Ancient city of Ephesus to reunite with sea

Ancient city of Ephesus to reunite with sea

Ancient city of Ephesus to reunite with sea

It has been reported that major progress has been made in the first phase of the Ephesus Ancient Canal Project that will bring the ancient city in the western province of İzmir’s Selçuk district together with the sea again after 2,500 years.

Some 60 percent of the piling works in the construction have been completed as the first phase includes a 600-meter-long channel and a 100-meter-wide and 250-meter-long marina that will provide short-term accommodation for boats in the area.

Within the scope of the first phase of the project, the entrance of the ancient canal will be rearranged and the marina will be built in accordance with the historical texture.

The ancient city of Ephesus and harbor were located at the starting point of the royal road where western and eastern cultures intersected for thousands of years. However, in 2,500 years, due to the alluvium brought by Little Maeander and Marnas watercourse, the ancient city moved 9 kilometers away from the sea and took its present form.

A project official, Birol Çınar, said that the first phase of the Ephesus Ancient Canal Project covers the line on the Kuşadası-İzmir highway from the coast.

As the covering process of the marina’s walls and its surroundings with marbles suitable for the historical texture still continue, in the second phase, the area from the İzmir-Kuşadası highway to the Ephesus Port will be cleaned and reorganized in accordance with the historical texture, and the boats will be brought to the ancient city, according to Çınar.

With the project, which is expected to make a great contribution to the country’s tourism, it will be possible to travel to Ephesus on boats once again after 2,500 years.

The goal is to increase the number of tourists coming to Ephesus every year and make it one of the most important destinations in Türkiye. The project will be completed by the end of 2022.

Previously an ancient Greek city and later a major Roman settlement, Ephesus boasts a rich cultural heritage dating back to the first people to call it home in 6500 B.C.

Apart from the ancient city of Ephesus, the Ephesus archaeological site contains the Celsus library, the fabled House of the Virgin Mary, the Church of St. John the Evangelist, and the prehistoric Çukuriçi mound.

The Ayasuluk Hill is known as the first place Ephesus was established before moving to its current location. It is home to important structures of both Christianity and the Turkish-Islamic era.

Considered one of Christianity’s holiest sites, the House of the Virgin Mary merited a trio of papal visits: Pope Paul VI visited the shrine in 1967, Pope John Paul II in 1979, and Pope Benedict XVI in 2006.

The House of the Virgin Mary is a Catholic and Muslim shrine located in Bülbüldağı, near Ephesus, 7 kilometers from Selçuk.

The ancient city was famed for the Temple of Artemis (completed around 550 B.C.), one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. The town was partially destroyed by an earthquake in 614 A.D. The city’s importance as a commercial center declined as the harbor was slowly silted up by the Cayster River (Küçük Menderes).

Ephesus, which is today a UNESCO World Heritage Site, was also the site of several fifth-century Christian councils.

Today’s archaeological site lies 3 kilometers southwest of Selçuk. The ruins of Ephesus are a favorite international and local tourist attraction, partly owing to their easy access from Adnan Menderes Airport and via the Aegean coast of Kuşadası’s port.