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Bas-relief featuring Apollo's Tripod in Ephesus, Turkey

Signs and symbols in Ephesus: Apollo’s Tripod

In ancient times, citizens passed through the streets on foot or on an animal, and so they passed through much more slowly than we pass through our streets today.  And, most likely for this reason, streets of most ancient cities were full of signs and symbols, something that we...
Early coin featuring a bee from Ephesus

Ephesus – the city of bees

The name “Ephesus” is the Roman version of its former Hittite name of “Apasas”.  It is believed that the city was named after the Amazon queen Apasas, derived from the word ‘Apis’ which meant “bee”.  While the exact origin of the...
Artist's depiction of the Temple of Artemis with priests and priestesses in attendance, Ephesus, Turkey

Temple of Artemis

The Mother Goddess Artemis was extremely popular in the ancient world, and was recognised in many Greek cities as a secondary deity.  However, for the Ephesians, she was a prominent deity, and so they built a Temple of Artemis in her honour.  Its size and beauty were such that it...
Facade of the Celsus Library in Ephesus, Turkey

How Ephesus was Settled

Greek mythology tells us that Ephesus was established by Androklos, the son of Kodros, the King of Athens. He and his friends were on the move to Anatolia, and were having a hard time deciding exactly where they should establish a new city.  As the story goes, an Apollo...
Painting of Cleopatra

Cleopatra in Ephesus

As you walk through Ephesus, you are walking in the footsteps of some of history’s greatest characters – Alexander the Great walked these streets as did St Paul and St John and Cleopatra and Mark Anthony. That’s right, the most famous lovers in history walked...
Painting of a gladiator

The Ephesus Gladiator Graveyard

Discovery of an Ephesus gladiator graveyard has rocked the archaeological world.  We all know gladiators right? They were the sporting heroes of the ancient world who battled condemned criminals, animals or each other for the amusement of the masses. The graveyard, containing the...
Selcuk Camel Wrestling

Selcuk Camel Wrestling

Camel wrestling is a long-standing tradition in the Aegean region of Turkey, although it can be found in some other parts of the country. The Selcuk Camel Wrestling Festival is held on the 3rd Sunday of January each year in an ancient stadium in Selcuk, and generally features...
Zeus Cave Kusadasi

Zeus Cave Kusdasi

There are many Zeus Caves in the Aegean region, and Kusadasi is lucky to have one too.  The cave is located in an outlying area of Kusadasi called Guzelcamli, and in summer, it is visited by hundreds of people each day. It’s in a beautiful, lush location, and is hidden from...
Fresco in St Paul's cave, near Ephesus, Turkey

St Paul in Ephesus

Undoubtedly one of the most influential contributors to early Christianity, and the ultimate traveller, carrying the word of Christianity to lands such as Cyprus, Asia Minor (modern Turkey), mainland Greece, Crete and Rome, St Paul was born to a Jewish family in Tarsus in what is...
Turkish coffee being served at home

On Engagement and Coffee

Every country has its traditional customs around engagement and marriage, and engagement in Turkey is no different.  Although times are rapidly changing, today as you drive through some small rural villages, you may see glass bottles placed on the roof of the house. This is a...
Turkish Coffee

Turkish Coffee

Once discovered by the Ottomans, Turkish coffee became such an important feature of palace life, that a position of Chief Coffee Maker (kahvecibasi) was created by the palace. The tradition of Turkish coffee is believed to date back to 1555 when it was introduced to the palace in...