In pictures

Amongst the ruins at Ephesus // In pictures

Ancient ruins at Ephesus, Turkey

On the western coast of Turkey, Ephesus has some of the Mediterranean’s best-preserved, grandest ruins. As a major port for trade routes to Asia it grew from a coastal town in the 10th century BC to the second largest city in the world. A series of rulers over the years left their mark – from the Greeks and Romans to the Byzantines and Ottomans. But when its port silted up, Ephesus was abandoned and fell into ruins. It was rediscovered in 1863 by a British archaeologist and it’s been excavated ever since, but still only 15% of the whole site has been uncovered so far. You can still get a good idea of its scale though as you wander through a mix of ruined temples, colonnaded streets and theatres.

History comes to life all around you as you stand in the amphitheatre where St Paul preached in Biblical times or follow in the footsteps of Alexander the Great and Cleopatra along the Arcadian Way. The city’s most famous building was the Temple of Artemis, one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World, but that’s long been destroyed. The centrepoint today is the two-storey Celcus Library – as impressive now as back when it was one of the ancient world’s largest libraries, filled with 12,000 scrolls.

Ancient ruins at Ephesus, Turkey
Ancient ruins at Ephesus, Turkey
Cat among the ruins
Amphitheatre
ephesus-5
The Celcus Library at Ephesus, Turkey
Details of the Celcus Library
Ancient ruins at Ephesus, Turkey
Ancient ruins at Ephesus, Turkey

The details

Ephesus is near Selçuk in Western Turkey, between the resorts of Izmir and Bodrum, and around 12 miles from the cruise port of Kusadasi. Entry costs 40 Turkish Lira (£8.50), plus an extra 15 Lira (£3) for the Terrace Houses. The site is open 8am–7.30pm from mid-March to late October and until 5.30pm off-season.

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Amongst the ruins at Ephesus in Turkey – a photographic tour of some of the Mediterranean’s best-preserved and grandest ruins.

I visited Ephesus on a Celebrity Cruises ‘Discovery Walk in Ephesus’ shore excursion on their Venice to Istanbul cruise. Many thanks to Celebrity for hosting us. All views and opinions are, as always, my own.

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28 Comments

  • Reply
    Victor
    September 1, 2014 at 10:31 am

    It must be wonderful to be there .

    • Reply
      Lucy Dodsworth
      September 2, 2014 at 10:44 am

      It was a really fascinating place, so much history and a great window into what life would have been like at the time.

  • Reply
    Moritz
    September 1, 2014 at 11:04 am

    The pictures with the cat are really stunning. It really looks like the cat has the same color as the ruins. Thanks for sharing these pictures 🙂

    • Reply
      Lucy Dodsworth
      September 2, 2014 at 10:43 am

      Thanks, yes it was funny how she almost blended in with the mosaic! It’s a strange thing with cats and ruins – when I went to Petra in Jordan there were loads of cats around then and I can never resist photographing them.

  • Reply
    Rajiv
    September 1, 2014 at 12:41 pm

    This looks like a great place

    • Reply
      Lucy Dodsworth
      September 2, 2014 at 10:44 am

      Thanks, it was really impressive, especially how well preserved a lot of it is despite its age.

  • Reply
    Bama
    September 1, 2014 at 1:38 pm

    The first time I heard about Ephesus was at school when we studied about the ancient wonders of the world. Then a few years ago I first learned about the library. Seems like an amazing place to visit, and your photos do the place justice.

    • Reply
      Lucy Dodsworth
      September 2, 2014 at 10:45 am

      I must’ve seen the Celcus Library in so many photos, I always knew I wanted to come and see it in real life someday!

  • Reply
    erinklema
    September 1, 2014 at 7:03 pm

    Beautiful photos!

  • Reply
    Shelley @Travel-Stained
    September 2, 2014 at 1:00 am

    Lol… we stayed in Kusadasi a few nights and watched those huge cruise liners come in all day long, and leave at night. Quite the scene there sometimes. Gorgeous photos of Efes… it looks like it wasn’t too busy when you were there? or you had to work really hard to make it look that way? 😉

    • Reply
      Lucy Dodsworth
      September 2, 2014 at 10:47 am

      Yes you certainly can’t miss the cruise ships! It was pretty busy but as a lot of people were on cruise excursions there were waves of people then a bit of a lull so I waited to get some shots without the crowds (apart from the Celcus Library, that was always so busy there was no chance!).

  • Reply
    Vlad
    September 2, 2014 at 8:32 am

    Adorable cat! 😀 Great pictures, I especially love the black and white ones.

    • Reply
      Lucy Dodsworth
      September 2, 2014 at 10:48 am

      Thanks, I can never resist the cat pictures – they always looks like they own the place!

  • Reply
    MummyTravels
    September 2, 2014 at 1:29 pm

    Gorgeous – somewhere I’d love to visit. The cats are a bonus!

    • Reply
      Lucy Dodsworth
      September 2, 2014 at 7:00 pm

      I can’t resist the cats (despite having two at home I can photograph any time!) – fascinating place too with so much to see.

  • Reply
    frenchspanishcritic
    September 2, 2014 at 9:52 pm

    Reblogged this on frenchspanishcritic and commented:
    Reminds me of many ruins I saw in Rome over the summer! I hope to travel here in the future!

    • Reply
      Lucy Dodsworth
      September 3, 2014 at 2:36 pm

      Thanks for reblogging, hope you get to visit Ephesus someday!

  • Reply
    Milosz Zak
    September 3, 2014 at 11:26 pm

    We absolutely loved Ephesus!

    • Reply
      Lucy
      September 23, 2014 at 2:54 pm

      It’s a really fascinating place isn’t it?

  • Reply
    unfinishedtravel
    September 5, 2014 at 4:36 am

    The architecture is gorgeous!

    • Reply
      Lucy
      September 23, 2014 at 2:58 pm

      And so well-preserved too considering it’s been there for such a long time!

  • Reply
    Sarah
    September 17, 2014 at 4:36 pm

    This really looks fabulous. What an experience, and what lovely pictures

    • Reply
      Lucy
      September 23, 2014 at 3:01 pm

      Thanks, I didn’t know much about the ruins before I visited but was really impressed.

  • Reply
    brittanymark2014
    September 21, 2014 at 2:42 pm

    Really beautiful pictures! I visited when I was a kid, hoping to go back again soon.

    • Reply
      Lucy
      September 23, 2014 at 3:03 pm

      Thanks, hope you get to make the return visit one day!

  • Reply
    Tricia A. Mitchell
    September 27, 2014 at 7:51 pm

    Lucy, we were recently so close to Turkey, and if we’d had another month, I would have loved to have explored the country – especially Ephesus. (‘Til now, I’ve only been to Istanbul.) Your black & white treatment of select images brings out the details of Ephesus, and the napping kitty is precious. What time of year were you and your mother there?

    • Reply
      Lucy
      September 29, 2014 at 11:52 am

      Thanks Tricia, I can never resist the cats around temple sites, and liked focusing on the little details as the main sites were very busy. We were there in mid June, so it was hot but the hazy sunshine meant it wasn’t too bad, and there were some shady tree areas to break it up.

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