Tuesday, October 13, 2009


Ephesus is located in Turkey southwest of Istanbul on the Mediterranean coast. In ancient times it was a port city, located at the mouth of a river. Over time the port silted up and Ephesus was abandoned. At its height in the 2nd or 3rd century AD Ephesus had some 250,000 people. This is the city where the Apostle Paul spent at least two years. It contained a colony of Christians to whom he wrote letters some of which are contained in the New Testament.

Ephesus was a Roman city. It had paved streets, running water, a sewer system, at least one large theatre and a large library. The ruins that have been excavated so far are extensive but amount to only about 20% of the site.

Below is a picture of the gates leading to the square in front of the Celsus library.

The Celsus library, shown below, was one of the great libraries of the time, rivaling the library of Alexandria. The area around Ephesus was a major supplier of parchment. In order to promote their library vs the Alexandrian, the Ephesians stopped exporting it to Alexandria.

I think this very large theatre held about 22,000 people. It has marvelous acoustics; concerts are still held here.

This street leads from the theatre towards the sea or what would have been the harbor. A large sewer tunnel is beneath it, which also lead to the sea.

Below: A public women's lavatory. Much of Asia still hasn't figured this out.

Below: The dog doesn’t care, but one wonders “What did they do?”

Below: Symbol of early Christians carved in a paving stone.

Below: Sign of a physician, the staff of Aesculapius.

Ephesus was a surprise. I had no idea it was as large as it was and the ruins as extensive as they are. I think all I had seen before were photos of the street leading to the sea.


  1. Ephesus and the Turkish Market were my absolute favorite things from when I went on a Greek Island cruise with 3 girlfriends. Glad you got some great pictures - nice to be reminded.

  2. Thanks for the photos with relatively few people in them -- and one doesn't give a damn dog. When I saw it a cruise ship had landed and the place looked like a mall the day after Thanksgiving, couldn't get a real sense of the place at all. You don't have a photo of Mary's house -- couldn't help wondering if it really was or just myth.

  3. We did not go to Mary's house. Our guide said it was designated as Mary's house by a nun who had a vision in the 19th century, I think. Photos I have seen show the inside all decked out as a shrine.

  4. Great picutres Dad. I had no idea you had your own blog.