In pictures: Amongst the ruins at Ephesus
On the western coast of Turkey, Ephesus has some of the Mediterranean’s best-preserved, grandest ruins. As a major port for trade routes to Asia it grew from a coastal town in the 10th century BC to the second largest city in the world. A series of rulers over the years left their mark – from the Greeks and Romans to the Byzantines and Ottomans. But when its port silted up, Ephesus was abandoned and fell into ruin. Rediscovered in the 188os, it’s been excavated ever since but only 15% of the site has been uncovered so far. You can still get a good idea of its scale though as you wander through ruined temples, colonnaded streets and theatres. History comes to life as you stand in the amphitheatre where St Paul preached in Biblical times or follow in the footsteps of Alexander the Great and Cleopatra along the Arcadian Way. The city’s most famous building was the Temple of Artemis, one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World, but that’s long been destroyed. The centrepoint today is the two-storey Celcus Library – as impressive now as back when it was one of the ancient world’s largest libraries, filled with 12,000 scrolls.
We visited Ephesus on a Celebrity Cruises ‘Discovery Walk in Ephesus’ self-guided shore excursion from the port of Kusadasi, around 12 miles away, as part of their Venice to Istanbul cruise. Many thanks to Celebrity for hosting my mum and I on the trip. All views and opinions are, as always, my own.