Aegean Region Izmir/Bergama/Çanakkale/ Ephesus
Brief Story of the Destination:
The city was once considered the most important Greek city and the most important trading center in the Mediterranean region. Throughout history, Ephesus survived multiple attacks and changed hands many times between conquerors. It was also a hotbed of early Christian evangelism and remains an important archaeological site and Christian pilgrimage destination.
In the seventh century B.C., Ephesus fell under the rule of the Lydian Kings and became a thriving city where men and women enjoyed equal opportunities. It was also the birthplace of the renowned philosopher Heraclitus. The Lydian King Croesus was most famous for funding the rebuilding of the Temple of Artemis in Ephesus In 356 B.C., a crazed man named Herostratus burned down the Temple of Artemis. The Ephesians rebuilt the temple even bigger. It was estimated to be four times larger than the Parthenon and became known as one of the Seven Wonders of the World.
Pergamon was founded in the 3rd century BC as the capital of the Attalid dynasty. Located in the Aegean Region, the heart of the Antique World, and at the crossroads between Europe and the Middle East, it became an important cultural, scientific and political centre.
During the Hellenistic period, it became the capital of the Kingdom of Pergamon in 281–133 BC under the Attalid dynasty, who transformed it into one of the major cultural centres of the Greek world. Many remains of its monuments can still be seen and especially the masterpiece of the Pergamon Altar. Pergamon was the northernmost of the seven churches of Asia cited in the New Testament Book of Revelation.
After the city was passed to the Romans in 133 BC, Pergamon became a metropolis and was the capital of the Roman Province of Asia during the Roman imperial period. The Romans maintained the already existing structures of the Hellenistic Period while adding new functions as a cultural and imperial cult centre of the empire. During the Byzantine Period due to the relocation of the trade roads and political centres from the Aegean Region to northwest Anatolia, especially to İstanbul (Constantinople), Pergamon was transformed from a major Hellenistic and Roman centre into a middle-sized town, and continued its cultural-religious importance as home to one of the Seven Churches of Asia. Pergamon now preserves and presents this transformation.
Izmir has over 3000 years of recorded urban history and up to 8500 years of history as a human settlement since the Neolithic period
Homer, referred to as Melesigenes meaning “Child of the Meles Brook”, is said to have been born in Smyrna in the 7th or 8th century BC. Combined with written evidence, it is generally admitted that Smyrna and Chios put forth the strongest arguments in claiming Homer and the main belief is that he was born in Ionia. A River Meles, still bearing the same name, is located within the city limits
From the 7th century onwards, Smyrna achieved the identity of a city-state. The golden era of Ancient İzmir was lived in the years of 650 BC – 545 BC. Lasting almost hundred years, this period was the strongest time of the whole Ionian civilization. Temple of Athena , built during the golden era,(640 BC – 580 BC), is the oldest architectural work of Eastern Hellenic world.
Lydians conquered the city sometime around 610–600 BC, soon afterwards, an invasion from outside Anatolia by the Persian Empire effectively ended Old Smyrna’s history as an urban center of note. The Persian emperor Cyrus the Great attacked the coastal cities of the Aegean after conquering the capital of Lydia. As a result, Old Smyrna was destroyed in 545 BC. Alexander the Great re-founded the city at a new location beyond the Meles River around 340 BC. Alexander had defeated the Persians in several battles and finally the Emperor Darius III himself at Issus in 333 BC. Old Smyrna on a small hill by the sea was large enough only for a few thousand people. Therefore, the slopes of Mount Pagos (Kadifekale) were chosen for the foundation of the new city, for which Alexander is credited, and this act laid the ground for a resurgence in the city’s population.
Towards the close of the 1st century AD, Smyrna appeared as one of the seven churches of Asia (Revelation 2:9). Apostle John urged his followers to remain Christians: “Be faithful to the point of death, and I will give you the crown of life” (Revelation 2:10).
In AD 178, the city was devastated by an earthquake. Emperor Marcus Aurelius contributed greatly to the rebuilding of the city. During this period the agora was restored. Many of the works of architecture from the city’s pre-Turkish period date from this period.
After the Roman Empire was divided into two distinct entities, Smyrna became a territory of the Eastern Roman Empire. The city kept its status as a notable religious center in the early Byzantine period, but never returned to the Roman levels of prosperity.
The Turks first captured Smyrna under the Seljuk Dynasty, then Ottoman Empire took over the city since 1923 the city belongs to Turkish Republic.
The City is famous for its food as well. Our suggestion is Street food such as Kumru, mussels, Izmir Köfte (Meatball), boyoz.
What to look for while traveling:
While walking on Marble streets of Ephesus, we would like our guest to feel like they are walking in ancient times as if it’s 3th century BC. Try to have a grasp of that feeling. The city is a birth area to great philosophers, thinkers and emperors. They all walked down that marble Street as you will do.
We strongly suggest you to either stay at Kusadasi or Izmır area for their beautiful views and relaxation.
Celsus Library at Ephesus ancient city in Izmir, Turkey.
Since there is distance between places we are mostly using our private cars for transportation. The road is adorned with beautiful views all along.Share this tour
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