About Ephesus


With the long Aegean coast and the warm climate, Aegean Region has wonderful beaches and lovely coastal towns in Turkey. Mountains reaching the coastline create a very unique natural beauty. Sunbathing facilities and the appropriateness of seawater temperature attract many tourists to the Aegean coastline.  Besides the sandy beaches and coastal towns, you can take a trip back in time and visit the ruins of ancient Greek, follow the footsteps of ancient Greek gods among the ruins of these magnificent civilizations, You can visit the house of Virgin Mary after swimming in the soothing waters of  Kusadasi beaches.

Among the most famous cities of ancient world, Ephesus was one of the biggest during the Roman Era treasury of all the riches of Ionian culture. The Temple of Artemis was one of the seven wonders of the ancient times.Virgin Mary House was a monument to piety and faith. Izmir is the third largest city in Turkey and arguably it is known as the second largest trading destination, after Istanbul .  

Below we have some tours for Ephesus  both in private basis and regular group tours.Up to your wish,we can customize the tours according to your taste. Here we are to plan your  trip.Make your choice for sightseeing tours operated by Meyel Tours.


  • That Ephesus is considered one of the great outdoor museums of Turkey ?
  • That the first advertisement of the antiquity, which shows the way to the brothel, is on the Marbel Street in Ephesus ?
  • That one of the seven wonders of the antiquity, Temple of Artemis is at Ephesus ?
  • That The Virgin Mary’s house in Ephesus is visited by Pope the 6th Paul and Pope Jean Paul as well ?
  • That Ancient City of Ephesus was built 4 times in the history and the Ephesus we walk around today is the 3th one ?
  • That Ephesus which was once a seaport is now 6 miles away from the sea ?
  • That before the rich people used the toilets their slaves sat and heated toilets’ stone for their masters ?



Ephesus is within the borders of Selcuk county in the Province of Izmir.Kusadasi is 19 km far away from Ephesus .The original site of ancient Ephesus was most likely established on the Aegean coast, on the shores of that sea which is today located 6 km away from the archaeological excavations and was one of the most famous cities of antiquity.

It was founded on the shore of the bay into which the river Cayster (Kucuk Menderes )drains and on the adjacent hillside of Mount Pion (Panayir Dagi).The beginning  of human settlement at Ephesus occured during the Neolithic period,6000 BC .The Mycenaean ceramics found on Ayasuluk Hill in excavations carried out in recent years provide evidence that there was a Mycenaean settlements in the area ,like other  Mycenaean settlements located along the Aegean coastlines.It is stated that the location of settlements belongings  to the Bronz Age  and the Hittite Period were on on the mounds around Ephesus and Ayasuluk Hill, where the castle stands today.The name of the city during the Hittite Period was Apasas. With the wave of migrations that began from Central Europe around 1200 B.C, the Dorians moved to the areas South and the North of the river Gediz.The Dorians later settled  in the area of Caria in the southwestern corner that both The Carians and Leleges,the native inhabitants of the area were in Ephesus before the colonist arrived.

According to mythology,the Oracle of Delphi made a prophecy concerning Androklos ,son of the Athenian king Kadros ,who wanted to establish new cities .”The fish will jump ,the boar will flee and there you will establish a city having a bright future “After Androklos left for Anatolia ,he wandered through many places and finally when he was in the region, the oil in the pan spluttered while the fish was being fried ,the fish jumped from the pan and with it went the flames which ignited the surrounding bushes. The boar which was hiding in the bushes that now caught fire began to run away from the flames and Androklos ,the leader of the colonists,mounted his horse ,pursued the boar and killed it .The prophecy was fulfilled when he killed the boar and there Androklos established the Ionian city of Ephesus.Androklos ruled the city as the first Basilid. His rule was successively followed by the rule by an oligarchy ,by tyranny and then by democracy .

