According to the old legends, Ephesus was founded by the female warriors known as the Amazons. Ephesus was inhabited from the end of the Bronze Age onwards, but changed its location several times in the course of its long history.
Watch the SLIDESHOW: Ephesus Slide
Ionian migrations are said to have begun in around 1200 B.C. According to legend, the city was founded for the second time by Androclus, the son of Codrus, king of Athens, on the shore at the point where the CAYSTER (Küçük Menderes) empties into the sea.
The Ionian cities that grew up in the wake of the Ionian migrations joined in a confederacy under the leadership of Ephesus.
The region was devastated during the Cimmerian invasion at the beginning of the 7th century B.C. Under the rule of the Lydian kings; Ephesus became one of the wealthiest cities in the Mediterranean world. The defeat of the Lydian King Croesus by Cyrus, the King of Persia, prepared the way for the extension of Persian hegemony over the whole of the Aegean coastal region.
At the beginning of the 5th century, when the Ionian cities rebelled against Persia, Ephesus quickly dissociated itself from the others, thus escaping destruction. Ephesus remained under Persian rule until the arrival of Alexander the Great in 334 B.C., when it entered upon a fifty year period of peace and tranquillity. In 281 B.C. the city was re-founded under the old name of Ephesus and became one of the most important of the commercial ports in the Mediterranean.
In 129 B.C. the city was bequeathed to the Romans by Attalos, King of Pergamon and incorporated into Roman Empire as the province of Asia. At this time the city had a population of 200,000.
Ephesus became a very important centre of trade and commerce. From the 1st century onwards, the city was visited by Christian disciples attempting to spread the Christian belief in a single God and thus forced to seek refuge from Roman persecution. Besides enjoying a privileged position between East and West coupled with an exceptionally fine climate, the city owed its importance to its being the centre of the cult of Artemis.
Watch the SLIDESHOW: Ephesus Slide
St Paul remained in the city for three years from 65 to 68, and that it was here that he preached his famous sermons calling upon the hearers to embrace the faith in one God. He taught that God had no need of a house made with human hands and that he was present in all places at all times. This was all greatly resented by the craftsmen who had amassed great wealth from their production of statues of Artemis in gold, silver or other materials. A silversmith by the name of Demetrius stirred up the people and led a crowd of thousands of Ephesians to the theatre, where they booed and stoned Paul and his two colleagues, chanting “Great is Artemis of the Ephesians! Great is Artemis of the Ephesians!” So turbulent was the crowd that Paul and his companions escaped only with great difficulty. From his Epistles to the communities it would appear that Paul spent some time as a prisoner in Ephesus.
Legend has it that St John the Evangelist came to Ephesus with the Virgin Mary in his care. Some also say that it was here that he wrote his Gospel and was finally buried. In 269 Ephesus and the surrounding country was devastated by the Goths. At that time there was still a temple in which the cult of Artemis was practised. In 381, by order of the Emperor Theodosius, the temple was closed down, and in the following centuries it lay completely abandoned, serving as a quarry for building materials.
This daily trip from Icmeler & Marmaris to Ephesus is organised on Thursdays and Sundays.
Price includes: Pick up at hotels, bus fare, breakfast, lunch, insurance, professional English spoken guiding, entrance fee of Ephesus and the House Virgin Mary.
This excursion is organized with professional English speaking guide and air-conditioned coaches.
Pick up time in Icmeler: 06.30 am Pick up time in Marmaris: 07.00 am
Arrival time in Icmeler: 20.30 pm Arrival time in Marmaris: 20.00 pm
What to Bring: Photo camera, video camera (highly recommended), swimming wears, towels, good walking shoes and some money for drinks and extras.
If you are interested in history, you may consider to visit Pamukkale as well.