Ephesus (Ancient Greek: Ἔφεσος Ephesos) was an ancient Greek city located on the western coast of Anatolia, within the borders of the Selçuk district of today's Izmir province, later an important Roman city. It was one of the twelve cities of Ionia in the classical Greek period. Its establishment dates back to 6000 BC. Efes, which was included in the World Heritage Temporary List by UNESCO in 1994, was registered as a World Heritage Site in 2015.
In 1996, Çukuriçi Höyük was found on the shores of the Derbent Stream, between the tangerine gardens, about 100 m south-west of the Selçuk, Aydın and Efes road triangle. As a result of research and excavations conducted under the direction of archaeologist Adil Evren, stone and bronze axes, needles, burnished ceramic pieces, spindle whorls, obsidian (volcanic glass) and sileks (flint stone), crustaceans, grinding and polishing tools were found in this mound. In the light of the evaluations, it was determined that there was a settlement and life in Çukuriçi Höyük from Neolithic Period to Early Bronze Age. Arvalya Höyük was found in Gül Hanım field adjacent to Arvalya Creek, approximately 8 km from Selçuk, Kuşadası road. With the artifacts found in Çukuriçi and Arvalya (Gül Hanım) mounds, the history of the close vicinity of Ephesus thus reaches the Neolithic Period.
Today, there is nothing except for a column made up of columns demolished in place of the Temple of Artemis.
The port city of Ephesus, where immigrants from Greece started living in the Hellenistic period in 1050 BC, moved around the Temple of Artemis in 560 BC. Ephesus, which is visited today, was founded in 300 BC by Lisimahos, one of the generals of Alexander the Great. The city has autonomously printed money from Rome with the city of Apameia Kibotos. These cities started to behave very brightly semi-autonomously in Asia Minor in the classical period. Lisimahos reconstructs the city according to the "Grid Plan" found by Miletus Hippodamos. According to this plan, all streets and streets in the city cut each other vertically.
Ephesus, which experienced its most magnificent periods in the Hellenistic and Roman ages, became the capital of the Asian State in the time of the Roman Emperor Augustus and its population at that time (1st-2nd century BC) exceeded 200.000 people. In this period, everywhere is equipped with monumental structures made of marble.
With the filling of the harbor in the 4th century, trade declined in Ephesus. Emperor Hadrianus cleaned the port several times. The port is filled with alluviums brought by Marnas Stream and Küçük Menderes river from the north. Ephesus moves away from the sea. In the 7th century, Arabs attack these shores. Ephesus, which was relocated in the Byzantine period and came to Ayasuluk Hill in Selcuk, where it was first established, was taken by the Turks in 1330. Ayasuluk, which is the center of Aydınoğulları, has started to shrink gradually since the 16th century. Today, there is Selçuk district in the region.
In the frieze at the entrance of the Temple of Hadrianus at the ruins of Ephesus, Ephesus's 3-year-old establishment legend is found with the following sentences: The brave son of Kodros, the king of Athens, Androklos, wants to explore the opposite side of the Aegean. First, he consults with the prophets of the Temple of Apollo in the city of Delfi. The prophets tell him that he will establish a city where the fish and pig point. While Androklos thinks the meaning of these words, he sails to the dark blue waters of the Aegean… When they arrive at the bay at the mouth of the Kaystros (Küçük Menderes) River, they decide to go ashore. While cooking the fish they catch by catching fire, a wild boar that comes out of the bushes grabs the fish and escapes. Here is the prophecy. They decide to build a city here…
Ephesus, which was the main gate between East and West, was an important port city. This position enabled Ephesus to develop as the most important political and commercial center of its era and to become the capital of the province of Asia in the Roman Period. Ephesus does not only owe its importance in antiquity to this. The biggest temple of Artemis culture, which is based on the ancient mother goddess (Kybele) tradition of Anatolia, is also located in Ephesus.
In the 6th century BC, Ephesus, which was at the forefront with Milet in science, art and culture, brought up famous people such as wise Herakleitos, dreamhouseist Artemidoros, poet Callinos and Hipponaks, grammar scholar Zenodotos, physician Soranos and Rufus.
