- Enter through the Magnesia Gate and begin a slow, downhill
walk with your guide into the ruins of this Roman provincial
capital. Your route takes you past the Odeum, the Celsus
Library, the Temple of Hadrian, the Fountain of Trajan and the
Great Theater. The Theater had seating for 25,000, was the site
where St. Paul preached to the Ephesians, and is used today for
a local spring festival.
Some four to six years after the death of Christ, St. John is
said to have accompanied the Virgin Mary to Ephesus,
where it is believed they dwelt in a small house over which now
stands the Council Church, or the Church of the Virgin Mary. The
Council Ephesus, dated of 431 record this. Later St. John
brought the Virgin Mother to a house on the slopes of Bülbül
Mountain, the position of which was later forgotten, until
research was begun in 1891 to find traces of it. Katerina
Emmerikin discovered this house at Panaya Kapulu, which fits the
descriptions given in the sources. It was officially accepted to
be the house of the Virgin in 1892 with the celebration of high
mass there by Timoni, Archbishop of İzmir, and this belief has
recently been confirmed by Pope Paul VI in 1967 and Pope John
Paul II in 1979 with the celebration of high mass at Ephesus.
The house is reached by a road leading from the ruins of Ephesus
towards the Bülbül Mountain, and is only a short walk from the
road (100 m).
The Mosque was built by the architect Aliye son of Samli
in 1375 on orders by Isa Bey, son of Mehmet, leader of the
Aydinogullari. The structure is built on a 51 by 57 metres
nearly rectangular plan. The door which faces west is decorated
with artificial stalactites, over which is a dedicatory
Artemis Temple; To the right of the road leading to
Kusadasi can be seen the ruins of the Temple of Artemis (Diana),
one of the seven wonders of the ancient world. Artemis, the
virgin goddess of nature, and protectress of women in childbirth
is mentioned in the Iliad with the phrase: Praise be to Artemis!
She, who would water her horses at the reed-filled Meles river,
then pass speedily through Smyrna on her golden chariot towards
the vineyards of Coloros."