Fast Facts

  • Location: In between Izmir in the north and Kusadasi in the south in western Turkey bordering the Aegean Sea; Ephesus is 30 km north of Kusadasi
  • Attraction Type: A historic and archaeological marvel
  • Significance: A fabulous place having the greatest concentration of historical Monuments
  • Best Time to Visit: Throughout the year
  • Visiting Hours: Daytime
  • How to Reach: Fly to Izmir and then travel by road to Kusadasi; alternatively reach Izmir by train from Istanbul and thereafter by road
  • Nearest International Airport: Izmir International Airport

Ephesus, an ancient city lay on the Turkish shore with the Aegean Sea. Years of silting by Cayster River and deposition of rubble has caused the sea to move about 5 miles westward. Heritage town Ephesus has a special significance among all historical sites worldwide because of its timeless beauty, unfathomable artistic expressions, and deep-rooted culture. Perhaps nowhere in the world are there so many archaeological heritages in one place as in Ephesus in Turkey. Turkey Ephesus has located 30 km from Kusadasi in Selcuk reachable from Izmir.

The earliest evidence of inhabitance in Ephesus goes back to 3000BC when the Carians and Lelegians migrated from central Anatolia. According to legend, Androcles, son of Kodros, the king of Athens, while fleeing from Dor’s Greek invasion was destined to find a settlement guided by a fish and a boar. One day while frying fishes, a fish fell from a frying pan which startled a boar hiding behind bushes. The boar started running followed by Androclus and stopped at Ephesus. Androcles became the first king of Ephesus. After his death in a war with the Carians, a mausoleum was created near .the ‘Gate of Magnesia’.

In the 6th century, BC Ephesus was invaded by the Persians and remained a part of the empire until it was conquered by Alexander the Great around 334 BC. During Greek rule, Ephesus reached the zenith of its prosperity. It emerged as a premier port and commercial center of Anatolia or present-day Turkey. After the death of Alexander the Great, Lysimakhos became the king and changed the location of this city further to the west, and named it ‘Arsinoeina’ after his wife. A stone wall of height 10 meters and width 9 meters was constructed surrounding this city as a fortification. Thereafter, Ephesus went under the control of the Romans, Byzantines, and Seljukians. With silting up of River Cayster or Caystros, Ephesus lost its importance to Kusadasi and Izmir which became important trade centers.

Ephesus is perhaps the most magnificent of all archaeological heritage sites worldwide. Years of Persian, Greek, Roman, and Byzantine rule helped this ancient city to imbibe the heritage and culture of all these civilizations.

Touring Ephesus
It would take you weeks to study and explore the 40 odd historic sites of Ephesus. Each civilization that dominated over this land has left behind its mark in the form of unbelievable edifices. However, do not miss the:

  • Prytaneion: Ancient Town Hall built during 3rd century BC
  • Ephesus Theater: Built during the rule of Lysimachos in 2nd century BC, it is famous for its imposing 18 m high stage
  • Temple of Domitian: Temple dedicated to Emperor Domitian who reigned from 81 — 96 AD
  • The Pollio Fountain: Constructed by Sextillus Pollia in 97 AD, this Roman bath was featured by a pool with water flowing through semi-circular walls
  • Ephesus Library: Tiberius Julius Aquila built this library as a mausoleum for his father Tiberius Julius Celsus Polemaeanus in 117 AD.
  • Temple of Hadrian: This attractive temple completed by 140 AD is characterized by its huge porch and a small main chamber
  • Odeion: A semi-circular theater constructed by Publius Vedius in about 150 AD for meetings and concerts
  • The Gate of Heracles: A 4th century AD construction with relief dating back to 2nd century AD Temples of the Goddess Rome and of Divine Caesar
  • The Trajan Fountain: The remains of this remarkable fountain built between 102 and 104 AD in honor of Emperor Trajan dominates Curetes Street

In the evenings have a gala time in the two rows of bars: The Street of Bars and the Lower Street of Bars are renowned for Irish bars which become enlivening in the evenings.

Accommodation and Dining
For touring Ephesus you need to stay in Kusadasi which has a good number of pleasant hotels. Blue Sky Hotel, Fantasia Hotel, Ephesus Princess, Charisma Hotel, and Grand Ozcelik are some of the accommodations you could select from for your overnight stays. For your gastronomic needs try out Keyif Restaurant, Ali Baba Restaurant, Hann Cafe Bar Restaurant, Rigolo Cafíé & Restaurant, and Cafíé Seyhan.

Related Links : Catch glimpses of some of the most popular sightseeing destinations of Ephesus in this wonderful travel video! Enjoy! This is another great video on the wonderful tourist destination of Ephesus. You will understand why this is one of the most popular destinations in Europe.

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