Situated in the Aegean region of Turkey, Ephesus is probably the best preserved ancient city in the Mediterranean. In ancient times, Ephesus was a bustling trading city and a center of worship of Cybele - the goddess of fertility. Archaeological excavations and maintenance works provide new information about the ancient city every year. Therefore, this is a place worth coming back again and again.
The Terrace Houses complex in Ephesus consists of luxurious residential villas, located on the northern slope of Bülbüldağı Hill, next to Curetes Street and opposite the Temple of Hadrian. So far, two housing complexes - Eastern and Western - have been excavated. They were built according to the Hippodamian plan where the roads transect each other at right angles. The excavation work of the Terrace Houses started in 1960. The restoration of the houses is an ongoing process and every year there is something new to admire there.
Ginolu Castle is located on the shores of the Black Sea, in the western part of Çatalzeytin, in the Province of Kastamonu. According to archaeological and historical sources, it is estimated that the area was inhabited since the 5th century BC, but the date of the castle construction has not been determined unequivocally. The Turkish researcher, Erdal Eser, explains that "The negative topographical conditions and the maritime transportation which has been activated since the early periods are the important reasons for the lack of information in our research." [see Bibliography section below]
Travelers interested in visiting archaeological sites and museums in Turkey frequently face a very basic question: is this particular site currently available for visitors? And if so, how much does the ticket cost? Naturally, it is possible to check this out in guidebooks or on various websites, Turkish Archaeological News portal included. However, the opening hours and ticket prices are changed regularly, and some venues are temporarily closed because of renovation, restoration, or other reasons.
Euromos ruins, located just off the Söke-Milas road, are frequently overlooked by travelers who do not realize that an olive grove hides one of the best preserved ancient temples in Asia Minor. Meanwhile, if you just turn off the road as indicated by a signpost, you will see a magnificent view of the ancient temple of Zeus. More inquisitive tourists can also find the remains of an ancient theater, city walls, and an agora.
An essential element of the Hittite religious beliefs were the practices of the so-called sympathetic magic. The rituals were performed by the priests called 'soothsayers,' and the priestesses known as the 'old women.' Their actions were aimed at reversing the imminent danger, from impotence to abandonment of the sanctuary by a deity inhabiting it. Most of the practices associated with these activities took place outdoors, and a particular importance was attached to water sources. Many of these places of worship, often in the form of a simple 'sacred sources,' have been preserved to our times. Eflatun Pınar is an excellent example of elaborate stone shrines adorning eternal sources of water. It is situated on the south-eastern side of Beyşehir Lake and called Eflatun Pınar.
The great theater of Ephesus is a splendidly preserved and very impressive building. This structure, built of marble, has a width of 145 meters, and its audience once reached up to 30 meters. In its heyday, it could accommodate up to 24,000 spectators.
The Library of Celsus is probably the most distinctive building commonly associated with Ephesus. The library has a two-storey façade, and its interior is one large room with dimensions of 10.90 to 16.70 meters. This library room was located above the vaulted substructure. The building was surrounded by an additional wall, offering adequate protection from moisture.
There are two places, paramount from the historical point of view, bearing the same name - Yazılıkaya - in the area of Turkey. Not surprisingly, as in Turkish this word means 'inscribed rock' and thus perfectly reflects the character of all the monuments that were created by carving inscriptions in the rock walls. The monument, which is described here, also has two other names - Midas Kenti (Midas City) and Midas Anıtı (Midas Monument), that distinguish it from the Hittite sanctuary of Yazılıkaya, located in the vicinity of Hattusa, in central Anatolia.
Göynüş Vadisi, located in the area known as the Phrygian Valley, is a long and narrow valley surrounded by high cliffs of volcanic tuff. The old name of the valley - Köhnüş - derives from the Turkish word köhnemiş, which means the area damaged by weather conditions.