The first information about Ephesus dates from 7th century B.C. and Ephesus as a member of the Panionion ,the Ionian League ,fought with the neighboring cities of Melie and Magnesia in order to increase its power in the area.In 645 B.C, Tthe city was defended  aganist the assaults of Cimmerians ,who came from Russia ,under  the leadership of Lygdamis.In 545 ,The lydian King Croesus Laid siege  to the city and he captured it.King Croesus gave Money to the city for the construction  of a temple dedicated to Artemis  and he forced the Ionians ,who had settled on the hillside of Mount Pion ,and the native population ,who had settled  around the temple ,to reside together in the city .   

Alexander the Great conquered the city in 334 B.C and from this date a period of prosperity for Ephesus began which lasted for about 50 years. Alexander offered to help in the reconstruction  of the temple of Artemis which had been burned down but his offer of assistance was politely rejected by the Ephesians ,who flatteringly remarked that “It wouldnt be appropriate for one God to build a temple  for another God “. After the death of Alexander the Great ,the city was dominated by Lysimachus ,one of Alexander’s generals who between 286 and 281 B.C moved to city to the valley between  Mount Koressos and Mount Pion.He relocated  the inhabitants  to this valley and gave the city his wife’s name ,Arsione. But this new  name  was almost immediately  forgotten.Ephesus was prosperous during the Hellenistic Period. When the Romans defeated the Syrian king Antiochus in 189 B.C , Ephesus was left to the king of Pergamon Attalus III died in 133 .B.C., in his last testament  Ephesus was left to Rome.

During the reign of  Roman emperor Augustus .Ephesus became one of the most important cities of Roman Asia and the Public works at Ephesus ,which began with the constructions such as triumphal arch of 3 B.C. and the aqueduct built between 4 and 14 A.D, made the city the largest and the most  important city of Roman Empire in Anatolia.In the meantime, Christianity was spreading rapidly in the city.In 57 A.D, the Roman population who were opposed to what Saint Paul taught rioted aganist the new religion in the theatre of Ephesus. Both the house in which the Virgin Mary spent her last days and the place where  John the Evangelist  died are in the vicinity of Ephesus. Ephesus was also one of the Seven Churches of Asia mentioned in the Bible and the Divine Revelations came to the Evangelist John in this city.In 262 A.D. the Goths sacked both Ephesus and the Temple of Artemis  and after this disaster the city was unable to return to its former prosperity and glory.

At the beginning of the Middle Ages the port of Ephesus had silted up ,with the alluvium deposited by river Cayster (Kucuk Menderes), and  consequently Ephesus was no longer a sea port  and centre of trade,considerably reducing its importance.When Ephesus was conquered by the Seljuks in 1090. It was only a small town and after the short-lived golden days of the Aydinogulları Emirate in the 14th century,Ephesus was abandoned. Ephesus had been home to people who have been acknowledged as important in the world of science and art.


This important site of the Christian world is  in Selcuk. One of the disciples of Jesus Christ and the protector of the Virgin Mary, St. John spent the last days of his life in Selcuk, where he wrote his book of the Bible before dying here. His tomb is located in the church that also bears his name. After the acceptance of Christianity for his empire, Byzantine Emperor Justinian (sixth century) built a basilica in his name.

St John or the Apostle John was the writer of the Fourth Gospel and the book of Revelation.The accounts of the Gospels agree that he is the son of Zebedee; together with his brother James, began to follow Jesus while fishing in the Lake Galilee.He became one of the Christ’s closest disciples and was with him on various significant events such as the Transfiguration and the Crucifixion. At his writings when Jesus was on his torture stake he said that : ‘Mother, this is your Son’. And to his beloved disciple, ‘this is Your Mother’(John 19:26-27).The beloved disciple is thought to have been St John.

The second half of the first century was full of persecution for the early Christians.Apostle James and Stephen were killed in Jerusalem.Paul was sent to Rome and executed. According to tradition John took The Mother Mary and came to Ephesus.He wrote his Gospel in Ephesus and the Revelation in Greece Island, Patmos in 96AD. 

