Efesus (Ephesus)

Trip Start Nov 09, 2006
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Trip End Nov 22, 2006


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Monday, November 13, 2006

Our biggest stop of the day was at the ruins of Efesus. That's the Turkish spelling (pronounced 'EFF-eh-soos'), and it is also commonly known as Ephesus (eh-FEEZ-us).

Amy and I had never visited this type of site before, but several people in our group who had been to Greece said these were the most extensive ruins they'd seen. The scale of it really is pretty amazing; a good portion of it is reconstructed but even that is just a fraction of what the city used to be.

As usual, Metin entertained us with information about the site. The promenade or walkway to the Library of Celsus was beautiful. There were small houses embedded into the hills on our left, with the mosaic floors still intact but roped off. To our right was the classic Roman bath where visitors and slaves went first to wash before entering the city. Along the entrance, there were several different shrines to a variety of gods and goddesses.

The library was a phenomenal sight, but the Efesus theater matched it in terms of sheer magnitude and imposing presence. It can hold 24,000 people, leading archaeolgists to believe that Efesus once supported a population of roughly a quarter-million people. It is still used today for classical music concerts. Anything louder has been forbidden since a Sting concert shook the foundations a few years ago.

Here's a good reference if you're curious about the history of Efesus:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ephesus

Returning to the tour bus, we encountered the usual string of vendor booths. One enterprising fellow here tried to earn our dollar (or lira) with a rare bit of honesty: his sign advertised his extensive selection of "Genuine Fake Watches!"

Click here to see a satellite map of Efesus. The large scallop shape at the north end is the main theater. The smaller scallop shape to the southeast is in the agora.
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