A visit to Ephesus once the commercial center of the ancient world is a highlight of any visit to Turkey. The city, whose wealth and patronage supported its splendid architectural program, was dedicated to the goddess Artemis. Her enormous temple, once considered one of the seven wonders of the Ancient World and rebuilt several times, dates in its latest form from the third century B.C.
The ruins also include a theater, gymnasium, agora and baths, as well as the Library of Celsus. It is recorded that St. John brought the Virgin Mary to Ephesus after the death of Jesus Christ and that she spent her last days in a small house built for her on Bulbuldagi (Mt. Koressos). Now a popular place of pilgrimage for Christians and Muslims the house has received the official sanction of the Vatican and Christians observe a commemoration ceremony every year on August 15th.