Reasons to Tour Ephesus
History buffs and Christians are high on the list of tourists to visit Ephesus. Why?
~ Here was built the Temple of Artemis in the 6th century BC . It was one of the Seven Wonders of the World and erected in honour of the Greek goddess of fertility and midwives. It was rebuilt many times on a grand scale, but destroyed as the city was by fire, earthquakes and conquerors; today, little visible remains except remnants of its foundations and a single column, sadly no longer the height of the originals (over 90 feet tall). Some artifacts from archaeological digs have been removed from the site and are now in museums in Turkey and England. The Ephesus museum in nearby Selkuk houses many of these and videos in English.
~ The Basilica of St. John was built over the apostle’s tomb in the 6th century. Prior to that there had been a small chapel. It was a magnificent structure in the shape of a cross with six domes. The church was converted to a mosque in the 14th century and destabilized by earthquakes shortly thereafter. St. John wrote Revelations, and the church at Ephesus is one of the seven mentioned in this book of the Bible.
~ Legend has it that the Mother Mary accompanied John to live in Ephesus, and her supposed house, the House of the Virgin Mary, is located a short distance from the city. Again the house is no longer recognizable as such having been converted to a church in the 4th century. It has been visited by three popes since 1960, and is partially open to the public.
~ St Paul the Apostle, having been born in what is now Turkey, also visited and spoke in Ephesus.