The monumental basilica was in the shape of a cross and was covered with six domes. Its construction, being of stone and brick, is an extremely rare find amongst the architecture of its time. Raised by two steps and covered with marble, the tomb of St John was under the central dome, that was once carried by the four columns at the corners. The columns in the courtyard reveals the monograms of Emperor Justinian and his wife Theodora. Constructed in the 5th century AD, the baptistery is north of the nave, with its key hole shape.Rampart walls around the church were constructed for protection from the Arabian attracts in the 7th – 8th centuries AD.The impressive 10th century AD frescoes representing St John, Jesus and a Saint, ornament the chapel. With the invasion of Turks, the chapel was used as a mosque in the 14th century; unfortunately Basilica of Saint John became unusable due to the serious earthquake in the same century.


Sirince is a small village near the Aegean shore of Anatolia. It is one of the 8 villages of Selcuk District of Izmir Province.It is located on a valley about 375 m high from the sea level. The village is reached by an 8 km narrow paved road from Selcuk.Selcuk District exists on a strategic point; it has many transportation options such as railway, seaway, airway, highway for people who want to travel the other parts of the country.It isn’t possible to undertake the history of Sirince from Ephesus which was one of the important cities in the antiquity. 

It is believed that Sirince was the countryside of Ephesus. The earliest known document in which the name of Cirkince (before becoming Sirince) can be traced is the document number 571 of Ankara Deed Office where the name of the village is mentioned with surrounding villages in a foundation book dated to 1583. After the discovery of the House of Holy Virgin Mary in 1891, the area around Sirince became important and also people in Sirince helped this. A group of monks came for the search of the House of Holy Virgin Mary. They describe Cirkince as a Christian town that has a population of 4000 people, speaking mostly Turkish.

At the beginning of 20th century the population of Sirince (all Greek) was between 4000-7000 and the number of houses was between 1100-1800. Being inhabited by a Greek population until January 30, 1923, the protocol for the exchange of citizens between Greece and Turkey at this date, has been a turning point on the history of the village where the population had to be changed with the group of Turkish population migrating from around Salonika, Kavala, Provusta in Greece. The 1923 population exchange between Greece and Turkey is the first large scale population exchange in the 20th century. The document about the population exchange was signed at Lausanne, Switzerland in 1923, between the governments of Greece and Turkey. The exchange took place between Turkish nationals of the Greek Orthodox religion established in Turkish territory, and of Greek nationals of the Muslim religion established in Greek territory. The legal rights of transferred peoples were guaranteed; their real estate was handed over to the local commissions to be given to the incoming immigrants. 

Due to the number of migrants (1740) settled in Sirince in 1924 was less than the population returned to Greece (4000), most of the houses weren’t used. Wooden parts of these abandoned houses were used by new comers in reparation of the houses which they dwelled in. And also they used wooden parts as firewood. These situation quickened spatial deterioration. By the time passed some of the abandoned houses collapsed. Today the population of village is nearly 562 and the number of registered historic building is 125. 


Pergamon (also referred to as Pergamum) was an ancient city located approximately 25 kilometres from the Aegean sea in present-day Bergama, Izmir Province of Turkey in the Anatolia region.The city was connected to the Caicus river valley (modern name Bakırcay) which provided access from Pergamon to the Aegean coast. Pergamon reached the height of its influence during the Hellenistic period becoming the capital of the Attalid kings and the Pergamon Empire from the 3rd to 2nd century BC and in the Roman period it was the first capital of the Asian province until this was moved to local rival Ephesus.

The earliest material from Pergamon indicates that the site was settled as early as the 8th century B.C. Because of its distance from the sea, however, Pergamon was probably not a Greek settlement and little is known about the earlier centuries. The city is first mentioned in history in 399 B.C. and at that time it was in the hands of a local Greek tyrant.

