Ephesus was very much forgotten by the tourism circles and archaeological panels until a group of archaeologists excavated the terrace houses of the city. Since then, Ephesus got back on the tourism circles and is now a thriving site in Aegean Turkey which people visit with fervor to get a glimpse of the beautiful town that was once inhabited by a flourishing populace of Greek and Rome.
The city was once Greek and its Temple of Artemis which is located close to the present-day district of Selçuk drew people from all over the world. The temple was often included in the grand Wonders of Ancient World and several historians have mentioned the temple as the most beautiful temple/structure they ever saw. But Ephesus went through a turbulent period and faced several assaults and was finally transformed into a roman city in 133 BC. The city flourished further with Augustus making it the Asia Minor capital. As Ephesus turned into a seaport city, more people settled down here and the festival of Artemis became among the biggest festivals of the world. If historical records are to be believed then the festival went on for almost a month! Vacation to Ephesus Turkey are largely sought after due to the amazing historical culture of the place as Turkey is where one can find a mélange of monument beauty with roots in different cultures and religions.
Some Christian settlers also came to the city and one of them was the revered St. Paul who is said to have written his gospel while in the city. Some say that Mother Mary came with him as Jesus was being persecuted. The city has some biblical sites located nearby and Christians as well as Muslims visit those sites along with the Isa Bey Mosque which was constructed quite long after the city faced destruction. Vacation to Ephesus Turkey is often planned by tourists for the biblical sites which include the burial site of St. Paul which was once believed to have given out healing dust. Other sites include the house where Mother Mary lived and the Cave of the seven sleepers.
Numerous accounts of the young seven men who hid in the cave to avoid pagan worshipping ruler Decius are available through religious sources. It is said that the young men woke up from sleep from the caves and were surprised when they found that Christianity was now followed in the city. The city itself is a wonderful amalgamation of amazing structures that leave a lot to the imagination since much them are downtrodden but still extravagant. The structures have seen natural and manmade destruction over the years as the Temple of Artemis was extensively destroyed by the nihilist tribe Goths in the 4-5th BC.
Ephesus saw much prosperity in the 1st-2nd century and become among the top Roman cities of the world. In fact, some sources say that the city thrived so well ad was so prominent on the cultural map then that it was considered second to none but Rome! Now, home to the recently found Terrace Houses and several roman and Greek temples like the Temple of Hadrian, the Square of Domitian, Ephesus still holds its glory.
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