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Ephesus, Turkey

Thursday, March 30, 2006
Ephesus was the capital of Asia Minor during the rule of the Roman Empire. Now it is one of the world's most impressive and best-restored archaeological sites. It has marble-paved streets, the amazing ruins of the Temple of Hadrian, Temple of Artemis — one of the Seven Wonders of the World — the Library of Celsus, the house where the Virgin Mary spent her last days and the amphitheatre where St Paul once preached.

Ephesus is believed by many to be the Apasa mentioned in Hittite sources as the capital of the kingdom of Arzara. Mycenaean pottery has been unearthed in excavations at the site. The many-breasted Lady of Ephesus, identified by Greeks with Artemis, was venerated in the Temple of Artemis, the largest building of the ancient world.

The wild boar became a symbol of the city thanks to the legend of Androclus, son of King Codrus of Athens consulted the oracle Apollo about a settlement in Ionia. He was told to choose a site that would be indicated by a fish and a boar, and it came about. Until the 1970s it was common to see wild boar in thickets near Ephesus.

Ancient Ephesus was a crucial trading and religious city, a centre for the cult of Cybele, the Anatolian fertility goddess. Under Ionian influence, Cybele became Artemis, the virgin goddess of the hunt and the moon and a fabulous temple was built in her honour. When the Romans took over, Artemis became Diana and Ephesus became the Roman provincial capital.

With ships and caravans arriving from many places, the busy Roman town quickly acquired a large Christian congregation. After St Paul visited the epistle he wrote to the Ephesians was his most profound.

Ephesus was a place of much wealth and beauty before Gothic invaders pillaged it in AD262. Even so, it was sufficiently important and suitable for a church council to be held there in AD431. Much of the city still remains.

One of the best places in the world to experience what life was like in Roman times, Ephesus is a major tourist destination.

Walking tours are the best way to experience the offers of Ephesus and its many legends. You will visit Grotto of the Seven Sleepers, Gymnasium of Vedius and dium, Double Church, Harbour Street, the Great Theatre, Sacred Way, Library of Celsus and Curetes Way.

The seaside resort town of Kuºadasi, 10 kilometres west of Ephesus, has an extensive marina and seemingly endless beaches. The easygoing atmosphere in had in the 1970s is long gone and the crowds and anxious vendors can become trying. But its nightlife is very lively, as is the taxi fleet of bright yellow Chevrolet Impalas from the 1960s.

Kuºadasi has hundreds of hotels and pensions on offer and countless places selling food.


The western coast of Turkey.


Kumuka Worldwide has 11-day Discover Turkey Tours from Istanbul, including a visit to Ephesus. They start at $990 per person and include accommodation, transport, entry fees and some meals.

Emirates has return flights to Istanbul, valid for sale and travel until May 27, 2006.

Masquerade Village Sky Parade at Rio is on every day at 3pm, 4pm, 5pm, 6.30pm, 7.30pm, 8.30pm and 9.30pm.

Stratosphere Tower shows are at 2pm and 4pm every day. Free admission coupons will be found in the What's On magazine.

Fares from
  • Perth, $2468
  • Melbourne, $2565
  • Brisbane, $2567
  • Sydney, $2584

Taxes are included.
Please note that the prices listed are valid at the time of filming.

For further information

Kumuka Worldwide
4/46-48 York Street
Sydney 2000
Ph: 1300 667 277 or (02) 9279 0491
Fax: (02) 9279 0492

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