INFORMATION ABOUT EPHESUSWell-known from earliest times, this city was established on the delta of what is now called the Lesser Menderes River. The sheltered harbor of that period was the beginning of a royal road the ended at the gate of Susa, the capital or the Persian Empire, which secured the city its importance. It became the capital of the Roman province of Asia under Augustus and had a population of perhaps 200,000 in the second and first centuries BC. In the 6th century BC science, art and culture were prominent here along with Miletus. The famous philosopher Heraclitus, interpreter of dreams Artemidorus, the poets Callinos and Hipponax, grammarian Zenodotus and the doctors Soranus and Rufus were all from the Site.
The oldest finds are from the Neolithic Age dated 6000 years before Christ, found at the Cukurici Hoyuk. There was a Hittite settlement on top of Ayasuluk Hill from the Old Bronze Age. The name was then Apasus, according to Hittite inscriptions found there. Linguists believe the name Ephesus came from this Hittite name. ...more
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INFORMATION ABOUT ISTANBUL
What is now called Asian Istanbul was probably inhabited by people as early as 3000 BC. Eventually, in the 7th century, Greek colonists led by King Byzas established the colony of Byzantium, the Greek name for a city on the Bosphorus. Byzas chose the spot after consulting an oracle of Delphi who told him to settle across from the "land of the blind ones." Indeed, Byzas concluded, earlier settlers must have been deprived of their sight to have overlooked this superb location at the mouth of the Bosphorus strait. This proved an auspicious decision by Byzas, as history has shown Istanbul's location important far beyond what these early Greek settlers might possibly have conceived. Byzas gave his name to the city: Byzantium.
In the early 100's BC, it became part of the Roman Empire and in 306 AD, Emperor Constantine the Great made Byzantium capital of the entire Roman Empire. From that point on, the city was known as Constantinople. ... more
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Some historical information
The temple is at the beginning of the Selcuk-Kusadasi road. This temple, one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World, was first popular around 334 to 250 BC. It was destroyed and had to be rebuilt seven times because of earthquakes, looting and fire. Today there is nothing left of the Ionic structure surrounded by massive columns but its altar area. The temple was made with the world's best marble and was a truly gigantic structure. Some of the remains are in the British Museum in London. ...more
One of the fully-restored structures at Ephesus is the Celsus Library. Around 92 AD Roman Consul Tiberius Julius Polemaeanus was responsible for public buildings in the city of Rome, and was from 105 to 107 Proconsul for the province of Asia, the capital of which was Ephesus. When the man Celsus died in 114 at the age of 70, his son, Tiberius Julia Aquila built he library for a monument to his father. The construction was finished in 117. The sarcophagus, made of exquisite marble, was buried under the apsidal wall. Garlands, figures of Eros, Nike, and rosettes decorate the sarcophagus. …more
According to the Gospel of John, as Jesus was hanging on the cross, He presented His beloved disciple John with the care of His mother, Mary. Four of six years after the death and resurrection of Jesus, St. John and Mary are thought to have come to Ephesus and stayed on the site of what is not the Church of the Council of 431. Later, John took Mary to a house he had built on Nightingale Mountain. This house where Mary is thought to have spent her last days was forgotten in time and fell to ruin. In the Middle Ages it was often claimed that the house was found but to no definite result. …more
Since these houses are located in the town center they were obviously occupied by important people. The area is therefore called the "Rich Houses" or "Hillside Palace". Every terrace on the stepped street was a home entrance. All were peristyle (with a small pool in the center) and the rooms were arranged around the pool. Most houses were three-story not higher than 20 or 25 m. …more
One of the world’s most strategic waterways, Bosphorus is the strait between the Black Sea and the Sea of Marmara; it is an inundated valley that follows an irregular northeast-southwest course 32km (20 miles) long, 730-3300m (800-3600 yards) wide, 30-120m (100-395ft) deep.
Bosphorus comes from a Tracian word of unknown origin, interpreted in Greek as meaning "Ford of the Cow", from the legend of Io, one of the many lovers of Zeus, who swam across the sea here as a cow chased and continuously disturbed by flies sent by Hera. …more
The Sultan Ahmed Mosque is a historical mosque in Istanbul, the largest city in Turkey and the capital of the Ottoman Empire (from 1453 to 1923). The mosque is popularly known as the Blue Mosque for the blue tiles adorning the walls of its interior.
It was built between 1609 and 1616, during the rule of Ahmed I. Like many other mosques, it also comprises a tomb of the founder, a madrasah and a hospice. While still used as a mosque, the Sultan Ahmed Mosque has also become a popular tourist attraction of Istanbul.
After the Peace of Zsitvatorok and the unfavourable result of the wars with Persia, Sultan Ahmed I decided to build a large mosque in Istanbul to placate Allah. …more
The name of this subterranean structure derives from a large public square on the First Hill of Constantinople, the Stoa Basilica, beneath which it was originally constructed. According to ancient historians, Emperor Constantine constructed a structure which was later rebuilt and enlarged by Emperor Justinian after the Nika riots of 532. The enlarged cistern provided water for the Great Palace of Constantinople and other buildings on the First Hill, and continued to provide water to the Topkapi Palace after the Ottoman conquest in 1453 and into modern times. …more
Hagia Sophia means "Divine Wisdom" in Greek, this was an Orthodox church dedicated to holly wisdom, not to a Saint Sophia as some people wrongly call it today. Turkish people call it Aya Sofya, it's a former Byzantine church and former Ottoman mosque, now located in Sultanahmet neighborhood being one of the most important museums of Istanbul considered as a World Heritage by UNESCO. It is one of the greatest surviving examples of Byzantine architecture.
The first church of Hagia Sophia was built on the same site in the 4th century by Constantine the Great and renovated by his son Constantinus II in 360 AD. It was a small wooden church in Constantinople. Unfortunately nothing remained from it because it was destroyed during a fire in 404 AD. …more