EPHESUS - CHRISTIANITY AND ROMAN ARCHITECTURE
Culture, Shopping, Meal included
A trip into the history of Ephesus, among two buildings that symbolise the birth of Christianity - the Basilica of St. John and the House of the Virgin Mary; we will then admire the ruins of masterpieces dating back to Roman times which make it one of the most popular archaeological sites in the Mediterranean.
- Selcuk Fortress
- Basilica of St. John
- House of the Virgin Mary
- Temple of Hadrian
- Library of Celsus
- We will arrive by coach near Selcuk Fortress , which finally reopened to the public in September 2012 after many years. It is located on Ayasluk hill, where St. John is said to have written his Gospel. The menacing look of the fortress is softened by the surrounding lush greenery and wonderful flowers. The Basilica of St. John, located in this area, is considered the most relevant Byzantine building in Ephesus.
- It was commissioned by Justinian I and Queen Theodora in the 4th century AC on the ruins of a small church on top of the tomb of St. John, who died in Ephesus in 100 AC. The Basilica is embellished by two sets of columns with brick arches, a richly decorated marble fountain and the imposing "Gate of Persecution" (built against Arab attacks), all testimonies of a strongly spiritual age.
- We will then continue towards the House of the Virgin Mary, which was declared a place of pilgrimage in 1892. After the death of Jesus, Mary retreated to a house on the Bulbul mountain in Ephesus for 46 years. It remained forgotten until 200 years ago and in more recent times it became a place of pilgrimage for Popes Paul VI, John Paul II and Benedict XVI.
- After lunch in a hotel, in the afternoon we will discover the unforgettable riches of Ephesus, the ancient capital of the Roman province of Asia Minor and an important commercial centre in the Mediterranean.
- The Agora, the elegant and graceful Temple of Hadrian and the Library of Celsus, which can store up to 12,0000 parchments and has a magnificent façade, are of particular interest, not to mention the majestic Theatre, which would hold up to 25,000 spectators and which took over half a century to build. The theatre has a typical semicircle structure and is located on the slope of a hill, offering spectators a magnificent view of the port.
- Before returning to the ship, we will stop at a shop with local products.
Good to know
- We recommend that you book early because only a limited number of places are available.
- The excursion involves walking, it is therefore recommended to wear comfortable shoes and clothing.
- The itinerary may be subject to change.