Ephesus, Turkey

The Library of Celsus, built in 115AD, was one of the most impressive buildings in the Roman Empire and built to store 12,000 scrolls and to serve as a mausoleum for Celsus. It remains one of the most striking features in Ephesus.

It’s hard to overstate the importance of Ephesus to the ancient world. A center of commerce and philosophy, so much history is recorded here. Some important sites include the Temple of Artemis, one of the seven wonders of the ancient world, as well as the Library of Celsus and a 25,000 seat theater–at that time, the largest in the world. In 41BC, Cleopatra and Mark Antony were visitors to Ephesus.

Ephesus was an important centre for Early Christianity from the AD 50s. The apostle Paul lived in Ephesus, working with the congregation and organizing missionary activity. Ephesus is mentioned as one of the seven churches of Asia and the Gospel of John may have been written here.

Needless to say, Ephesus can be a bit overwhelming. We hired a guide for a 3 hour tour of the ancient ruins–a must! After time in the ancient city, we went to the Ephesus Museum in town and learned a bit more about on-going excavation efforts in the city.

Likely the location where the Senate would meet. A much larger amphitheater is located further down the road which is where Paul would have addressed the Ephesians.

original pipes for the city of Ephesus–they had hot and cold running water
Mosaic floor, Terrace Houses
Terrace Houses
Mary’s church, outside of Ephesus
Overview of “downtown” Ephesus
Columns lining the marketplace