If you are Catholic and practiced at one time, it is hard to forget St. Paul’s letters to the Ephesians. You may forget the text, you may even forget who wrote them, but that name, “the Ephesians,” is somehow stamped on our brains. Most likely, it was because we heard the term “Ephesian” so many times – without any idea of what an Ephesian was.
Well, now I know. Ephesians were the dwellers of Ephesus or Efes as it is known in Turkey. It’s a small, walled in area, full of the most amazing architecture and history. Yes, the Ephesians, the tenth book of the New Testament. It’s living history.
While on our vacation last summer to the vicinity of Bodrum, we had the opportunity to spend a day in Ephesus. I can’t say enough about it. It was very hot. It was a long walk from one side to the other in that beating sun. And it was well worth it! You can read more about the history of Ephesus here and here.
We parked our car in a small lot, on one side of the gated city. And we were thankful we did. Apparently there is a larger lot on the other side. Most people take a bus and are dropped at the smaller lot and picked up at the larger lot. We did the exact opposite. We took a small horse-drawn carriage to the larger lot. So we walked against the traffic. And we also walked downhill for the most part. If you go there, haggle over the cost of the ride with the carriage. He lowered the price ALOT when we said no. He also made a stop along the way for some sightseeing that was not in the walled-in area.
I often kid about what belongs to the Catholics. Believe me, I mean nothing by it. What I truly love about places like Ephesus, is that it is such a mix – of religions, of history, of architecture, and more. The Temple of Hadrian, The Library of Celsus, the State Agora, The Bouleuterion, the “So-Called House of Pleasure”, and nearby the Seven Sleepers, the Basilica of St. John the Apostle and Isa Bey Mosque. Wow!
There will be more pics coming one day soon – of the area known to be the last home of the Blessed Virgin Mary.