After our week of sailing, we went on an overnight trip to Selçuk, home of the ancient ruins of St John's Basilica which dates to around the time of Christ and was the region that the Virgin Mary hung out after her sons death. Selçuk is also just up the road from the best preserved ancient city, Ephesus.
The Basilica of St. John was constructed in the 6th century. It is said that John was asked by Jesus as he was dying, to look after his mother Mary. He did so for many years in this area and Mary is also believed to be buried on a neighbouring mountain.
Ephesus was an ancient Greek city, and later a major Roman city which is now an entire city of ruins. Awesome! In the Roman period, Ephesus had a population of more than 250,000 in the 1st century BC, which also made it one of the largest cities in the Mediterranean world. The town was partially destroyed by an earthquake in 614 AD. You can still see the layout of the city, including the roads still with the grooves in the marble from the chariot wheels, stadiums, Roman baths, some of the terraced houses including their mosaic floors and frescos, engraved tablets stored underneath a temple, lots of intricately designed columns and heaps and heaps and heaps of other really old awesome ruins.
Out of all the ancient ruins we have seen (MANY!), it was certainly amazing to see this whole majestic city layed out in front of us and in pretty good nick considering parts had been there for over 4000 years! There were a few cruise liners in town on the day we were there and as you can see in the photos, there are already thousands of people and it's only 9am!
Between the Romans, Egyptians and Ottomans, I think we really have gone backwards in build quality over the last millennia or so! They just don't make 'em like they used to.
Check the amazing photos