|TAKE the TURKEY (TURKIYE) TOUR:
Since its early beginning in the 12th century BC, Ephesus has been sought after by many conquerors because
of its port location near a major sea traffic lane. Over the years, Ephesus was occupied by Lydians, Persians
and Greeks. At one time, Ephesus had a population of 300,000 people and was the wealthiest city in the
Middle East. Major restoration of Ephesus is underway and it is regarded as the finest ancient city to be seen
In 31 BC, Augustus Octavian, Roman emperor, defeated Mark Anthony in a naval battle at Actium. He then
restructured the many Roman territories, including Asia. Ephesus became a governmental center of the
province and experienced tremendous growth. Many buildings were built during the reign of a later Roman
emperor, Domitian, between AD 81 and 96. Domitian proclaimed himself "God and Leader." The ruins shown
above are of the Temple of Domitian, which was built during the first century AD. The city of Ephesus received
special privileges from Rome after construction of the temple.
KURETES - Marble avenue in Ephesus
|Nancye Ricketts with Island of Samos in background
In July 1993, my wife Nancye and I were on a two-week tour of western and central Turkey. We arrived in the
Ephesus area and enjoyed the magnificent scenery on the way to the Hotel Korumar, which sits on the edge of
the Aegean Sea. It was the best hotel of our trip. The food was excellent and accented with strolling musicians.
From our seventh floor balcony, we could see the beautiful blue-green Aegean Sea with the Greek island
Samos in the distance, about two hours by boat. Along the Turkish coast, the hotels lined the water's edge,
while the houses were stacked up the hills. Boats with tall masts were docked at the pier. It looked like an
European seascape painting.
The next morning after a typical Turkish hotel breakfast, we were headed for Ephesus, which was once a
harbor city but is now fifteen kilometers from the sea due to silt build up. The site of Ephesus that we
visited was used from 300 BC to 800 AD. The ruins are quite impressive. There were many tourists and
many languages spoken on the old marble avenue that day (Kuretes street).
My wife loved Ephesus, but she did note that it was very hot that day and that there were more insects
there than she had seen anywhere in Turkey; yet the insect population was still quite small compared with
the southern U.S.
|Ephesus Ruins of Temple of Domitian - 1st Century AD