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In pictures: Amongst the ruins at Ephesus

Ancient ruins at Ephesus, Turkey

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.

Ancient ruins at Ephesus, Turkey
Ancient ruins at Ephesus, Turkey
Ancient ruins at Ephesus, Turkey
Ancient ruins at Ephesus, Turkey
Ancient ruins at Ephesus, Turkey
Ancient ruins at Ephesus, Turkey
Ancient ruins at Ephesus, Turkey
Ancient ruins at Ephesus, Turkey
Ancient ruins at Ephesus, Turkey
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.

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21 Comments Post a comment
  1. It must be wonderful to be there .

    September 1, 2014
    • It was a really fascinating place, so much history and a great window into what life would have been like at the time.

      September 2, 2014
  2. The pictures with the cat are really stunning. It really looks like the cat has the same color as the ruins. Thanks for sharing these pictures 🙂

    September 1, 2014
    • Thanks, yes it was funny how she almost blended in with the mosaic! It’s a strange thing with cats and ruins – when I went to Petra in Jordan there were loads of cats around then and I can never resist photographing them.

      September 2, 2014
  3. This looks like a great place

    September 1, 2014
    • Thanks, it was really impressive, especially how well preserved a lot of it is despite its age.

      September 2, 2014
  4. The first time I heard about Ephesus was at school when we studied about the ancient wonders of the world. Then a few years ago I first learned about the library. Seems like an amazing place to visit, and your photos do the place justice.

    September 1, 2014
    • I must’ve seen the Celcus Library in so many photos, I always knew I wanted to come and see it in real life someday!

      September 2, 2014
  5. Beautiful photos!

    September 1, 2014
  6. Lol… we stayed in Kusadasi a few nights and watched those huge cruise liners come in all day long, and leave at night. Quite the scene there sometimes. Gorgeous photos of Efes… it looks like it wasn’t too busy when you were there? or you had to work really hard to make it look that way? 😉

    September 2, 2014
    • Yes you certainly can’t miss the cruise ships! It was pretty busy but as a lot of people were on cruise excursions there were waves of people then a bit of a lull so I waited to get some shots without the crowds (apart from the Celcus Library, that was always so busy there was no chance!).

      September 2, 2014
  7. Adorable cat! 😀 Great pictures, I especially love the black and white ones.

    September 2, 2014
    • Thanks, I can never resist the cat pictures – they always looks like they own the place!

      September 2, 2014
  8. Gorgeous – somewhere I’d love to visit. The cats are a bonus!

    September 2, 2014
    • I can’t resist the cats (despite having two at home I can photograph any time!) – fascinating place too with so much to see.

      September 2, 2014
  9. Reblogged this on frenchspanishcritic and commented:
    Reminds me of many ruins I saw in Rome over the summer! I hope to travel here in the future!

    September 2, 2014
    • Thanks for reblogging, hope you get to visit Ephesus someday!

      September 3, 2014
  10. We absolutely loved Ephesus!

    September 3, 2014
  11. The architecture is gorgeous!

    September 5, 2014
  12. Sarah #

    This really looks fabulous. What an experience, and what lovely pictures

    September 17, 2014

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