Ephesus Turkey, Ephesus Tour and Hotel
Ephesus is the best-preserved classical city on the eastern Mediterranean, and among the best places in the world to get a feel for what life was like in Roman times. Needless to say, it's a major tourist destination.
Ancient Ephesus was a great trading and religious city, a centre for the cult of Cybele, the Anatolian fertility goddess. Under the influence of the Ionians, Cybele became Artemis, the virgin goddess of the hunt and the moon, and a fabulous temple was built in her honour. When the Romans took over and made this the province of Asia, Artemis became Diana and Ephesus became the Roman provincial capital. Its Temple of Diana was counted among the Seven Wonders of the World.
As a large and busy Roman town with ships and caravans coming from all over, it quickly acquired a sizeable Christian congregation. St Paul visited Ephesus and later wrote the most profound of his epistles to the Ephesians.
Ephesus was renovvned for its wealth and beauty even before it was pillaged by Gothic invaders in 262 AD, and it was stili an important enough place in 431 AD for a church council to be held there. Much of the city remains for you to see.
in high summer it gets very hot here. it's best to start your tramping early in the morning, then retire to a shady restaurant for lunch at the peak of the heat. Unfortunately this is what the coach parties also do; lunch time is when you're most likely to avoid the bedlam of tour groups.
If your interest in ancient ruins is slight, half a day may suffice, but real ruins buffs will want to continue their explorations in the afternoon. Take a water bottle as drinks at the site are more expensive.
it's 3km from the Tourism Information Office in Selçuk to the admission gate at Ephesus, a pleasant 30 to 45-minute walk along a shady İane at the side of the highway. The lane, actually the old road, is named after Doktor Sabri Yayla, who had the foresight to plant the trees earlier in the century.
History in Ephesus, Ephesus Photo, Ephesus Visit
According to a legend related by Athenaeus, Androclus, son of King Codrus of Athens, consulted an oracle about where he should found a settlement in Ionia. The oracle answered, in typically cryptic style, 'choose the site indicated by the fish and the boar.
Androclus sat down with some fıshermen near the mouth of the Cayster River and Panayır Dağı (Mt Pion), the hill into which Ephesus Great Theatre was later built. As they grilled some fısh for lunch, one of the fısh leapt out of the brazier, taking with it a hot coal which ignited some shavings, which in turn ignited the nearby brush. A wild boar hiding in the brush ran in alarm from the fire; the spot at which it was killed by the fıshermen became the site of Ephesus' temple of Athena.
For many years thereafter the wild boar was a symbol of the city. Until the 1970s it was stili common to see wild pigs in scrub thickets near Ephesus
in ancient times the sea came much further inland, almost as far as present-day Selçuk, even lapping at the feet of Panayır Dağı. The fırst settlement, of which virtually nothing remains, was built on the hill's northern slope, and was a prosperous city by about 600 BC. The nearby sanctuary of Cybele/Artemis (Anatolian mother goddess) had been a place of pilgrimage since at least 800 BC and may - let's face it - have had more to do with the selection of the site than the fish and the pig.
Don't miss Selçuk's beautiful museum, across from the Tourism Information Office. The collection is signifıcant, and its statuary, mosaics and artefacts are attractively displayed. Highlights include the small, bronze figure of the Boy on a Dolphin in the fırst room; the marble statues of Cybele/Artemis with rows of egg-like breasts representing fertility; several effigies of Priapus, the phallic god; and pieces from a gigantic statue of the emperor Domitian. Beyond the courtyard is the ethnographic section set up in an arasta (row of shops) concentrating on traditional Turkish and Ottoman life with tools, costumes and a topuk ev (tent-like dwelling) used by Turkic nomads.
it's open from 8.30 am to noon and 1 to 5 pm for US$3.50 (half price for students; free for those over 65). You'll probably appreci-ate it most if you visit the site at Ephesus first.
