Tracy’s Travels in Ephesus


Enjoy this photo gallery of my travels in Ephesus, researching for So Shines the Night. You'll get a feel for the streets, agora and shops where Daria and Lucas's story unfolds.
Tracy’s Travels in Ephesus
Ephesus, Turkey

Main Street


We begin at the upper part of the city. From here, I am looking down one of the main streets, known in ancient times as the Embolos (or "wedge") because of the way it cut across the city. [You will often see this street referred to as "Curetes Street" - the name given to it later by archaeologists, named for the priests, or curetes, who used the street as a Processional Way to the Temple of Artemis.]
Main Street
Ephesus, Turkey

Terracotta piping


Ancient plumbing! This is a stack of terracotta pipes found in the city, how they got their water from aqueducts through to fountains and houses. The pipes are stacked in the state agora, at the top of the city
Terracotta piping
Ephesus, Turkey

Ichthys


Very cool! One of many such stones unearthed in Ephesus with the Christian symbol. The letters are the Greek letters for "fish" but also form an acronym for "Jesus Christ, God's Son, Savior." The wheel is formed by placing all the Greek letters on top of each other. These symbols were used to mark Christian meeting places and as a "signal" to fellow believers during times of persecution.
Ichthys
Ephesus, Turkey

Exploring


Passageway behind the official meeting house at the top of the city
Exploring
Ephesus, Turkey

State Meeting House


The official political meeting house of the city, known as the Odeon. It would have had a roof in ancient times. In So Shines the Night, this is the setting of the trial.
State Meeting House
Ephesus, Turkey

Heading down


Still at the top of the city, outside the meeting house, and heading down toward the center of the city.
Heading down
Ephesus, Turkey

Fun discovery


I've used (and loved) the Zondervan Archaeological Bible for years. It was fun to realize that this was the spot where the front cover's picture was taken (see the next picture), and to put myself in it!
Fun discovery
Ephesus, Turkey

Same shot, without me!


Here's the cover of the Archaeological Bible. By the way, I highly recommend this Bible for history-lovers!
Same shot, without me!
Ephesus, Turkey

State Agora


Looking across the State Agora to the hills beyond.
State Agora
Ephesus, Turkey

Covered Colonnade


We are still headed down the Embolos, walking on what would have been a roofed colonnade running like a sidewalk down the street. To our left would have been all the shops, and the columns mark the start of the public street.
Covered Colonnade
Ephesus, Turkey

Street side shops


More street-side shops, on the other side now. You can see the city is very crowded today! Even though the crowds were daunting at times, I liked the realistic feeling it gave me, being in a city that seemed alive. I could easily imagine the crowds traveling back and forth to the Temple!
Street side shops
Ephesus, Turkey

Hanging out


Just a silly photo for all you cat lovers.  There are always stray cats in these ancient ruins (and sometimes dogs). This one is hanging out on a column at the edge of the sidewalk shops.
Hanging out
Ephesus, Turkey

Getting closer to the Terrace Houses


We're still descending the Embolos, and in the distance you can see the roofs that have been erected to protect the active digsite on this hillside. The first time I visited Ephesus (in 2007), you couldn't get a glimpse of what was going on in there. I was thrilled to hear on this visit that for an extra fee, we could get inside! These are the hillside estates on which I based the plan of Lucas's house.
Getting closer to the Terrace Houses
Ephesus, Turkey

Mosaic sidewalk


Beautiful mosaic sidewalk, still so intact after nearly 2000 years! This sidewalk is along the Embolos, closer to the Terrace Houses.
Mosaic sidewalk
Ephesus, Turkey

Peeking into a shop


Just a little glimpse into a street-side shop. You can see the mosaic walk in the front.
Peeking into a shop
Ephesus, Turkey

Temple of Hadrian


The arch you see in this picture is the front of the Temple of Hadrian, built around 130 AD and dedicated to the Emperor Hadrian. Since this time period was after the setting of So Shines the Night, you won't find this temple in the book, but it's a beautiful structure.
Temple of Hadrian
Ephesus, Turkey

