Thursday, June 07, 2007

June 6 - Kusadasi & Ephesus

25 years ago Kisadasi was nothing but an unspoiled community of fishermen and farmers. Now it is a holiday destination for Turks and other Europeans. During cruise season, as many a 7,000 tourists are disgorged from the ships each day to surf the bazaars for carpets and jewelry.

The ruins of Ephesus, only about 10 miles from Kusadasi, are second only to Pompeii providing a most excellent introduction to ancient Roman civilization. Ephesus was once, itself, a major seaport, and home to 60,000 people as early as 9 centuries B.C. In the early A.D's. the population was more than a million.

Ephesus was an epicenter of the birth and evolution of Christianity. The Aegean Sea did some kind of trick many centuries ago, receding to such an extent that Ephesus was land locked, drying up the port. Over the centuries the people left and the city was covered over with dirt aided by several earthquakes, thus preserving the ruins of Ephesus. Only relatively recently have the ruins been discovered, renovated, reconstituted, and preserved. The amphitheater, where St. Paul preached seated 24,000 people. Today it is about 40% intact.

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