Rain was forecasted for Monday therefore I decided to do some culture. It’s the best way to beat miserable weather (in the end it didn’t rain at all). Today Ephesus was on my program.
The first site to visit was ‘House of the Virgin Mary‘.
I have never heard about this before but apparently there were already clues about her living here in the old times, also the Council of Ephesus was held here in 431. Another indication that the Virgin Mary really lived here. The finally found her house because a German nun called Anne Catherine Emmerich dreamt about the location and gave such clear details that later on the really found. Quite amazing and a miracle in itself.
Next stop was finally Ephesus. It doesn’t really start amazing but gets better the further you go inside. It started 1300 BC and until 1426 AD every known culture made a stop here. From the Greeks to Alexander the Great, Cleopatra and Emperor Augustus. Everyone who was anyone was here. Personally I found the library most exciting. Just imagine such a building for all these rolls (no books then). I was also impressed that the Austrians are working since the 70’s to dig, find and restore. The Austrian Archeological Institute together with their Turkish colleagues are working on keeping this cultural inheritance intact. Such a shame that the Hadrian Temple will only be fully restored to its former glory in July 2014. Shame that I missed it. I also missed the Terrace Houses due to the fact that they are not included in the tour. I asked specifically beforehand if we would see the tomb of Arsinoe (half-sister of Cleopatra) as well, but only saw the outsides. Can’t have it all apparently …
And the last building we saw was a theater built for 24.000 people. Imagine this…that is quite a large crowd. And then only a couple of latrines for all of them, haha. Anyway nowadays its mostly populated by cats.
Last stop on our Ephesus tour after a forgettable lunch was theTemple of Artemis. It was one of the Seven Ancient Wonders of the World. Not much is left though to view except for one lone column, now inhabited by a stork, which is also too short by 4 meters. The building material has verifiable been used in the Basilica St. John in Ephesus and the Hagia Sophia in Istanbul. What I found interesting because when I was visiting the Hagia Sophia I didn’t hear about this detail.
Right behind the column you can see the Basilica, to the left of it a mosque from the 14th century (said the guide) and in the back the Selcuk Citadel.
There is really quite a lot to see but I am sure it is better to do it alone and not with a guided tour from the hotel. I am still not convinced that my guide had a historical background.
Just to let you know, I spent all of yesterday at the pool. The music after all is not too loud for me, I can still party with the best. Also the weather is way warmer than expected, got a slight sunburn. Yours, Pollybert