Ephesus In Izmir – One Of The Seven Wonders Of The Ancient World

Ephesus in Izmir, Turkey was founded in the Classical Greek period and by the 1st century BC it had grown into one of the most formidable cities in the region. You will find this fascinating site featured in nearly all of our Egypt and Turkey tours and also in most of our other tours that include a trip to Turkey.

Ephesus in Izmir, Turkey

The ancient Greek city of Ephesus in Izmir, Turkey.

Everywhere you go in Turkey, you’re likely to come across a number of famous historical sites. The country is quite literally awash with ancient ruins; temples and monuments, not to mention the underground Basilica Cistern in Istanbul or the remarkable Kaymakli Underground City in Cappadocia. Another favorite attraction is Ephesus in Izmir.

In fact, if you visit the ruins of Ephesus in Izmir you’ll be able to say you’ve at least seen one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World.

7 Interesting Fact about Ephesus in Izmir

1. Ephesus was an ancient Greek city on the coast of Ionia, located near present-day Selçuk in İzmir Province, Turkey. It was one of the twelve Ionian cities of the Ionian League during the Classical Greek period.

2. Ephesus was once a prominent city in the Roman Empire and served as an important center of trade and commerce. It was also home to the Temple of Artemis, one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World.

3. The Library of Celsus, built in the 2nd century AD in Ephesus, was one of the most impressive structures in the ancient city. It housed more than 12,000 scrolls and is a popular tourist attraction today.

4. The Grand Theater of Ephesus, with a seating capacity of around 25,000 people, hosted gladiatorial contests, theatrical performances, and public assemblies in ancient times. It is one of the largest ancient theaters in the world.

5. The city of Ephesus was known for its advanced infrastructure, including paved streets, public toilets, and an aqueduct, as well as a sewage system. These amenities were all considered luxurious during the ancient times.

6. Ephesus was an important center for early Christianity. The Apostle Paul preached in the city, and it is believed to be the site of the Third Ecumenical Council in 431 AD, which declared the Virgin Mary as Theotokos.

7. The archaeological site of Ephesus is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and attracts millions of tourists each year. Visitors can explore the well-preserved ruins of the ancient city, including Hadrian Temple, the Terrace Houses, the Agora, and segments of the city’s ancient streets.

A Brief History Of Ephesus in Izmir

The ancient Greek city of Ephesus is located in an area that is today known as Izmir. Interestingly, the area was already inhabited by humans as far back as the Neolithic Age. Several excavations in the area have also shown that the area was quite heavily populated throughout the Bronze Age.

The actual city of Ephesus in Izmir however, was only founded in the 10th century BC. Not much is known about the city during the years that followed, until 650 BC when the city came under attack by the Cimmerians. Although the Cimmerians conquered and then destroyed most of the city, including its famed Temple of Artemis, they were soon driven out of the area and the city fell into the hands of various tyrants.

Approximately 100 years later, Ephesus in Izmir was captured by King Croesus and the Lydians. Prosperity returned and the city grew, before once again being taken over by the Persians. Later still, in 263 BC, the city once again changed hands, and was now ruled by Egypt. In 133 BC, Ephesus finally ended up in the hands of the Roman Empire.

After many conflicts and a considerable amount of bloodshed in the area, including the slaying of at least 80,000 Romans living in Asia Minor, Ephesus finally began to prosper once more. By the year 100, Ephesus was the Roman Empire’s second largest and second most important city after Rome, and it’s believed to have had a population of around half a million people.

Because all of our Egypt and Turkey tour packages are fully customizable, a visit to this site can be added to any one of our itineraries even if it is not currently included.

The City’s Most Famous Attractions

Ephesus in Izmir is today one of the top tourist attractions in Turkey, attracting tens of thousands of visitors who flock to the area to see the ruins of the once splendid city temples; segments of the original roads, and of course the ruins of the city’s great theater which could once accommodate up to 25,000 people.

While the enormous Roman theater was originally used only for the fine arts such as stage plays, it later became a popular venue for gladiator fights, where gladiators would fight to the death on the stage. The first indisputable evidence of this only came to light recently in 2007 when a gladiator graveyard was discovered.

Ephesus Under Byzantine Rule

Having been all but destroyed by the Goths in 263 AD, Ephesus was left to decline, and if was only when it seized by the Byzantine Empire that it once again begun to flourish. Unfortunately, the city eventually got destroyed again in 614 AD, but this time it was due to an earthquake.

The Final Decline Of a Majestic City

The earthquake that struck in 614 only destroyed parts of the city, and there is little doubt that the damage could have been repaired. Nonetheless, the city’s harbor which silted up frequently, had reached a stage where access to the Aegean Sea was completely cut off. This effectively meant countless people could no longer earn a living, and as a result, they deserted the area, opting to move further inland.

Many of those who moved took building blocks from the ruins of the city and anything else they could use. The rate of decline was further hastened by later conflict, and by 1090 AD, Ephesus in Izmir was no more than a tiny village surrounded by ruins; the only reminder of a once magnificent city. Visit and explore this incredible site with one of our private guided Egypt and Turkey tours.

Ephesus in Izmir – Frequently Asked Questions

Yes, but it is certainly not recommended. Having a professional guide with you will make your visit to the site so much more rewarding. At Egypt Tours Plus, we offer high quality Turkey tours to any and all of the top attractions in Turkey. We also have a spectacular range of Egypt and Turkey combination tours, many of which include a visit to Ephesus. Our tours are private tours that include your own guide, driver and vehicle.

Ephesus is an ancient city located in modern-day Izmir, Turkey. It was one of the most important cities in the Roman Empire and is known for its well-preserved ruins and historical significance.

Ephesus is easily accessible from Izmir by car, bus, or with organized Ephesus tours. The closest airport is Izmir Airport (Adnan Menderes Airport), which is about an hour’s drive away from Ephesus. Visitors can also take a train or bus from Izmir city centre to Selcuk, the town closest to Ephesus.

Some of the must-see attractions in Ephesus include the Temple of Artemis, Hadrian Temple, the Celsus Library, the Great Theatre, the House of the Virgin Mary, and the Terrace Houses. These sites showcase the architecture, history, and culture of ancient Ephesus.

Yes, there is an entrance fee to visit Ephesus, which varies depending on whether you are a local or foreign visitor. It is recommended to check the latest entrance fees and operating hours before planning your visit to Ephesus in Izmir.

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Last Updated on June 15, 2024