. According to the data for 9 months between January and September 2022, Adnan Menderes Airport served approximately 8 million passengers. A total of 53 thousand 683 aircraft took off and landed, while the number of passengers traveling on these aircraft reached 7 million 604 thousand 393 people.

Our destination for today is Izmir. Izmir Adnan Menderes airport, which can be reached by direct flights from Europe, is perfectly situated for both seaside resorts or historical places to visit.  In addition to Turkish Airlines, the flag carrier airline of Türkiye, Pegasus Airlines, SunExpress, Corendon, Tui and many airlines organize direct flights to Adnan Menderes airport from different cities of Europe every day.

Adnan Menderes Airport, operated by TAV Airports, is an airport that was deemed worthy of the "best airport" award in its category in 2022, within the scope of the Airport Service Quality ASQ, thanks to the services and the comfort it provides to its passengers. We Turks say that everything in the Aegean is natural or close to natural, because the freshest, newest, and cleanest comes to our whole country from the Aegean side of our country. TAV airports also adopted the same concept and established an airport operating policy that respects the nature, by minimizing energy consumption and water consumption, and efficiently managing waste.

After the airport, we have a 45-minute drive to a region with a history of approximately 7,000 years. We chose to stay in Özdere in order to be close to the ancient region and to benefit from the bay hotel is situtated with a wonderful sea. Kuşadası can also be a good choice for accommodation. There are many hotel options in this area but this time we stayed in Paloma Pasha hotel, which belongs to Paloma group hotels. The staff, food and cleanliness is much better than expected. The hotel is a cozy hotel that enables it to take its service to higher levels, the sea of the hotel is wonderful. There is another facility that belongs to the same group of hotels right next to it. Definitely will be my next stop when I will be in the area.

Our first stop in the name of history, is the Ancient City of Ephesus, Ephesus is one of the largest and most impressive ancient cities in the world and Its cultural and historical significance was highlighted in its addition to the UNESCO World Heritage Site list in 2015. 

In Roman times it was situated on the northern slopes of the hills Coressus and Pion and south of the Cayster River, the silt from which has since formed a fertile plain but has caused the coastline to move ever farther west. The city came to prominence under the ancient Greeks, who built the famed Temple of Artemis, one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. Though only one column remains of the temple today, it was said to be very grand and impressive indeed.

Ephesus is also an important site for Christian history in the region. It was here that St. Paul wrote “First letter to the Corinthians” and St John is said to have written his Gospel. Ephesus is believed to be the final resting place of Mary and one of the most visited sites is St Mary’s Basilica.

Library of Celsus is one of the most beautiful structures of Ephesus and the facade of the library has been carefully reconstructed from original pieces and looms large over the city. Originally built in 125 AD in memory of Tiberius Julius Celsus Polemaeanus, an Ancient Greek who served as governor of Roman Asia 105–107 AD in the Roman Empire. Celsus paid for the construction of the library with his own personal wealth and is buried in a sarcophagus beneath it.

The amphitheater with a capacity of 25.000 is believed to be the largest in the ancient world. Initially used for dramatic performances, there are evidence that it was later used for gladiatorial fights.

You need to spend your whole day to understand and feel the life of ancients in Ephesus. After visiting the fabulous Library of Celsus and the amphitheater you will spend your time in the remains of Temple of Hadrian, Terrace Houses, The Odeon, The Temple of the Sebastoi, Basilica of St. John and Agoras. 

House of Virgin Mary situated just 5 minutes away from Ephesus and we couldn't left the area without visiting the House of Virgin Mary. The common Christian belief is that Mary, mother of Jesus Christ, came to Ephesus with St. John after the Crucifixion of Christ and the two lived the rest of their lives near the city. The House of Virgin Mary was discovered in 1812 in the visions of a bedridden German nun. 

Pope IV. Declared by Paul as an official pilgrimage site for Christianity, the House of Virgin Mary was restored in 1951. 

In the House of Virgin Mary, where tens of thousands of Catholics come to become pilgrims every year, Christians become pilgrims by lighting candles and drinking water from three fountains symbolizing money, love and happiness. When you are in the area, House of Virgin Mary should be in your bucket list, you will feel blessed as soon as you step into the house.

When you were walking through the remains of ancient civilization It is hard not to dream about how they lived in their mortal daily life. Ephesus Museum is the right place to visit to understand more about them. The museum is located in Selçuk nearby to Ephesus. You can see the historical artifacts found in the Ephesus excavation site. And also, the best-known piece you need to see is Artemis statue in the Temple of Artemis in Ephesus.

In this area there is too much to learn, too much new places to explore, we need a break and taste wonderful wines and organic food from the area. There are too many local vineyards in and around Izmir district, but we were staying so close to one of my favorites, Yedi Bilgeler. Yedi Bilgeler vineyard is situated on the ancient road between the cities of Ephesus and Magnesia and is in the center of the Ionian city-states. As the owners of the vineyard believe that the region was the area where science and thought is born and also the wine and olive oil were produced and offered to the entire Mediterranean basin, they named their wines after the philosophers. Anaxagoras is my favorite, but you should try them all and understand the underlying philosophy.

Like every civilization, every holiday comes to an end but like Albert Einstein said, ‘Time flies when you are having fun’ and we definitely say time flies when you are in Türkiye, until next time 

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