VIRGIN MARY, ARTEMIS & ST JOHN TOUR
|The HOUSE of VIRGIN MARY
|Located on the top of the "Bulbul" mountain 9 km ahead of Ephesus, the shrine of Virgin Mary enjoys a marvelous atmosphere hidden in the green. It is the place where Mary may have spent her last days. Indeed, she may have come in the area together with Saint John, who spent several years in the area to spread Christianity. Mary preferred this remote place rather than living in crowded place.
The house is a typical Roman architectural example, entirely made of stones. In the 4th century AD, a church, combining her house and grave, has been built. The original two-stored house, which consisted of an anteroom (where today candles are proposed), bedroom and praying room (Christian church area) and a room with fireplace (chapel for Muslims). A front kitchen fell into ruins and has been restored in 1940's. Today, only the central part and a room on the right of the altar are open to visitors. From there one can understand that this building looks more like a church than a house. Another interesting place is the "Water of Mary", a source to be found at the exit of the church area and where a rather salt water, with curative properties, can be drunk by all. Paul VI was the first pope to visit this place in the 1960's. Later, in the 1980's, during his visit, Pope John-Paul II declared the Shrine of Virgin Mary has a pilgrimage place for Christians. It is also visited by Muslims who recognize Mary as the mother of one of their prophets. Every year, on August 15th a ceremony is organized to commemorate Mary's Assumption.
THE TEMPLE OF ARTEMIS
The temple of Artemision is known as one of theSeven Wonders of the Antic world. It has been built in the areas of Ephesus on a flat area which has over the centuries turned into a swamp. Today one can only see the ruins of the foundations of this marvelous construction of the Hellenistic Age, entirely made of marble and full of sculptured columns' capitals and shafts. The most beautiful remaining of this temple are today exhibited in the London British Museum.
The oldest remaining found date back till the VIth century BC. It was surrounded by 36 huge columns, later enlarged upon the orders of the Lydian King, Kreisos, during the VIth century BC. Most of the exhibits in the London British Museum belong to this period. The new Artemision has been rebuilt in the IInd century BC. Located on top of the previous one, it had tremendous dimensions: 127 columns of each 17,5 meters high. Unfortunately this one has also been destroyed by fire, reconstructed and again demolished by earthquakes, rebuilt and at last looted by Goths one year later.The statue of many-breasted Artemision was the symbol of the temple but also of abundance, hunting and wild life. The genuine statue of Artemision, removed during the fire, is today exhibited in theSelcuk Museum. Many copies of this statue found during the latest excavations date back from the Roman period.
|The BASILICA of ST JOHN
|It is believed that the evangelist St. John had spent his last years in the region around Ephesus and buried in the southern slope of Ayosolug Hill. Three hundred years after the death of Saint Paul, a small chapel was constructed over the grave in the 4th century. The church was changed into a marvelous basilica during the region of Emperor Justinian (527 -565 AD). The monumental basilica was in the shape of a cross and was covered with six domes. Its construction, being of stone and brick, is an extremely rare find amongst the architecture of its time. Raised by two steps and covered with marble, the tomb of St John was under the central dome, that was once carried by the four columns at the corners. The columns in the courtyard reveals the monograms of Emperor Justinian and his wife Theodora. Constructed in the 5th century AD, the baptistery is north of the nave, with its key hole shape. Rampart walls around the church were constructed for protection from the Arabian attracts in the 7th - 8th centuries AD. The impressive 10th century AD frescoes representing St John, Jesus and a Saint, ornament the chapel. With the invasion of Turks, the chapel was used as a mosque in the 14th century; unfortunately Basilica of Saint John became unusable due to the serious earthquake in the same century.
The excavations around the Basilica of Saint John has been continuing under the supervision of Ekrem Akurgal since 1973, with the financial supports of George B. Quatman.
- Pick up from your hotel approximately at 13:30 p.m. for the transfer.
- Visit House of Virgin Mary, Temple of Artemis, Basilica of St. John
- Departure at 18:30 p.m. from the tour to the hotel
- Return transfer back to the Hotel and have dinner at the hotel
Tour Fee Including (10 US Dollars per Person):
- Professional Tour Guide
- Private De-Luxe Cars, Mini Vans
- Parking Fees for all the sights
- No extra Hidden Charges
- All Entrance Fees
- Personal Expenses
Note: Museum cards can be used for Basilica of St. John and Temple of Artemis entrance. If you have a valid museum card, the entrance is free. You may get the museum card in tourism offices.
Please register for the tour(s) during the conference days at the registration desk. The tours will be organized by a professional tour company which is the member of the Association of Turkish Travel Agencies (TURSAB).