Discover the ancient relics left behind by the Greeks and Romans, two of the most impressive civilizations of the ancient world. In a walking tour of Turkey, explore the ancient crossroads of trade, information, and culture that centered around Angolia, the Asian side of the country. From carved rock and tombs to great pantheons and open-air theaters, witness some of Turkey’s most magnificent outdoor museums that hold the key to secrets of the early empires.
The partially reconstructed Library Celsus is a marvel, especially considering that the ancient civilization of Ephesus was during a time of little mechanical inventions. Located in the heart of a fertile valley, Esphesus was once a major trading center of the ancient world before it became a religious center for early Christians. Today, the small village of Selcuk, a popular base from the site, surrounds the ruins. With its massive theaters, great pillars, and Hellenistic temples, it is considered one of Turkey’s most cherished open-air museums. It’s also interesting to note that the original site of Ephesus was on the Aegean coast, which over the centuries, opened up to the plain of the Kucuk Menderes. For a peak into their world of upper class society, check out the Hillside Houses across from the Temple of Hadrian that faces out onto Curetes Street.
On a boat ride near the islands of Dalyan, Kaunos, and Myra, visitors get the chance to explore up close the Lycian Tombs, an impressive series of classical temples carved into vertical cliffs. Known for their elaborate funerary art, the fascinating Lycia people left behind a magnificent series of burial tombs that stand out with distinctive Gothic detailing in facades that resemble typical Lycian homes. In an incredible feat, some of the tombs were carved directly out of the face of the cliff. The unusually large tombs held more than one body, which suggests that Lycians were a family-oriented society, and sometimes depicted scenes from mythology.
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