Pergamon emerged as a power during the struggle for territorial control following the death of Alexander the Great in 323 B.C. By the middle of the 3rd century Pergamon had been established as an independent state under the leadership of the Attalid dynasty. The power of the Attalids and the city grew as a result of successful battles against the Gauls of central Anatolia and careful political alliances with Rome.

The peak period of Pergamon power and achievement was reached during the reign of Eumenes II (197-159 B.C.). The kingdom had grown to include most of western Anatolia and was rich in agriculture and industry. Noted industrial exports included textiles, fine pottery, and “Pergamene paper” or parchment. The last industry developed when Ptolemy, reportedly jealous of the growing fame of the library in Pergamon, prohibited the export of papyrus from Egypt. Eumenes II enlarged the city of Pergamon to include all of the southern slope and enclosed the city with a new and stronger fortification wall. In addition to the major new constructions in the lower city Eumenes also commissioned the Great Altar of Zeus and Athena, the theater, and the new library in the upper city.

In the 2nd century B.C. Pergamon rivalled Athens and Alexandria as centers of Hellenic culture. The city possessed one of the greatest libraries of antiquity, monumental gymnasia, and numerous religious sanctuaries, including the Asklepion outside the city walls. Pergamon was a haven for noted philosophers and artists and was the center of a major movement in Hellenistic sculpture. The Attalids supported the arts and learning in Pergamon and elsewhere and made major donations, such as the Stoa of Attalos II in Athens.

The last Attalid ruler, Attalos III, bequeathed the kingdom of Pergamon to Rome in 133 B.C. During Roman rule the prosperity of Pergamon continued and the city had a period of commercial expansion. The city itself expanded to the plain S and W of the acropolis across the flat land now occuppied by modern Bergama.

After a slight decline in the 1st century A.D. Pergamon went through a second period of greatness in the 2nd century A.D. New monumental structures were completed, including the large (ca. 300 x 100 m) sanctuary to the Egyptian gods in the center of the Roman city. The Sanctuary of Asklepios grew in fame and was considered one of the most famous therapeutic and healing center of the Roman world. Galen, after Hippocrates the most famous physician of antiquity, was born at Pergamon and received his early training at the Asklepion.

By the end of the 2nd century A.D. Pergamon had become an important Christian center and the monumental Temple of Serapis in the sanctuary to the Egyptian gods was converted to a church. Economical decline, however, followed the weakening of the Pax Romana and Pergamon lost much of its importance. In A.D. 716 the city was sacked by the Arabs and as a minor provincial center changed hands several times in the Medieval period


The famous museum of Ephesus is positioned in the town Selcuk that is almost 18km far away from Kusadasi. It is at the distance of 70km from the Izmir. The art work at Ephesus was dug up from the year 1867 to 1905 and it was then transported to British museum. Its findings were discovered from the year 1905 to 1923. These findings were shifted to Vienna. Thought the Turkish Republic refused to take the antiques to any other place and they founded the museum Ephesus in the Selcuk. In 1983 it was presented in it’s form.

Ephesus Museum is a rich local museum with its vital artifacts for Ephesus and Anatolian archeology, the majority of which was brought from Ephesus excavations, Church of St. John, Belevi Tomb Monument and other ruins in the vicinity. The artifacts exhibited in the museum are dated from the 4th millennium B.C. to the Prehistoric, Mycenaean, Archaic, Classical, Hellenistic, Roman, Byzantine, Seljuk and Ottoman Periods. The exhibition is not in classical chronological order and the artifacts are exhibited at the halls which are arranged according to locations of finds.

This museum is totally different from all other museums and is very special. The museum has some rooms and is designed in a special theme. It has some sections that are named as

Hall of the Terrace Houses findings

Hall of the fountain findings

Hall of the tomb findings

Hall Artemis

Hall of the imperial cut

Small courtyard

Hall of the new and small findings

Great courtyard


Oracle Temple of Apollo, Didyma

Hidden among rolling hills only a few miles from the scenic coast of southeastern Turkey, the ancient site of Didyma is famous from legendary times. Here was a natural spring where the beautiful Leto is supposed to have spent an hour of love with Zeus, then giving birth to the twins Artemis and Apollo (didymoi in Greek). The most important oracle site in Asia Minor, its pronouncements to Croesus, Alexander the Great and other great kings altered the course of human history.

