It's a total day at sea today, we left Italy yesterday, boarded our ship & now we are headed to Turkey.
We docked in Izmir, Turkey today & boarded a tour bus. At first I wasn't that excited about seeing Turkey but when I found out about some of the attractions & religious aspects I decided to go. Shirley stayed on the ship today.
The final home of Virgin Mary is in Turkey. According to predominant Christian tradition, Mary was brought to Ephesus by the Apostle John after the Resurrection of Christ and lived out her days there. This is based mainly on the traditional belief that John came to Ephesus (see St John's Basilica) combined with the biblical statement that Jesus consigned her to John's care (John 19:26-27).
Archaeologists who have examined the building identified as the House of the Virgin believe most of the building dates from the 6th or 7th century. But its foundations are much older and may well date from the 1st century AD, the time of Mary. This site had long been a place of pilgrimage for local Orthodox Christians. (more here)
My cousin Kathy who recently passed away had always wanted to travel to Italy. I brought her memorial card with photo along on my trip to sort of take her on the trip with me & decided to leave the card/photo tucked in the wishing wall.
Then we headed down a long marble path to see Ephesus. The ancient city of Ephesus (Turkish: Efes), located near the Aegean Sea in modern day Turkey, was one of the great cities of the Greeks in Asia Minor and home to the Temple of Artemis, one of the Seven Wonders of the World. Today, the ruins of Ephesus are a major tourist attraction, especially for travelers on Mediterranean cruises. Ephesus is also a sacred site for Christians due to its association with several biblical figures, including St. Paul, St. John the Evangelist and the Virgin Mary. (more here)
It's such an amazing feeling coming from a young country like America & actually touching & seeing such ancient places. We get excited about finding an antique 100 yrs old but in Europe there are findings that are dated B.C.! It will take them forever to reconstruct some of these buildings.
The pillar below had the Caduceus chiseled into it. The medical insignia.
Isn't this angel beautiful. She is the Winged Angel of Victory at Hercules Gate.
Here is our friend Anne in front of me walking down the marble pathway. Supposedly this path went all the way down to the ocean but the ocean has since receded quite a bit since those days.
Guess what this is? It is just what it looks like. An outdoor group potty : ) There is a canal that runs under it. Ewwww! It is next to the local brothel! In the marble right outside there is some type of signal carved into it to tell the location acording to legend.
Here is another version: Graffiti in the Marble street (a gift by a man named Eutropius in de fifth century). It sometimes said that the three signs mean that when you walk along, you will meet a woman who will give you her heart. Indeed, there is a brothel in the neighborhood. However, the ancients did not depict a heart like we do, and the woman has the crown of the goddesses Cybele and Tyche. The sign must have a religious significance.
Wow! Look at this building.
Finally St. John's Basicilla
St. John's burial place is here. The history can be found here .
Baptisms for adults were done here