Ephesus was originally established as a port
. Today you can barely glimpse the Aegean in that the city is so far inland (about 8 km). It was once the leading seaport of the region. There is a huge time frame of archaeology at the site. The city dates from the Neolithic period of about 6000 BC, became Mycenaean, Greek, Lydian, Persian, Greek again, Roman, Byzantine, and finally Turkish.
Ephesus contains the largest collection of Roman ruins in the eastern Mediterranean with only an estimated 15% having been excavated. The city also became an important center for Early Christianity.
We visited the purported home of the Virgin Mary, saw a Roman fortress, the famous Library of Celsus, the Temple of Artemis, the Odeon, Hadrian's Temple and the Basilica of Saint John among a host of other fantastic sites.
When in Turkey on your first visit, it is definitely a must see.
Ephesus had changed as well. Today it is a huge outdoor museum. Before it had crumbled streets and only partially restored ruins. Today it has beautiful marble streets and the restoration made it seem as if I had never been there before. This was definitely the archaeological highlight of the trip. The city was famed for the Temple of Artemis which was completed around 550 BC and considered as one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. Unfortunately, there is little to see of this today. The other highlight of the city is the Library of Celsus which is majestic looking and built in AD 115-25. One can see the old theater which originally held 25,000 people, the old Roman baths with their communal toilets, and a variety of other ruins. Unfortunately there was restoration going on at the Terrace Houses so we were unable to enter these ancient homes of the wealthy.