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Turkey is the best home to many ancient civilizations

February 25, 2021   |   by Crouse Linwood



Home to many ancient civilizations, western Turkey offers mesmerizing Roman sites for local and foreign tourists to discover the remains of theaters, baths and temples


A cultural civilization where the East meets the West, Turkey has been home to many civilizations throughout history. Many empires that left their marks on their respective eras were located in modern-day Anatolia. Even though these ancient civilizations now cease to exist, the artifacts they left behind still mesmerize visitors. Across Turkey, ancient Roman theaters, temples and historic ruins await local and foreign tourists.


The Roman Empire, “Res Publica Romana,” is considered one of the most significant civilizations of history. The empire succeeded the 500-year-old Roman Republic and controlled a large territory of nearly six million square kilometers from 27 B.C. to 1453 A.D. In the fourth century, the empire was divided into East and West, and in the five century the Roman Empire of the west fell apart. The Eastern Roman Empire, known as the Byzantine Empire, collapsed when the Ottomans conquered Istanbul in 1453 A.D. Anatolia was the highlight of Asia Minor, with its strategic location between the East and the West and its numerous trade routes, agricultural and military facilities during the time of the Roman Empire. The Romans captured Asia Minor in the second century B.C. – succeeding Alexander the Great – and ruled for many centuries. The province of Asia Minor was established and the Romans named Ephesus as the capital city.


Ephesus is one of the most well-known sites harboring remnants of the Romans. Located in the western Turkish province of İzmir, Ephesus — “Efes” in Turkish — is one of the most remarkable Roman sites. Built in the 10th century B.C., the city was founded by Attic and Ionian colonists. The Temple of Artemis is the most famous ancient remnant in the city and it is one of the seven ancient wonders of the world. This ancient city is home to one of the seven churches of Asia, cited in the Book of Revelations. Along with the Temple of Artemis, the House of the Virgin Mary is another destination that makes Ephesus worth a visit. According to legend, the Virgin Mary spent her last days in Ephesus and since the 19th century, the House of the Virgin Mary has been regarded specially for that reason, revered by many Catholics who visit the House of the Virgin Mary as a sort of pilgrimage. The ancient city of Ephesus is also believed to be where the story of the Seven Sleepers took place. According to Muslims, Catholics and Orthodox Christians, the seven sleepers slept in a cave in Ephesus for centuries because they were persecuted for their belief in God. To be part of a mesmerizing journey into the past, Ephesus is only a short flight from Istanbul, making the mesmerizing journey into the past accessible for visitors. After flying from Istanbul to İzmir’s Adnan Menderes Airport, visitors rent a car and travel towards İzmir’s Selçuk district where Ephesus awaits. In addition to the historic remnants in the ancient city, the famous Library of Celsus is found there, along with an ancient theatre and Roman baths. The ancient theater, which was capable of holding 25,000 spectators, was initially used by the Romans for drama performances, but was later used for gladiatorial combat. Check – Mersin Escort