Didyma was originally a pre-Greek cult sanctuary centered around a sacred grove and holy spring. The remains of the earliest temples, which lie within and beneath the later buildings, have been dated to the 8th and 7th centuries BC. These consist of a walled enclosure measuring approximately 24 x 10 m, an open-air sanctuary, a portico 16 m in length, a sacred well and a votive altar. By the 7th century BC, the Ionian Greeks had adopted the site, dedicated it to the worship of Apollo, and the fame of its oracle had spread across the eastern Mediterranean and into Egypt. The earliest temple of Apollo at the site was an unroofed Ionic building enclosing the sacred spring, laurel trees and a small inner temple. These structures were completed about 560-550 BC when the site was in charge of a family of priests known as the Branchids, the descendants of Bronchos, a youth beloved of Apollo. The cult statue in the Didyma temple dated from 500 BC, was made of bronze and depicted Apollo Philesios seizing a deer. The temple was located approximately 10 kilometers south of the city of Miletus, inland from the small port of Panormos. In the Archaic period, when the first temple of Apollo was constructed, a Sacred Way, lined with sculptures, sarcophagi and statues of lions and sphinxes, led from Panormos to the sanctuary. Pilgrims arriving by sea would disembark at the port of Panormos and walk the Sacred Way to the oracle of Apollo.

The Persians destroyed a second and larger temple at the same site in 494 BC. while it was still under construction. Little is known about activities at Didyma during the 5th and 4th centuries BC. and it seems to have suffered a decline. After his capture of the city of Miletus in 334 BC, Alexander the Great placed the administration of the oracle in the hands of the city. The sanctuary of the oracle was revived in 331 BC when the sacred spring was rediscovered on the occasion of a visit from Alexander (during which time the oracle proclaimed him “the son of Zeus”). In the following decades Seleucus embellished the sanctuary and commissioned the new Hellenistic Temple of Apollo (about 300 BC the cult statue of Apollo that had been stolen by the Persians was returned to Didyma). The sanctuary grew in fame, attracting thousands of pilgrims from throughout the Hellenistic world, and work on the temple continued for the next 200 years. This temple, measuring 51 by 110 meters, was the third largest structure of the Greek world, being exceeded in size only by those at Ephesus and Samos. Although the Hellenistic Didymaion was of greater dimensions than the archaic temple, it was merely an adaptation of the original plan. The massive temple had a total of 124 columns (many of which were never erected) and was embellished with the most wonderful sculptures of Greek artistry. One particularly enormous column weighs 70 tons.

In 278 BC the sanctuary suffered under the raids of Gauls, but construction work on the temple was resumed. In 70 BC pirates sacked the sanctuary and work on the temple was terminated. The sanctuary, however, continued to function and in AD 100. Trajan commissioned a new paved road to the sanctuary from Miletus. By the 3rd century AD Christianity had become well established in the Miletus area and the sanctuary at Didyma fell gradually into disuse. In 262 AD the Apollonian Oracle temple (which had never been completed, despite five centuries of service), was converted into a fortress against invading Goths and Saracens. In 385 AD, the famous oracle, second only to that of Delphi in Greece, was officially closed by an edict of Theodosius and a Byzantine church was erected within temple compound. The buildings were ravaged by fire and in the 15th century a great earthquake reduced the temple to rubble, toppling all but three of its towering columns.

The French first began excavations at the Temple of Apollo in 1834, followed by the Berlin Museum from 1904 to 1913, and then by the German Archaeological Institute from 1962 until the present.


