THE CAPITAL OF ROMAN PROVINCE OF ASIA-EPHESUS
The Sights which worth visiting in Ephesus
Present Ephesus for visitors covers about 200 acres between Nightinagele and Pion hills. and some parts of the area is closed for excavations. Today the expedition trip is done between two gates and the visitors usually begin their journey from upper gate to lower one where the big parking lot is located so 2.5 miles is the distance to see ancient Greek, Roman and Byzantine edifices. 85 % of the ruins are original, 15 % of them are reconstructed by Austrian archeological team. Here are some highlights of Ephesus.
The Odeon or Bouleterion
It has two different names ; a city council chambers (bouliterion) and concert hall (odeon) for watching the politicans and listening to classical music. It looks like a small theatre with 1400 in capasity. The edifice was used for all important events for only rich and distiguished Ephesians such as poetry redaings, prize giving ceremonies, court cases and beauty contests twice a year were held.
Temple of Vesta
Attached to the senate house where 12 virgins had to keep an eye on the sacred fire to be burn alive for 30 years, known as Vesta Virgins in the history. It is believed that the sacred fire was brought from Parthenon in Athens to Ephesus as the city was established. You can see colonnaded walkway in front of the vesta temple in three orders today ; Ionic-Doric and Corinthian types.
1st century AD building was the persecution center of Ephesus for early believers where they had to worship to the emperor’s cult every day. It is situated in centre of the state part with ruins and statues. Emperor Domitianus declared himself as Zeus in 85 AD and later he sent John the evangelist to Patmos island as a prisoner from Ephesus that is called exile in the Bible.
The Nike Relief
Nike in Greek, Victoria in Latin, was one of the olimpians as the goddess of victory, has a flying relief in the middle of the square of Domitian. Here all of groups stop to be taken the picture with Nike, if a Turkish guide makes a joke saying “Look Goddess has Nike trainers !.”
One of the monumental Roman fountains in Ephesus with the restoration work in 1970s makes you stop in Curetes Street. It was built in 2nd C AD and dedicated to empror Trojan to provide the free water to public. The mark of the edifice is the globe figure claiming the world is round. It is amazing beacuse not only yhe Ephesians but also the Romans knew that the world was round even in 2nd AD.
Temple of Hadrian
Hadrian was one of the idolised Roman emperors, successor for Trajan in the second half of the 2nd C AD. The temple has been restored, repaired and redone recently by archeologists. Although it is very small, it is worth visiting and looking at Medusa, dangerous lady with snakes in Greek mythology, eggs freezes means fertility and acanthus as the leaves of life tree in belief can be seen both on the facade and on the walls of the temple.
This 2nd C AD building locates in down town as the highlight of Ephesus city. It was not only the second largest library of its time, but it was also a big university as Standford for Romans scholars. It was restored in between 1970 and 1978 and front wall has four main statues with written inscriptions in Greek. Between the front and rear walls shelves with books made from papyrus can still be seen today.
The Commercial Agora
The business center of Ephesus in square shape with a big courtyard in the middle had large stores to sell all kinds of goods to the visitors. It was opened in 6.30 AM, and was closed 3.30 PM. The agoranames, the groups of the peole who were responsible checking out prices and scales in. Four big barber shops in four corners of the square used to get info from shoppers while having a haircut as tourists offices.
The Grand Theatre
It was curved on the slope of Pion and faced to overlooking the harbor to understand which cruise ship was appoaching to the port. It was the home of public announcements, greek tragedies which last long hours,important speeches by pagan priests, elections and gladiator fights were happened. It had 24.000 spactators’ capasity and is divided into two main parts ; lower seats for aristocrats, senators, rulers and rich merchants, upper seats for poor. Today it is under the preservation so some upper parts were closed.
First of the Seven Churhes in Revelation
We know that John came to Ephesus with Mary and he was exiled to Patmos island. After spending 14 years there, he was freed and came bak to Ephesus to complete the Gospel here. During his last days, he also visited seven major cities that are known as seven churches of reveletion. In the first chapter of Reveletion, a letter to Ephesus is written and the church is warned with a nickname as lovelist church”. God warns both the church elders and the believers not to lose their love to the Christ and always follow their promises.