Turkey – Ancient Cities
Ok this is going to be a quick summary of the three key ancient ruins we visit:
APHRODISIAS : Recommended by Rob & Cal Fisher (big thanks), this spot is often missed by tourists who flock to the better know Pammukale-Hierapolis and Ephesus. But, Aphrodisias is remarkable. Named after the Greek goddess of love, the city was built in Hellenistic and Roman times (2nd century BC). You can wander through marble paved streets (they must have needed sun glasses, as the glare from all the marble would have been blinding). The stadium is one of the best preserved in Europe, seating 30,000 people. We seem to have the city to ourselves and spend a couple of hours being transported back to ancient times. The on-site museum also houses an incredible collection of recovered sarcophagus’, marble statues and other ancient artifacts.
PAMMUKALE & HIERAPOLIS : Deriving from springs in a cliff almost 200 m high overlooking the plain, calcite-laden waters have created at Pammukale (Cotton Palace) an unreal landscape, made up of mineral forests, petrified waterfalls and a series of terraced basins. At the end of the 2nd century B.C. the dynasty of the Attalids, the kings of Pergamon, established the thermal spa of Hierapolis. The ruins of the baths, temples and other Greek monuments can be seen at the site. http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/485
EPHESUS : Is renowned as being the best preserved ancient city in the Mediterranean. Ephesus was one of 12 important cities of the classical Greek period. First established in the 10th century BC by the Ionian Greeks (wish I had done ancient history), it eventually came under Roman rule in 129 BC. Rumor has it that the Gospel of John may have been written here. The most well known image of Ephesus is the Library of Celsus, built in 125 AD with his own personal funds. The facade has been reconstructed with original pieces and provides a perspective on the scale and grandeur of the time. The detail invested into the design by the romans is superb throughout everything we have seen. Today, we would probably call such buildings ostentatious. I wonder what will have survived from our generation and been reconstructed for historical significance in the year 4014?