Kusadasi in Turkey is the gateway to one of the most legendary cities of the ancient world: Ephesus. St. Paul preached in its Great Theater, while the facade of the Celsus Library survives as a testament to the city’s role as a center of learning and culture.
Not far from Ephesus, the Temple of Artemis (also known as the Temple of Diana), one of the Seven Wonders of the ancient world, once stood, drawing pilgrims from around the Mediterranean. While it no longer stands, it is possible to walk amongst its foundations and the remains of its towering columns.
Other historic sites can also be found nearby: The House of Mary is believed to be the home of Jesus’s mother at the end of her life, and the Basilica of St. John, constructed in the 6th century, marks the location of his tomb. (Like Mary, he spent his final years in Ephesus.) Nearby, the Selcuk fortress reflects the period of Byzantine and Ottoman control of the region.
From ancient wonders to holy sites, there are few ports in the Mediterranean as magical as Kusadasi, and a day here is a day spent in the company of some of antiquity's greatest figures.