Why is Ephesus so famous and magnificent? The place for its foundation was suggested by none other than the Delphic oracle. In this well-preserved ancient town you cannot take your eyes off its temples, fountains, an amphitheater for 24 thousand spectators, the famous library of Celsus. You will be able to follow the footsteps of famous emperors Trajan, Domitian, Nero, Hadrian and Alexander the Great. The patroness of Ephesus was the huntress Artemis – the daughter of Zeus. The fame of the temple of Artemis went around the world and no wonder that it ranked among the Seven Wonders of the world.
But on the night of the birth of Alexander the Great in 356 BC a resident of Ephesus Herostrat who tried in such a way to perpetuate his name in history, burnt a great temple.
Not far from the town (5 km) there is the holy place for all Christians – the house in which the Virgin Mary – mother of Jesus– spent her last days. It is a popular place of Catholic pilgrimage which has been visited by three recent popes. The icons located here are known for their healing force.
The Vatican has recognized the holy chapel, and in 1967 Pope Paul VI honored it with a visit. Jesus bequeathed the care of his mother to St. John and Ephesus became the last refuge of the Virgin Mary and St. John. There is also the Basilica of St. John here. An ancient legend says that if you want to deliver yourself from sins for the next seven years, have a drink of water from the source of the Virgin Mary’s house. Your sins will be forgiven.