Ephesus is one of the largest and most impressive ancient cities in the world and is one of Türkiye’s most significant ancient cities. It’s cultural and historical significance was highlighted in its addition to the UNESCO World Heritage Site list in 2015. The remains of the city lie just 80 km inland from the popular seaside city of İzmir and close to the charming towns of Selcuk and Sirince.
A Brief History:
Ephesus has been a city since neolithic times, but it came to full prominence under the Roman Empire, as the capital of Asia Minor. As the second most important city of the Roman Empire, Ephesus grew and prospered. Its populace was largely educated and wealthy, while its buildings were richly decorated and celebrated the interests and the good fortune of its inhabitants. Today, visitors come to see the city’s impressive historical imprint for themselves.
The city came to prominence under the ancient Greeks, who built the famed Temple of Artemis, one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. Though only one column remains of the temple today, it was said to be very grand and impressive indeed.
After ebbs and flows in the city’s fortunes, Ephesus became a city under Roman rule in 133 BC and the Capital of Asia Minor in 27 BC. This is seen as a historical turning point for the city, which truly flourished and became second in importance only to Rome within the vast Roman Empire.