Ancient City of Ephesus
Selcuk, Türkiye

The ancient city of Ephesus was established by the Greeks as a port city on what was once an estuary of the River Kaystros. It soon became an important center of trade due to it's strategic location in a fertile area. According to Helen Starkweather,

Over the centuries, a succession of empires—Greek, Persian, Roman, Byzantine and, finally, Ottoman—ruled over the city of Ephesus. Yet no matter how many times it changed hands, the city remained one of the most vibrant metropolises of the ancient world.1

The Temple of Artemis, built around 550 BC, was one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World, and established the city as a pilgrimage center. The city flourished under Roman rule. The Library of Celsus and the theater were built during this period. 

The city came under Persian rule as a result of the Greco-Persian War, and remained under Persian control until the time of Alexander the Great. The city was largely destroyed by the Goths in the the 3rd Century AD. It was subsequently rebuilt by Constantine I. In the 5th century The House of the Virgin Mary made the city a site of Christian pilgrimage. Eventually the harbor silted over and the city's fortunes declined. Today it is an important archeological site and tourist destination. There are plans to dredge the harbor which has silted over.  




Ephesus (Efes), Turkey - Lonely Planet." Lonely Planet. Accessed July 13, 2015.

Mark, Joshua J. "Ephesos." Ancient History Encyclopedia. September 2, 2009. Accessed July 12, 2015.

Mark, Joshua J. "The Seven Wonders." Ancient History Encyclopedia. September 2, 2009. Accessed July 12, 2015.

Starkweather, Helen. "Exploring Ancient Ephesus." History, Travel, Arts, Science, People, Places | Smithsonian. January 2008. Accessed July 12, 2015.

Selcuk, Türkiye
Associated Names
10th century BC
partially destroyed 614
Style Periods
663 ha
Variant Names