Since Ephesus has been displaced many times throughout its history, its ruins spread over a wide area of approximately 8 kilometers. The ruins in four main regions such as Ayasuluk Hill, Artemision, Ephesus and Selçuk are visited by an average of 1,5 million tourists annually. The main buildings and artifacts in Ephesus, the first city made entirely of marble, are described below:
the House of the Virgin Mary
Temple of Artemis, one of the seven wonders of the world, is the first temple of the ancient world built in marble and its foundations date back to the 7th century BC. Built by the Lydian king Croesus, dedicated to the goddess Artemis, the building was decorated with bronze sculptures designed by Greek architect Chersiphron and made by the greatest sculptors of the time, Pheidias, Polycleitus, Kresilas and Phradmon. Its size is 130 x 68 meters and its façade faces west like other Artemis (Mother Goddess) temples. The temple was used both as a marketplace and as a religious institution. The Temple of Artemis was burned on July 21, 356 BC by a Greek named Herostratus who wanted to immortalize his name. The same night Alexander the Great was born. When Alexander the Great conquered Anatolia, he offered assistance to rebuild the Temple of Artemis, but was refused. Only a few marble blocks remain from the temple to the present day.
Excavations about the Temple of Artemis were initiated by archaeologist John Turtle Wood in 1863 with the contributions of the British Museum, and the foundations of the Temple of Artemis were reached in 1869 at a depth of 6 meters.
The building, which is one of the most beautiful buildings of the Roman period, undertook the duty of both a library and a tomb monument. When Celsius, who was the governor of Ephesus in 106, died, his son built the library as a tomb monument in the name of his father. Celsius's sarcophagus is under the western wall of the library. Its facade was restored between 1970-1980. In the library, book rolls were stored in niches on the walls.
the House of the Virgin Mary
It is believed that Mary, the mother of Jesus, spent the last years of Mary with John in the Nightingale. It is a place of pilgrimage for Christians and has been visited by some popes. Despite the fact that Mary's dead tomb is thought to be in Bülbüldağı, it is believed that Mary's tomb was in today's Silifke in the predecessor of the period, as described in the Bible.
Seven Sleepers (Companions)
This place, which was turned into a grave church in the Byzantine period, is believed to be the rumored cave where seven Christian youths fleeing the persecution of pagans during the time of Decius, one of the late Roman emperors. Although there are 33 cities in the world claiming that the cave is within its borders, according to most Christian sources, the city is Ephesus, which is considered sacred by Christians. In Turkey, most known as the Seven Sleepers cave and an important center of the cave period and visited St. It is in Tarsus, the birthplace of Paul. Afşin, whose former name was named Efsus in Arab sources, also increased his claim with a report prepared by a delegation of scientists and a discovery case opened in the local court. Lice are the other Companions of the Cave in Turkey.
A church was built on this cave in Ephesus and it was discovered in an excavation between 1927-1928, and as a result of the excavation, graves belonging to the 5th and 6th centuries were found. Inscriptions dedicated to the Seven Sleepers are found in both tombs and church walls.
Isa Bey Mosque
It was built in 1374-75 by Aydın Bey from Aydınoğulları, Ayasuluk Hill, to Architect Şamlı Dımışklıoğlu Ali. It is located between the Temple of Artemis and Saint Jean Church. The mosque, which displays the first examples of Anatolian mosque architecture, has rich decorations and tiles. It was also used as a caravanserai in the 19th century.
Temple of Hadrian: In the name of Emperor Hadrian, the monument was built as a temple. Corinthian is organized and the legend of Ephesus was established in its friezes. The image of this temple was used with the Celsus Library on the reverse side of 20 million TL and 20 YTL banknotes.
Domitian Temple: The temple built in the name of Emperor Domitianus, which is thought to be one of the largest structures in the city, is located opposite the Traianus Fountain. It has been determined that there are columns on the sides of the temple, the foundations of which have reached today. The remains of the statue of Domitianus are the head and an arm.
Temple of Serapis: The Temple of Serapis, one of the most interesting structures of Ephesus, is just behind the Celsus Library. The temple, which was converted into a church in the Christian era, is thought to have been built by the Egyptians. other temple is well known for more as the Temple of Serapis in Bergama by reason of the Seven Churches of Hrsitiyanlık in Turkey.
Church of Our Lady: The Church of Mary (Consul Church), where the 431 Council Meeting was held, is the first church built in the name of Mary. It is located to the north of the Harbor Bath. It is among the first Seven Churches in the Christian religion.
St. Basilica of Jean: In the central part of the 6-domed basilica built by the Byzantine Emperor Great Iustinianus, one of the largest structures of that period, at the bottom, Christ's favorite apostle St. It is claimed that the grave of Jean (John) was found, but no findings have been found yet. Here in St. There is also a monument erected in the name of Jean. This church, which is considered very important for Christians, is located in Ayasuluk Castle and there is a treasury building and a baptistery in the north.
