Ephesus was the most important Greek city in Ionian Asia Minor. It is one of the grandest and best-preserved archeological sites in Turkey (🎫 200 TRY, Taxi to upper gate 100 TRY). Ancient Ephesus was a great trading city and a center for the cult of Cybele, the Anatolian fertility goddess. Under the influence of the Ionians, Cybele became Artemis, the virgin goddess of the hunt and the moon, and a fabulous temple was built in her honor. When the Romans took over, Artemis became Diana and Ephesus became the Roman provincial capital, the fourth largest city in the empire after Rome, Alexandria, and Antioch. In 356 BC, the Temple of Artemis was destroyed in a fire set by a lunatic called Herostratus, who claimed to have done it to get his 15 minutes of fame, proving that modern society has no monopoly on a perverted sense of celebrity. The Ephesians set to work building a grand new temple which, when finished, was recognized as one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World.

Parking location – Ephesus: 37.943513N 27.342259E (🚻,🅿️ – 25 TRY)