We were met today by our guide Ali from the Best of Ephesus tours. Our first stop was to be a visit to the Temple of the Virgin Mary where it is believed that John the Baptist bought Mary to live the rest of her life following the crucifixion. It is a small house and has been renovated.
After leaving here we drove to Ephesus where we spent the next two hours walking through this amazing site in 40 degree heat. Water, hat and sunscreen were the order of the day. The excavations were amazing and the site is huge. The great theatre which seated 25000 people is often used today for concerts. Elton John has played there.
The Celsus library - amazing. There was room here for 12000 scrolls. They were stored in the niches and the double walls behind the scrolls were built to protect from humidity. Celsus is buried under the floor. The library was built as a tribute to him by his son.
Public toilets ( which had an entrance fee) where everyone sat in a row and the nobility used to send their servants to warm the marble seats for them when it
was cold. The clay pipes in two sizes can be seen throughout the site. Large for sewerage and small for water. It is amazing after seeing this to know that there are many places in the world today who do not have water and sewerage facilities such as these.
We also visited the terrace houses which are still under excavation. They hide many mosaics and frescos on the wall and floors. The oldest dates to 1 AD and they were is use until 7 AD. They were the houses of the rich and are currently covered in a protective roofing. There was a heating system in the walls and under the floors. There were no windows and the light came from the open ceilings.
There is so much to see here.
More info: www.ephesus.us
After leaving here we visited the Iso Bey mosque and then the Temple of Artemis which was one of the 7 wonders of the ancient world. There were once 180 columns but today there is only 1 left and the site is in a state of disrepair.
We had lunch at a rug making enterprise where they have established
a women's co-op to teach the local women rug making skills and then buy the rugs from them to sell to the public. They showed us how they soak the silk worm cocoons and spin the silk from, and the particular rug making methods that they use. Double knots for strength.. We then had the usual display and hard sell but resisted. Wee bought two turquoise bowls with the tulip design on them in a store when we got back to Kusadasi.
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