Upper Agora and Basilica: Built by Emperor Augustus, it is the place where official meetings and stock market transactions take place. It is in front of Odeion.
Odeon: Ephesus had a two-chamber administration. One of them, the Advisory Council meetings, was held in this closed structure and concerts were given. It has a capacity of 1.400 people. For this reason, the structure is also called Bouleterion.
Prytaneion (Town Hall): Prytan served as the city's mayor. Its biggest task was to ensure that the city fire, which symbolizes the immortality of the city in this building with thick columns, does not go out. Prytan assumed this task on behalf of the City Goddess Hestia. Around the hall were statues of gods and emperors. Artemis statues in Ephesus museum were found here and later brought to the museum. The buildings next to it were reserved for the official guests of the city.
Marble Street: It is the street that extends from the library square to the theater.
Domitianus Square:To the east of the square, to the north of the Domitianus Temple, is the Pollio Fountain and a building thought to be a hospital, and the Memmius Monument is located on the street to the north.
Magnesia Gate (Upper Gate) and East Gymnasium: Ephesus has two entrances. One of them is the Magnesia Gate, on the Virgin Mary's House Road, which is the eastern gate of the city walls around the city. The Eastern Gymnasium is right next to the Magnesia Gate at the foot of Mount Panayır. Gymnasion is the school of the Roman Age.
Heracles Gate: This door, which was built at the end of the Roman Age, turned Kuretler Caddesi into a pedestrian road. The God of Force on the front was named after the Heracles reliefs.
Mazeus Mitridatis (Agora South) Gate: Before the library, it was built in the time of Emperor Augustus. You can go to the Commercial Agora (Lower Agora) through the gate.
Monumental Fountain: The square in front of Odeion is the “State Agora” (Upper Agora) of the city. In the middle of it was the temple of the Egyptian gods (Isis). The Monumental Fountain, built by Laecanus Bassus in 80 BC, is located in the southwestern corner of the State Agora. From here you can reach the Domitian Square and structures such as the Pollio Fountain, Domitian Temple, Memmius Monument and Heracles Gate clustered around this square.
Traianus Fountain: It is one of the two storey monuments on the street. The globe under the foot of the statue of Emperor Traianus standing in the middle symbolizes the world.
Heroon: It is a fountain built in the name of Androklos, the legendary founder of Ephesus. The front part was changed during the Byzantine period.
Hillside Houses: In the multi-storey houses built on terraces, the rich of the city lived. These houses, which are the most beautiful of the peristyle house type, were in the comfort of modern houses. The walls are covered with marble cladding and frescoes, while the floor is covered with mosaics. All houses have a heating system and a hammam.
Grand Theater: Located at the end of Marble Street, the building is the largest open air theater in the ancient world with a capacity of 24.000 people. The ornate and three-story stage building has been completely destroyed. The sitting steps have three sections. Theater, St. It was the venue for Paul's sermons.
Palace Structure, Stadium Street, Stadium and Gymnasium: The Byzantine palace and part of the street were restored. The horseshoe-shaped Stadium is the place where sporting games and competitions were held in the ancient times. Gladiator games were also performed in the late Roman period. The Vedius Gymnasium next to the stadium is a bath-school complex. Vedius Gymnasium is located at the northern end of the city, right next to the Byzantine walls.
Theater Gymnasium: The courtyard of the large building, which has both a school and a bath function, is open. Here, the marble pieces of the theater are listed for restoration purposes. Agora: It is an area of 110 x 110 meters in the middle, surrounded by porticos and shops. Agora was the commercial and cultural center of the city. Agora is the starting point of Marble Street.
Turkish Bath and Public Toilet: It is one of the most important social structures of the Romans. There are cold, warm and hot parts. It was repaired during the Byzantine period. The public toilet structure with a pool in the middle was also used as a gathering place.
Harbor Street: Port Street (Arcadiane Street), which extends from the Great Theater to the Ancient Port, which is completely filled today, and which is covered with columns and marble on both sides, is the longest street of Ephesus. Monuments were built on the 600-meter-long street in the city's Christian era. The Four-Column Four Apostles Monument, each with a statue of one of the apostles, is almost in the middle of the street.
Harbor Gymnasium and Harbor Bath: It is a large group of buildings at the end of Liman Caddesi. Some of them have been excavated.
John Fortress: There are glass and water cisterns in the castle. It is the highest point around Ephesus. In addition, the hill where this church is located is the first settlement area of Ephesus Ancient City.