Posted by: Leap of Faith | December 7, 2009

Ephesus Rocks!

Another main attraction that draws tourists to the coastal town of Kusadasi is the ruins of the ancient city of Ephesus. The place did not initially catch my attention when Pinky and I were looking at the cruise itinerary and optional tours.  I thought how can this small town by the Aegean Sea have any real importance to all of us.  However, after doing a little research, I realized I was wrong… so wrong.

In case the place still does not ring a bell, let me try shaking your brains a little bit with a little information so you can also have one of those “Ahhh!” moments like I did. 

First, the Bible: (1) St Paul’s Letter to the Ephesians and (2) one of the Seven Churches of the Apocalypse mentioned in the Book of Revelation! 

Still not working?

 How about this, one of the seven Wonders of the Ancient World (The Temple of Artemis) was once located here in this place.

Ahhh! Now, there you go. I knew that would work (if not, do your own research).

This photo was taken near the entrance of the excavation site.  It looks like any typical ruin – old stones and boulders scattered around and a few marble pillars here and there.  I don’t know if you noticed, though, that on the right of the photo is the Odeon, a small roofed theatre (with a capacity of around 1500 people) that was once used for plays and concerts. 

A closer look at the Odeon.

Our tour guide, Khan, explains that it is estimated that only 15% of the city has been excavated to date and that the remaining 85% is still buried somewhere behind the hills you see on the background.  The cost to unearth all these treasures are just so expensive (while funding is scarce) that we may not be able to see the full city in our lifetime.


My mom poses in front of the ruins of what was once a modern hospital – I believe the small cellar up on the hill used to be a room.  By the way, did you notice how the hospital was buried under by rock and soil?  The grass is still growing on top of the ruins.

Per Wikipedia, “the city had one of the most advanced aqueduct systems in the ancient world, with multiple aqueducts of various sizes to supply different areas of the city, including 4 major aqueducts”.

The site was just full of antiquities that Pinky and I could not stop taking photos.  I don’t even know what this is – but look at the detail. Amazing!

This used to be a monument of something.  Do you notice the round object?  If I remember correctly, that was a marble statue of a person with the world on its foot.

This is the Temple of Hadrian, which was originally built-in the 2nd century AD. 

One of the many alleys in the city. The surrounding area could have been shops and homes.

 This place was huge.  I believe this is the main road that leads to the famous library and outdoor theatre.  The roads, by the way, were made of some marble-like material that was very slippery. 

Do you notice the steel covers on the left of the photo?  These are areas that are currently being excavated by archeologists.

Another angle but now with the whole family.  Behind us you can see the ruins of the library.

Tourists crowd in front of the Roman Library of Celsus.  It is believed that structure in front of the library (right side of the photo) used to be a brothel which had a secret passage connecting to the library.  This gave the “learned men” easy access to the place – great idea, right?!

The brothel idea may not have been really far-fetched especially since there were advertisements like this located in the street leading to the library.  The foot represents the direction that one must take to the brothel, which was represented by the engraved figure of a lady.  The heart with many dots inside, represent the amount you had to pay to have a good time!

This is the facade of the Library of Celsus, which was carefully reconstructed using all original pieces.  Per Wikipedia, “the building is important as one of few remaining examples of an ancient Roman-influenced library. It also shows that public libraries were built not only in Rome itself but throughout the Roman Empire.”  The building is three storeys high and is believed to have housed around 12,000 scrolls.

Photos galore… proof that we were there!

More ruins of buildings line the street towards the outdoor Theatre, which had an estimated 44,000 seating capacity.  This was probably the ruin of the Temple of Domitian, which is one of the largest temple in the city.

The Theatre was so huge that we all had to go a few kilometers away from the site just to include it in the frame.  I remember our guide saying this is not used any longer as an entertainment venue since the last time it was used for a modern rock concert the place was damaged again and the cost to repair it was more than the profits they generated from the event.

Ephesus rocks! It  is definitely one of the best places in the world that I have seen, thus far, and undoubtedly one of the highlights of our trip.  I do hope more of this city is restored soon.

We heart Turkey!















  1. You should seriously charge Turkey’s Dept of Tourism for this piece – makes one want to visit Turkey… as in… NOW NA!!! Hahaha! 😆

    • Wow! Di bale, I’ll call Ylmaz Bektas and see if he can do anything to help me get paid for this blog entry…hehehe!

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