Meryemana (Mary's House, Mary's Dolls House)
Since at least the Renaissance, some people have believed that the Virgin Mary came to Ephesus with St John at the end of her life (37-45 AD), in the 19th century Catherine Emmerich of Germany had visions of Mary at Ephesus. Using her descriptions, clergy from izmir discovered the foundations of an old house in the hills near Ephesus, later verifıed by Pope Paul VI on a visit to the site in 1967. A small traditional service is held in the chapel on the site every 15 August to honour Mary's Assumption into heaven. To Muslims, Mary is Meryemana, Mother Mary, who bore Isa Peygamber, the Prophet Jesus.
The site is 7km from Ephesus Lower (northern) Gate and 5.5km from the Upper (southern) Gate. it's 9km from Selçuk itself, up a steep hill. There's no dolmuş service so you'11 have to hitch, rent a taxi or take a tour. it costs another US$2 to get into the site which is mobbed by coach parties. Unless the house has special meaning for you, you might prefer to save your money for something less commercialised.
Selçuk has some tombs and a little mosque dating from the Seljuk period just south of the otogar. On Namık Kemal Caddesi are the remains of a Byzantine aqueduct, now a favourite nesting place for leylekler (storks).
Eggs are laid in late April or May, and the storks are there right into September.
The Ephesus Festival, held at varying times in the year, brings world-class performers to the Great Theatre at Ephesus and other venues. From mid-June to mid-July, performances of music and dance are organised under the rubric of the International izmir Festival and there are some performances at Ephesus.
The most promising new-comer to the Selçuk pension scene is the five-storey Ali Blacks (fax 232-892 3657, 1011 Sokak 1), overlooking the aqueduct with the storks nests and close to the train station. Run by the enthusiastic and knowledgeable Hamdullah Akın (Jesse) and Mehmet Nazlı (Jeff), it has a good rooftop terrace and the advantage of bathrooms for every room, although there's no lift.
Pension Karahan (232-892 2575, Siegburg Caddesi 11), has received several recommendations from readers. There are 12 simple rooms here, but they're in the heart of the action and could be noisy in summer.
Another newcomer is Artemis Guest House (232-892 6191, 1012 Sokak 2), otherwise known as Jimmy's Place. Clean, simple rooms are supplemented by a large lounge with TV-video player and a rear courtyard with murals.
Close to the market, Ms Seval Demirel-Molenaar runs the popular Vardar Pension (232-891 4967, fax 891 4099, Sahabettin Dede Caddesi 9), with 16 small, clean rooms, most with bath, and a nice dining terrace where breakfast and dinner are served. Seval Hanım speaks some Dutch, English, French, German and Japanese, and stresses that she does not employ touts at the bus station, though she herself sometimes meets buses.
Readers have also recommended Pamukkale Family Pension (232-892 2388, 14 Mayıs Mahellesi, Sedir Sokak 1), run by Mehmet Irdem whose hospitality has been described as 'awe inspiring'. His wife's cooking also comes in for high praise.
Camping (Seljuks Turkey)
On the western side of Ayasoluk Hill 200m beyond the Isa Bey Camii, Garden Motel & Camping (232-892 6165, fax 892 2997) offers grassy pitches in the shade of aspen trees. There are also some pension rooms with a few dorm beds for US$5 per person. Carpets are made here for export to Italy, so you get the chance to see the dying and weaving in progress without pressure to buy. There's also camping at Pamucak (see the Pamucak section later in this chapter).
Entertainment in Seljuks
Sipping drinks and talking are the main evening entertainments in Selçuk. Besides the restaurants on Cengiz Topel Caddesi, you'll find Ekselans Bar on Siegburg Caddesi with outdoor tables and, next to it, the currently more popular Pink Bistro Bar.
Cheers is also popular but a quick stroll around town should point out this season's place to be.
The Selçuk Hamamı is north of the police station. Traditionally, women bathe on Friday, but, this being a tourist area, they can actually show up at any time and be allowed in. it stays open until midnight.