The city of Priene, an Ionian settlement, was laid out on Mount Mycale (Samsun) and contained many famous examples of Hellenistic art and architecture.The original location of the city has never been found but it was probably a peninsula with two harbors. The ruins are from the new city built in the 4th century BC. It is a small city with 4 or 5 thousand inhabitants and not of great political significance even if it shared the same history with the other Ionian cities.

The city is mainly organized in four districts, the political (bouleuterion and prytaneion),  the cultural (Theatre), commercial (agora) and most importantly religious (Athena Temple). In addition to the Athena Temple, the people of Priene erected sanctuaries dedicated to Zeus, Demeter and Egyptian gods.

The city was a member of the Ionian League, and has been built at the base of an escarpment of Mycale mountain close to Meander (Buyuk Menderes) river, some 25 kilometres far away from the ancient city of Miletus. It was built at a place overlooking the Aegean sea on steep slopes and terraces extending from sea level to a height of 380 metres above sea level at the top of the escarpment. However today, after several centuries of changes in the landscape, it is an inland site.

The original Priene however was had been a port city situated at the then mouth of the Meander River. Remains of the original Priene have not yet been identified, because, it is supposed, they must be under many feet of sediment, the top of which is currently valuable agricultural land. Because of Meander river’s depositions this old city had to be moved every few centuries in order to renew its utility as a port.

At about 350 BC the Persian-empire satrap, Mausolus (a Carian) planned a magnificent new city on the steep slopes of Mycale, where it would be, it was hoped, a permanent deep-water port and seem to delight in being located on and up a seaside escarpment. Construction had begun when the Macedonians took the region from the Persian Empire and Alexander the Great personally assumed responsibility for the move. Both he and Mausolus intended to make Priene a model city. He offered to pay for construction of the Temple of Athena if it would be dedicated to him, which it was, in 323 BC. The leading citizens were quick so most of the public buildings were constructed at private expense and are inscribed with the names of the donors. So the city was constructed according to a plan entirely within the 4th century BC.

The ruins of the city are on of the most spectacular surviving examples of an entire ancient Greek city intact except for the ravages of time and has been studied since at least the 18th century. The city was constructed of marble from nearby quarries on Mycale and wood for such items as roofs and floors. The public area is laid out in a grid pattern up the steep slopes, drained by a system of channels. The water distribution and sewer systems survive. Foundations, paved streets, stairways, partial door frames, monuments, walls, terraces can be seen everywhere among toppled columns and blocks. No wood has survived. The city extends upward to the base of an escarpment projecting from Mycale. A narrow path leads to the Acropolis above.

Despite the expectations of the population Priene lasted only a few more centuries as a deep-water port. In the 2nd century AD Pausanias reports that Maeander already had silted over the inlet in which Myus stood and that the population had abandoned it for Miletus. Apparently, Miletus was still open then, but Priene could not have been. Very likely, its merchants had preceded the people of today Miletus is many miles from the sea and Priene stands at the edge of a fertile plain, now a checkerboard of privately owned fields. A Greek village remained after the population decline and was joined by a Turkish population in the 2nd millennium. In the 13th century it was a primarily Turkish village known by the name the Turkish population had assigned to the escarpment, Samsun Kale or “Samson’s Castle”, where Samson had come to represent any mythical strong man.

By 1923 whatever Greek population remained was expelled in the population exchange between Greece and Turkey and shortly after the Turkish population moved to a more favorable location, which they called Gullu Bahce, “rose garden”, the old Greek settlement partly still in use, today with the name Gelebec or Kelebes. The tourist attraction of Priene is accessible from there.


According to tradition,Miletus was first founded as a trading post by colonists from the Cretan city of Milatos sometime before 1400 B.C.The site appears to have passed into Mycenaean control and finally by the end of the Late Bronze Age into Carian hands. Miletus was the only Ionian city mentioned by Homer, who records that the Carian-led Miletians fought against the Greeks at Troy. Archaeological excavations at Kalabak Tepe,to the southwest of the site, verify the early Minoan and Mycenaean presence.

