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Private Tour Ephesus Ancient City , Virgin Marys House , More

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Stop At: Ancient City of Ephesus, Selcuk 35920 Turkey

According legend, Ephesus (also Ephesos) was founded by the tribe of the Amazons, great female warriors. The name of the city is thought to have been derived from "Apasas", the name of a city in the "Kingdom of Arzawa" meaning the "city of the Mother Goddess" and some scholars maintain that the sign of the labrys, the double-axe of the mother goddess which adorned the palace at Knossos, Crete, originated in Ephesus. Ephesus was inhabited from the end of the Bronze Age onwards, but the location was changed owing to floods and the whims of various rulers. While Carians and Lelegians were among the city's first inhabitants, Ionian migrations began around 1200 BCE and Ephesus is chiefly known as a Ionian Greek city.

Greek Ephesus

The city was founded for the second time by the Ionian Androclus, son of Codrus, and the cities that were established after the Ionian migrations joined in a confederacy under the leadership of the city of Ephesus. The region was devastated during the Cimmerian invasion at the beginning of the 7th century BCE but, under the rule of the Lydian kings, Ephesus became one of the wealthiest cities in the Mediterranean world. Ephesus was a center of learning and the birthplace and home of the great Pre-Socratic philosopher Heraclitus. Women enjoyed rights and privileges equal to men and there are records of female artists, sculptors, painters and teachers. At night the streets of the city were brightly lit with oil lamps, a luxury not many cities could afford. Under the rule of King Croesus of Lydia, construction of the great Temple of Artemis at Ephesus was begun, one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World (destroyed, the first time, by fire in 356 BCE, the same night Alexander the Great was born). The defeat of Croesus by Cyrus, the King of Persia, brought the whole of Anatolia under Persian rule but Ephesus continued to prosper as an important port of trade. When the Ionian city-states rebelled against Persian rule in the 5th century BCE, Ephesus remained neutral and thus escaped the destruction suffered by so many other cities at the hands of the Persians.

Duration: 4 hours

Stop At: Meryemana (The Virgin Mary's House), Selcuk 35100 Turkey

The House of Virgin Mary - The belief that the Virgin Mary had spent her last days in the vicinity of Ephesus and that she had died there, focused attention on a nun named Anna Katherina Emmerich who had livid in the late 18th century (1774-1820). The efforts to find the house were greatly influenced by her detailed description of the Virgin Mary's coming to Ephesus, her life and her last home there and the characteristics of the city although she had never been to Ephesus.

In 1811, Emmerich, who had dedicated her life to God, was taken ill in the nunnery and had to keep her bed. She was hearing voices no one else did, and was having religious visions. On 29 December 1812, as Emmerich was praying in her bed with her hands stretched out, she was suddenly shaken by a divine force; and seized by a high fever, she became deep red in the face. Just at that moment, a bright light coming from above descended towards her and when it reached her the hands and the feet of the sick woman were suddenly covered with blood as if pierced by nails. The people around the bed were stunned with amazement. It was as if she had partaken of Christs agony during the Crucifixion and had become a stigmatized nun. The doctors examining her were greatly astonished. They could not explain this within the science of medicine. A writer named C. Brentano began putting into writing the narrations that Emmerich, who getting gradually worse had become bedridden, revealed in trance after loosing consciousness in 1811.

Duration: 2 hours

Stop At: The Temple of Artemis, Selcuk Turkey

he Temple of Artemis at Ephesus was a great building belonging to the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. Unfortunately, nowadays a visit to Ephesus Artemision brings a big disappointment, comparable to trying to see the Great Altar of Zeus in Pergamon. It is because a single column and a bit of rubble remained of the Temple of Artemis to our times.

The Temple of Artemis certainly deserved the reputation as one of the wonders of the world. It was the largest building in the Hellenistic world, surpassing even the Athenian Parthenon, and the first monumental structure built entirely of marble.

Duration: 30 minutes
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