Recently I had the most amazing opportunity to visit the ancient ruins of Ephesus, or Ἔφεσος {Greek}.  It is famous for once being one of the seven wonders of the world for its Temple of Artemis (550 BC), which is now, sadly, just a single pillar standing alone in a swamp.

The photo above shows what’s left of the Library of Celsus, which was the most intact building we saw on our entire trip.  To the right of the library is the Gate of Augustus.  Looking at the ruins, you can imagine how beautiful it must have been at one time.  It is said that in the year 100, 400,000-500,000 people inhabited the city, making it the largest city of its time in Roman Asia.

This is the Grand Theater used to hold 25,000 spectators ready to view a play, a concert, and even gladiator fights.  Even the Apostle Paul preached to a crowded audience in this theater.

It was truly a humbling experience to walk the same steps as the Apostles Paul & John, and even the Virgin Mary.  It is also said that the Bible book of John was actually written here.

It was very surreal to walk the scorching hot marble floors and see the ancient writings carved on pillars and columns.  Visitors are strongly urged to keep lots of water in your backpack because of the extreme heat caused by the marble flooring covering the ground at Ephesus.  It got so hot at points, that some tourists actually suffered heat stroke and fainted.

The Gate of Magnesia

The Goddess of Victory, Nike

After a day of walking around in the heat, we were ready to get back in our air conditioned ‘motor-coach’ and head through the Turkish countryside and over the Sea of Marmara into Istanbul, where our hotel was located.  Despite the extreme weather, Ephesus was an adventure and I would encourage anyone to brave the heat in order to experience this walk through history, just remember to pack a lot of water!

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