The refounding of Miletus, early in the Iron Age,was traditionally credited to Neleus,a son of the legendary King Kodros of Athens. Neleus and the Ionian Greeks occupied the city,slaughtered the Carian males, and took the women as mates.

Because of its important maritime location and its proximity to the famous sanctuary of Apollo at Didyma,Miletus prospered as a trading center. During the 8th and 7th centuries B.C.,Miletus established over 90 colonies throughout the Aegean; from Naucratis in Egypt to Sinope on the Black Sea.The trade and international contacts of Miletus brought a prosperity and cosmopolitan character to the city. In the Archaic period Miletus was a major center for the early development of Greek science and philosophy. By the 6th century B.C. the city had grown in size and extended from the original site on Kalabak Tepe to the area of the harbor of the Lions.The city was renouned throughout the Greek world and was the most important of the 12 cities in the Panionian League.

Although Miletus seems to have had special privileges under Persian rule, it took an active part in the Ionian revolt of 500-494 B.C. Following the Greek defeat at the naval battle of Lade in 494 B.C., the Persians destroyed Miletus and killed or enslaved all the inhabitants. At the same time the sanctuary of Apollo at Didyma was also plundered and destroyed.

In 480 B.C. Greek victory over the Persians restored freedom to the Ionian cities. Miletus joined the Delian League and regained much of its former status.The previous prosperity of Miletus, however, had been based on its sea trade which was hindered by the rise of Athenian naval supremacy.

In 386 B.C. the Ionian cities again came under Persian control as a result of the Kings’ Peace settlement.In 334 B.C., in the course of freeing the Ionian cities from Persian rule, Alexander the Great defeated the Persian garrison at Miletus. During the Hellenistic period Miletus passed under the control of a number of dynasties, finally being presented to the Romans by the last Attalid king.

Under Roman rule, Miletus had the status of a free city and continued to flourish until the 4th century A.D. when the silting of the Maeander delta closed the harbors and created a swamp at the former shore line. Miletus had always been predominately a maritime city and the loss of its harbors terminated the life of the city. In the Byzantine period a fortress was constructed on the upper ruins of the theater.

Rule of Miletus:

Though Miletus was originally ruled by a king the monarchy was overthrown early on. Around 630 B.C. a tyranny evolved from its elected (but oligarchic) chief magistracy the prytaneia. The most famous Milesian tyrant was Thrasybulus who bluffed Alyattes out of attacking his city. After the fall of Thrasybulus there came a period of bloody stasis and it was during this period that Anaximander formulated his theory of opposites.

When the Persians finally sacked Miletus in 494 they enslaved most of the population and deported them to the Persian Gulf, but there were enough survivors to play a decisive part in the battle of Mycale in 479.The city itself however was completely razed.

The Port  of Miletus:

Miletus, though one of the most famous ports of antiquity is now marooned in an alluvial delta. By the middle of the 5th century it had recovered from Xerxes’ attack and was a contributing member of the Delian League.The 5th century city was designed by the architect Hippodamas, a native of Miletus, and some of the extant remains date from that period.The present form of the theatre dates to 100 A.D., but it had existed in an earlier form.It seats 15,000 and faces what used to be the harbor.


The Isabey Mosque (Turkısh: Isabey Camii), constructed in 1374–75, is one of the oldest and most impressive works of architectural art remaining from the Anatolian beyliks.The mosque is situated on the skirts of the Ayasuluk Hill at Selcuk,Izmır.

It was built by the architect Samli Dimisklioğlu Ali in honor of Isa Bey.It is the oldest known example of a Turkish mosque with a courtyard.The courtyard of the mosque was formerly surrounded by a gallery surmounted by domes, now no longer in existence In the 19th century, it was also used as a caravanserai.The mosque has two main entrances, to the east and to the west.The western wall has inscription and geometric shapes engraved.These walls are covered with marble whereas the facades on the remaining sides are made of cut stone.It is built asymmetrically on a 48-by-56-metre base.The rims of its domes, with diameters of 9.4 metres  and 8.1 metres,are decorated with Iznik (Nicaea) tiles. Its brick minaret is built on an octogonal base, and the upper part from the balcony is ruined.Due to the earthquake that occured in 1653 and 1668, the other  minaret of the mosque was collapsed.

