From the port of Kusadasi on Turkey's Anatolian Coast, one travels into the past. Nearby stand the ruins of ancient Ephesus, a major site of archeological excavation. The city was once a Roman provincial capital and trading center. Ephesus is also home to several of Christendom's holiest sites. St. Paul preached at the Great Theater and the ruins of Ephesus' Basilica cover the tomb of Christ's most beloved disciple, St. John the Apostle.
In Kusadasi, whitewashed stone houses rise in tiers behind the market district. The palm-lined esplanade is the center of town life, with thousands of merchants offering wares to rival the Grand Bazaar in Istanbul.
Enter the city though the Magnesia Gate entrance and walk down a marble road to the ruins of this Roman provincial capital. The major sites are the Odeum, the Celsus Library, the Temple of Hadrian, the Fountain of Trajan and the Great Theater. The theater had seating for 25,000, and is the site where St. Paul preached to the Ephesians.
The Vatican has recognized this small house in the Solmissos Mountains as the final resting place of the Virgin Mary. A small shrine dedicated to St. Mary was found when the ruins of the house were first discovered.
Built by the Emperor Justinian over the tomb of St. John the Apostle, the ruined Basilica once rivaled St. Sophia in size. A number of graceful columns and colorful mosaics survive.
This small museum in Selcuk boasts an incredible collection of Hellenistic and Roman statues, carved reliefs and artifacts from the ruins of Ephesus.
Located in a newly excavated area across from Hadrian's Temple, these houses are finely decorated with mosaics and frescoes.
This is a traditional hillside village. Browse among the tented stalls and shops, view the Byzantine church. Sample the local wine and stop for a cup of Turkish coffee.
Carpet weaving is a cottage industry in Turkey and here you can observe the different stages of the carpet making process.