Biblical EphesusThis tour is designed to introduce to you the “Biblical Ephesus”. Driving from the pier through the Turkish countryside along a hilly drive, you arrive at the House of Virgin Mary where the Blessed Virgin is reputed to have spent the last years of her life. Outside is the Fountain of Our Lady, providing the faithful water from the holy foundation.
From there, a short drive will take you to the entrance to Ancient City of Ephesus that was built on a small hill. Once you enter the Open Air Museum of Ephesus and pass by the Magnesia gate, you will enter the administrative section of ancient Ephesus. The guided walking tour will take you through one of the most magnificent excavations in the world. See the Odeon, the Fountain of Trajan, the steam baths of Scholastika, temple of Hadrian and the impressive library of Celsius. The Grand Theater, where St. Paul preached, is one of the largest theaters in antiquity with a capacity of 24,000 seats.
The last major site you will visit in Ephesus is the “Church of Virgin Mary”, also known as the Double Church as it is thought that one aisle was dedicated to the Virgin and the other to the Apostle John. This Church is believed to have been the meeting place of the historic Council of Ephesus. You will return to the buses through the Arcadian way, where Mark Anthony and Cleopatra once rode in procession. Overlooking Ephesus are the remains of St. John’s Basilica, where, you will be given a short briefing on the excavations and their importance to the history of Christianity. Once great church built on a 2nd century tomb thought to hold the remains of St. John. While the church is now in ruins, there are many frescoes, mosaics and graceful columns that attest to the glory that marked the place where St. John, the Evangelist, lived and died.
Your tour will follow with a “Biblical lunch”, where you will be served food cited in the Bible and dishes made in accordance with Biblical ingredients. Following lunch, you will have chance to explore the effect of Christianity on the traditional local handicrafts with a short lecture by an expert. A carpet presentation will take place in a carpet weaving village also elaborating this influence. On completion of your visit, you will have time to explore, browse in Kusadasi.
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