|Ephesus and House of the Virgin Mary|
I loved Mary's house. I am not sure its current look reflects the actual house where she lived, but the small stone house with arches and domes was a peaceful and beautiful place to be. No pictures are allowed inside, and there is a soft music coming out of speakers, making it an enjoyable place to be. There weren't too many tourists inside the house, despite the many buses parked at the entrance. The area where the house is located is almost like a small park with fruit trees and other trees, a cafe and of course lots of souvenir shops.
The mountains and fields in this part of Turkey reminds of the place I was born in Brazil, in Minas Gerais state, specially the southern part. The flowers and fruit are starting to come out with Spring and the air is fresh. It was a very pleasant visit for me.
Down the hill from Mary's house is the ruins of Ephesus. Judging from the size of the streets and some of the constructions, this was an important town in the antiquity. When the Romans took over, Ephesus became the Roman provincial capital and Artemis became Diana.
In ancient times, the sea came much farther inland as it does today, and Ephesus was considered a port city. The sea is about six miles from Selcuk now. As you can see from the photos, this a typical classical ancient city with buildings such as a theater, colonnade streets, temples and necropolis. What this one differs a little from other classic ancient towns is the very preserved latrine, very interesting bathroom with toilets carved in stones, and the terraced houses. These are the houses of the elite of the time. They had their grandiose houses built in the center of town, as opposed to the majority of the population who went further, to the suburbs. The whole area where the terraced houses were located is being meticulously restored. Staff try to match the broken pieces of marble, walls, columns like a puzzle, to give us an idea of how people lived in antiquity.
Ephesus was definitely one of the largest ancient towns I have ever visited. Many of the objects found there are now at the Museum in town.