Some of the world’s earliest civilizations started here in Turkey, and one of the most important civilizations, near Ephesus. In Greek Mythology, Ephesus is the son of the river god Caystrus. Artefacts from 6000BC, known as the Neolithic period, have been discovered in the city. In 1090BC the Greeks began settling in the city.

ephesus library of celsus

There is no solid evidence that states who founded the city, but speculations suggest it was founded by Androklos, a prince from Athens in 1100BC. The Greeks worshiped Artemis, the Goddess of Hunting, religiously and decided to honour her. In construction of the legendary Temples of Artemis started in 700BC, but was destroyed by a flood in the next century.

The Greeks began renovating it at around 550BC. In 356 BC, the Temple was destroyed by Herostratus, the temple was reconstructed and then destroyed again by the Goths in 262 BC.

ephesus greek columns

In 88BC the Romans invaded Ephesus and was brought under the rule of Archelaus who was a general of Mithridates VI army. Later the city was made the capital of Asia under the rule of Augustus. Under him, the city prospered. The Goths destroyed the whole city in 263 AD and the city was deserted. Emperor Constantine rebuilt the city in 395 AD and the city served as a major hub for commerce and trade. Later the Ottomans were in constant battle with Byzantine who later surrendered the city to the Ottomans. The Ottomans used the city as a Navy base from 1359 to 1500. The city was totally abandoned in the 1500s.

Ephesus contains most of the ruins that portray the Roman architecture style. The city has many temples and theatres which are now open to public. Temple of Hadrian, Temple of Sebastoi, Temple of Artemis, Gate of Augustus and the Tomb of Polio are few of the notable places to visit while at Ephesus.

Ancient city of Ephesus

Ephesus is 200 km away from Marmaris and usually takes about 2 hours by road. Excursions from Marmaris to Ephesus are common. An Ephesus tour should be taken by everyone who visits Turkey. The tours, like ours, generally last one full day. Many tour packages provide transport from Marmaris to Ephesus and should be planned beforehand for stress-free travel. Prices start as low as 49$ per person.