Wednesday, July 5, 2006

July 21, 2006

Day 30
Friday, July 21, 2006
Kusadasi, Turkey

Ancient Ephesian architecture
Our ship docks in Kusadasi, Turkey and we take our tour of Ephesus, St. John’s Basilica and the Virgin Mary Shrine.  Our tour guide’s name is Mehmet and he gives us much information about Turkey which shows his great love for his country.  Turkey used to be called Asia Minor and many sites in Turkey today are mentioned in history and in the Bible.  It is considered to be the Second Holy Land for Christians around the world.

We travel by tour bus from the port of Kusadasi to Ephesus to view the ruins of ancient Ephesus.  Our first stop is to view the House of the Virgin Mary.  This has been recognized as the final resting place of Mary.  A small shrine dedicated to Mary was found when the ruins of the house were first discovered. 

Our next stop is to view the ruins of the town of Ephesus.  We enter through the Magnesia Gate and begin a slow, downhill walk through the ruins.  This is the largest excavated site in the world.   
  1. We see ruins of the Odeon which is a small theatre with a seating capacity of 1,400.  It was used for public meetings of the city council. 
  2. We pass by Hadrian’s Temple, the public baths, the brothel, and the Fountain of Trajan.
  3. Then we see the Great Theatre, which seats 25,000 and is still used today.  This is where Paul spoke to the Ephesians.  What a privilege to be in the same arena where Paul addressed the Ephesians.
  4. We then walk over to the Library of Celsus which is a huge structure and very impressive.  It was designed to hold 1,200 scrolls.
  5. We walk down Harbor Street (also known as Arcadian Way) which connected the port district with the center of town.  Beautiful colonnades on both sides and marble pavement made a dazzling first impression on visiting dignitaries.  It was one of the rare ancient streets to be lit by lamps at night.
  6. We see beautiful mosaic streets lining the homes which are currently being excavated.
Our next stop is to visit the ruins of the Basilica of St. John.  This is a church built over the tomb of John, the beloved disciple.  There isn’t much left of the church but a model shows what it would have looked like before falling into ruin.  It was very large and had a baptistry which can still be seen today.

What a wonderful surprise to see so many sites that we recognize from the Bible.

We have dinner in the dining room and attend the entertainment which was a magic show.  Looking forward to going to Mykonos tomorrow.

Scenes from Ephesus, Turkey

Notice about the house & final resting place of Mary

Mary's house in Ephesus

Entering the ruins of Ephesus

Political assembly area (Odeon)  in ancient Ephesus

Curetes Street in ancient Ephesus

Entering the Library area in ancient Ephesus

Mosaic street alongside the Terrace Houses of ancient Ephesus

The Hydra of Greek mythology

Ruins of Library of Celsus in ancient Ephesus

Entering the marketplace in ancient Ephesus

Statute at entrance to Library of Celsus in ancient Ephesus

Theatre of Ephesus where the apostle Paul spoke

Mike and Pat with ancient Ephesian theatre in background

Tomb of John (the beloved disciple) in Ephesus

Model of what the Basilica of St. John looked like in 6th century AD

Ruins of the Basilica of St. John today

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