The destroyed mosque was completely refurbished and was opened for prayer to the public in 1975 and it had again a restoration in 2005.


History of the House of the Virgin Mary

The House of the Virgin Mary (Meryemana in Turkish), located in a nature park between Ephesus and Selcuk, is believed to be the last residence of the Virgin Mary, Mother of Jesus. The peaceful site is sacred to both Christians and Muslims alike, and is visited by many tourists and pilgrims.

According to predominant Christian tradition, Mary was brought to Ephesus by the Apostle John after the Resurrection of Christ and lived out her days there. This is based mainly on the traditional belief that John came to Ephesus  combined with the biblical statement that Jesus consigned her to John’s care (John 19:26-27).

Archaeologists who have examined the building identified as the House of the Virgin believe most of the building dates from the 6th or 7th century. But its foundations are much older and may well date from the 1st century AD, the time of Mary. This site had long been a place of pilgrimage for local Orthodox Christians.

The evidence for Mary having spent her last days here is circumstantial and supernatural. The circumstantial evidence is this:

• Shortly before his death, Jesus entrusted his mother to the care of the Beloved Disciple (John 19:26-27).

• Christian tradition holds that the Beloved Disciple was John.

• Christian tradition also associates John with Ephesus, where he supposedly spent the latter part of his life. It is believed that he was buried there, and that his body used to lie under the Basilica of St. John.

• It is possible that John took Mary with him to Ephesus, perhaps because Jerusalem in the late first century A.D. was not hospitable for the mother of the controversial Messiah. Or perhaps she moved to Ephesus after the destruction of Jerusalem by the Romans in A.D. 70.

The supernatural evidence is this:

• Early in the 19th century, a German nun named Anne Catherine Emmerich claimed to have visions. Among these, she “saw” the house of the Virgin Mary, and described it in great detail. Her visions were ultimately published, and near the end of the 19th century a Catholic research team found the site described by Emmerich, though she had never seen it in person.

The modern history of the Virgin Mary’s House is unusual. It was “discovered” in 1812 by a German nun, Sister Anne Catherine Emmerich, who never traveled away from her home.

Sister Emmerich, an invalid confined to bed, awoke in a trance with the stigmata and visions that included the Virgin Mary and Apostle John traveling from Jerusalem to Ephesus. She described Mary’s house in detail, which was recorded at her bedside by a writer named Brentano.

Emmerich described a rectangular stone house, which John had built for Mary. It had a fireplace and an apse and a round back wall. The room next to the apse was Mary’s bedroom, which had a spring running into it.

The German nun went on to say that the Virgin Mary died at the age of 64 and was buried in a cave near her house. When her coffin was opened soon after, however, the coffin and burial shroud were empty. The house was then turned into a chapel.

Years after Emmerich’s visions, a French clergyman named Gouyet read Brentano’s account and traveled to Ephesus to find the House of the Virgin. He found a house matching the nun’s description and sent word to the bishops of Paris and Rome, but didn’t receive much of a response.

On June 27, 1891, two Lazarist preists and two Catholic officials set out to Ephesus to see the house. They found a small chapel in ruins with a damaged statue of the Virgin.

They returned to Izmir with their report, and more priests and specialists were sent out to the site. Since 1892 the House of the Virgin has been a Catholic pilgrimage site. It was restored by 1897and a shelter for visitors was set up.

The Meryama was later visited by Popes Paul VI and John Paul II, who confirmed its appropriateness as a place of pilgrimage. On November 29, 2006, Pope Benedict XVI celebrated mass here.

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