Anatolian is the mother of the civilisations and culture.
EPHESUS and SELÇUK
(20 km. north of Kusadasi)
Ephesus is the best preserved ancient city in the eastern Mediterranen. Ephesus, on the sea at the time, quickly became a powerful trading port and sacred center for the cult of Artemis. Like most Ionian cities in Asia Minor, Ephesus became a Roman city, and a Christian one though not without a struggle. Ephesus was doomed by the silting in its harbour. By the 6th century the port had become useless and the population had shifted to what is now Selçuk; today, Ephesus is 5 km from the sea. Ephesus is the showpiece of Aegean archaeology and one of the grandest reconstructed ancient sites in the world. The site is a pleasure to explore: Marble-paved streets with grooves made by chairot wheels take you past buildings and monuments that have been partially reconstructed.
has one of the best collections of Roman and Greek artifacts to be found anywhere in Turkey.
TEMPLE OF ARTEMIS
is one of the Seven Wonders of the world, is on the Kusadasi-Ephesus road.
VIRGIN MARY’S HOUSE
(7 km to Ephesus) is becoming an increasingly popular pilgrimage for Catholics. Many believe it to have been the place where Saint John took the mother of Jesus after the crucifixion and from which she ascended to heaven. Pope Paul VI visited the site in 1967 and confirmed its authenticity.
(9 km to Selcuk) A well preserved Greek Village from 6th Century. It is now under the protection of the government. In 1926 the Greeks living there went back to Greece, and the Turks living in Greece came here.
(150 miles east of Kusadasi) Pamukkale (which means cotton castle in Turkish), appears as a chalky white cliff rising 330 feet from the plains. Mineral-rich volcanic spring water cascades over basins and natural terraces, crystallizing into white curtains of solidified water seemingly suspended in air. The hot springs in the area are used today by people who believe that the water can cure rheumatism and other problems. Hierapolis demonstrates how long the magical springs of Pamukkale have cast their spell over visitors to the region. The ruins that can be seen today date from the time of the Roman Empire, although there are refences to a settlement here as far back as the 5th century BC.
(54 miles from Pamukkale) The city of Aphrodite, goddess of love, is one of the largest and best preserved archeological sites in Turkey. Aprodisias, which was granted autonomy by the Roman Empire in the late 1st century BC, prospered as a significant center for religion, arts and literature in the early 1st century AD.
Turkey’s 3rd largest city, was called Smyrna untill 1923. A vital trading port, though one often ravaged by wars and earthquakes, it also had its share of glory. Many believe that Homer was born in Old Smyrna sometime around 850 BC. Alexander the Great favored the city with a citadel atop its highest hill.
(23 miles south of Kusadasi)
Priene sits in a spectacular location atop a steep hill above the flat valley of the Meander River. Dating from about 350 BC, the city you see today was still under construction in 334, when Alexander the Great liberated the Ionian settlements commerce moved to neigboring Miletus, and the city’s prosperity waned. As a result, the Romans never rebuilt Priene, and the simpler Grek style predominates as in few other ancient cities in Turkey. Excavated by British archeologists in 1868-69, it’s smaller than Ephesus and far less grandiose.
(10 miles south of Priene) Miletus was one of the greatest commercial centers of the Greek world before its harbour silted over. Saint Paul preached here before the harbour became impassable and the city had to be abandoned once and for all.
(12 miles south of Miletus) Didyma is famous for its magnificent Temple of Apollo. As grand in scale as the Parthenon-measuring 623 feet by 167 feet-the temple has 124 well-preserved column, some still supporting their architrave; its oracles rivaled those of Delphi. The popularity of the oracle dwindled with the rise of Christianity, around AD 385. Fragments of bas-relief on display by the entrance to the site include a gigantic head of Medusa and a small statue of Poseidon and his wife, Amphitrite.
(400 km. nort of Kusadasi) lies to the north of the Dardanelles, the narrow straits that separate Europe from Asia and connect the Aegean Sea with the Sea of Marmara. This strategic point has been fought over since the days of the Trojan War. Thirty-one beatifully tended military cemeteries of the allied dead from World War I line the Gallipoli battlefields. The major battles were in two sections-along the coast between Kabatepe and Sulva Bay, and at Cape Helles.
(370 km. nort of Kusadasi) is one of the most evocative names in literature. Long thought to be the figment of the Greek poet Homer’s imagination, depicted in his epic Iliad, the site was excavated in the 1870s by h. Schliemann, a minister’s son and German businessman who had struck it rich in California’s gold rush. While scholars scoffed, he poured his wealth into the excavations and had the last laugh: He found the remains not only of the fabled Troy, but also of nine successive civilizations, one on top of the other, dating back 5.000 years and now known among the archaeologists as Troy I-IX
was one of the ancient world’s major powers, though its moment of glory was relatively brief. The most dramatic of the remains are at the acropolis, then you can see the scant remains of the Temple of Athena and the Altar of Zeus; once among the grandest monuments in the Greek world. The Asklepieion is believed to be the world’s first full-service health clinic. The name is a reference to Asklepios, god of medicine and recovery, whose snake and staff are now the symbol of modern medicine.