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Ephesus Turkey

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Ephesus Turkey

The ancient city of Ephesus (Turkish: Efes), located near the Aegean Sea in modern day Turkey, was one of the great cities of the Greeks in Asia Minor and home to the Temple of Artemis, one of the Seven Wonders of the World. Today, the ruins of Ephesus are a major tourist attraction, especially for travelers on Mediterranean cruises. Ephesus is also a sacred site for Christians due to its association with several biblical figures, including St. Paul, St. John the Evangelist and the Virgin Mary. The religious history of ancient Ephesus was the subject of the webmaster’s thesis at Oxford (completed in June 2007), so this section is even more comprehensive than most – including the most detailed map of Ephesus on-line! Excerpts from the thesis are included among the background articles in this city guide – see the menu at left.

Ephesus is discovered in Selcuk, Izmir in western Turkey.Kusadasi is 19 km. far-off from Ephesus and Pamucak beach is 5 kilometres far-off from Ephesus.

The first site of Ancient Ephesus was most likely established around the Aegean coast, on the shores of that sea which is today located 8 km. away from the archaeological excavations.

Over the centuries, in fact, the rubble brought on to the plain of the “Kucuk Menderes” has enlarged the alluvial plain surrounding the historical zone, abandoning in fact the shores of the Aegean. In Roman times it absolutely was found on the northern slopes of the hills Coressus and Pion and south of the Cayster (Kucuk Menderes) River, the silt from which has since formed a fertile plain but is mainly responsible for the coastline to move ever farther west. In Roman times a sea channel was maintained with difficulty to a harbor well west of Pion. By late Byzantine times this channel had become useless, and the coast by the mid-20th century was three miles farther west.

Ephesus (Efes) is towards the town of Selcuk around an hour drive south of Izmir. Kusadasi will be the closest larger town, about 20km from Ephesus.


Ephesus was constructed on a river bend, that was eventually dredged right full harbor near the mount of the Cayster River, on the western coast of Asia Minor (modern Turkey). Along the coastal plain between Smyrna to the north and Miletus to the south, the positioning has become about six miles on the Aegean Sea. The town shifted in five distinct locations over time, each within a small area. The Apostles Paul and John were informed about the location that scholars have dubbed “Ephesus III” the largest (in area) of the five.

Areas where Ephesus situated on the following:

Ephesus I: Aya Suluk (St. John Area);
Ephesus II: Artemission area;
Ephesus III: Port of St. Paul: base of Mount Koressos;
Ephesus IV: north of Aya Suluk;
Ephesus V: Selcuk area.

Due to the man-made harbor structure and also the flow of the river, a backwash flow caused the harbor to frequently silt up (by 449 BCE we already read of problems documented about the silting. Later, Eusebius records that Ephesus honoured Emperor Hadrian for dredging and making navigable the harbor). When cleared, Ephesus was in a location that justified a great seaport. The city sat at the convergence of three land routes which includes a shipping lane on the north via the channel created by the Island of Chios and an opening facing the cities of Macedonia.

The land routes that incorporated on Ephesus included:

1) The Colossae / Laodicea road (traveling east),
2) The road to Sardis and Galatia (northeast), and
3) The Smyrna (north) main road.


Some scholars estimate how many people living at Ephesus to obtain exceeded 250,000 inhabitants during Ephesus III, which would make it maybe the fourth largest of their day behind:

1) Rome;
2) Alexandria; and
3)An Antioch. This massive a town was a fiscal stronghold in Asia Minor, and justified the title supreme metropolis of Asia though it comes with an evidence that its overall financial standing might have been slowly and gradually declining.

Ephesus Arena (hippodrome), Kusadasi

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The large stadium or hippodrome of Ephesus was at first created in the third century BC and continuing to be used, for slightly completely different requirements, even after the rise of Christianity.


The stadium has been dated by an inscription to the leadership of Nero (54-68 AD). But the Roman stadium almost certainly replaced an earlier structure built throughout the rule of Hellenistic king Lysimachus (3rd century BC).

Ephesus’ stadium was well-taken care of over the centuries and even received a major restoring in the 4th century. Gladiatorial and animal fights fell out of favor with the rise of Christianity, but athletic games continuing here well into the Byzantine period of time.

When Ephesus was generally abandoned in the 7th century, much of the arena was dismantled and its stone added to the fortifications on Ayasuluk hill.

What to See ?

The stadium was shaped like a long ‘U’ and measured 229m by 28m. The spectactors’ seats on the south side were cut from the side of Mt. Pion, while those on the north side rested on vaults.

The stadium narrowed in the center, allowing the eastern section to be turned into an arena for the more gory spectacles of gladiators and animal combats. Wild animals were kept in small rooms neighborhood.

The principal entrance to the stadium was through a well-preserved breathtaking gate on the west side.

All about Ephesus –  Ephesus Photos