by Melissa Brunner
by Melissa Brunner
If there was one excursion to take while cruising the Greek isles, I was told, Ephesus was it. I’m glad I listened.
Ephesus, located in western Turkey, is where the apostle Paul came to preach, which is chronicled in his Letter to the Ephesians in the Bible. It’s also believed to be where the apostle John brought Jesus’ Mother Mary to live out her life while he preached there as well. The site believed to be where she died is marked with a chapel up the mountain from Ephesus.
The vast site of Ephesus’ ruins is considered one of the best preserved ancient cities to be discovered. With massive columns, ornate statues, intricate mosaics and marble walks, it’s hard to believe this was created centuries ago. With so much remaining, you can almost imagine the 250,000 or so residents meandering the streets and bustling through the markets.
Two structures stand out here. First, you make your way down a marble street to see the great library come into view. You can actually still walk up the steps to the columned entry and come face to face with the statues decorating it. Amazing! Then, you move a bit further down the path and see the grand stadium, the largest in Asia Minor, with seating for 25,000. It still hosts performances, although our guide told us they had to shut it down for repairs after Sting because the vibrations from his sound system caused some instability! In fact, Ephesus remains an active archeological site. Turkish and Austrian crews are working together to restore the stadium, while excavation continues on homes built into the mountainsides.
We spent just over an hour there, but you could have spent weeks and still discovered new things. Don’t skip it if you ever have the opportunity to go.
Local wildlife hangs out among the ruins!