Temple again


Another view of the Temple of Hadrian.
Temple again
Ephesus, Turkey

Wheel rut


Every time I'm in an ancient city, I'm always fascinated by these chariot wheel ruts in the streets. I don't know why. For some reason, they make the people who lived here so real to me!
Wheel rut
Ephesus, Turkey

The Latrine


Just too fascinating to skip!  The public latrine, where men lined up when nature called. Piping runs underneath the "seats" to carry away the sewage.
The Latrine
Ephesus, Turkey

Bathroom Reading


I know, but I just couldn't resist.
Bathroom Reading
Ephesus, Turkey

Library of Celsus


The first good shot of the Library of Celsus at the bottom of the Embolos. Again, this structure had not been built yet when So Shines the Night takes place. But it's one of the most recognizable ruins of the ancient world.
Library of Celsus
Ephesus, Turkey

Heading into the Terrace Houses


We're in the roofed digsite now, ready to see what Lucas's house would have looked like!
Heading into the Terrace Houses
Ephesus, Turkey

Terrace Houses


It's unbelievable, how much they've uncovered on this hillside. Below me is just a glimpse of the walls and floors and other structures.  These houses were built as adjoining, with the terrace of one sometimes forming the roof of another down the hillside.
Terrace Houses
Ephesus, Turkey

Terrace Houses


You can get an idea of the size of these houses by the columns that would have been inside.
Terrace Houses
Ephesus, Turkey

Looking for a job?


Check out all the fragments of finds, being sorted in this digsite!
Looking for a job?
Ephesus, Turkey

Frescoes in upper level


These frescoes would have been located on the second floor of one of the houses.
Frescoes in upper level
Ephesus, Turkey

More Terrace Houses


More of the Terrace Houses behind me
More Terrace Houses
Ephesus, Turkey

Beautiful frescoes


Ancient wallpaper. These folks loved their painted walls!
Beautiful frescoes
Ephesus, Turkey

Mosaic floor


Intact mosaic floor. Lovely.
Mosaic floor
Ephesus, Turkey

Hard at work


There was lots of restoration going on, besides the archaeological work.
Hard at work
Ephesus, Turkey

Lucas’s sitting room?


This small room could have been something like Lucas's private sitting room.
Lucas’s sitting room?
Ephesus, Turkey

From a second floor


Can you picture Lucas's courtyard below?
From a second floor
Ephesus, Turkey

The Marble Way


Outside the Terrace Houses, looking down through the other side of the city now, toward the amphitheater in the distance.
The Marble Way
Ephesus, Turkey

More mosaics


I just love these houses!
More mosaics
Ephesus, Turkey

The famous Library of Celsus


This structure was built in 135 AD in honor of a Roman Senator Celsus. It was built to hold 12,000 scrolls and to be Celsus's tomb.
The famous Library of Celsus
Ephesus, Turkey

Photo opp


My husband and myself in front of the Library
Photo opp
Ephesus, Turkey

One more


It's just too perfect a spot, we keep taking pictures!
One more
Ephesus, Turkey

City arch


On the move through the city again.
City arch
Ephesus, Turkey

The Gate of Mazeus and Mythridates


These are the gates outside the commercial (harbor) agora, where Daria asks directions of the old men sitting there.
The Gate of Mazeus and Mythridates
Ephesus, Turkey

Sitting in the gate


Sitting in the gate myself.
Sitting in the gate
Ephesus, Turkey

Library


Standing alongside the gates, one last shot.
Library
Ephesus, Turkey

Arch


Upper shot of the arch of one of the gates. I love photos like these.
Arch
Ephesus, Turkey

The harbor agora


Looking back on the gates in the distance, this is what is left of the harbor agora.  Can you spot anything fun in this picture? (hint: it's sitting at the base of one of the columns)
The harbor agora
Ephesus, Turkey

First look


First look at the famed amphitheater, rising up the hillside at the back of this shot.
First look
Ephesus, Turkey

Square outside the theater


This paved area just outside the steps into the theater was the setting in So Shines the Night of the scroll-burning.
Square outside the theater
Ephesus, Turkey

From the theater


Standing in front of the theater, you can gaze down the Agora Street toward the Terrace Houses at the end of the street.
From the theater
Ephesus, Turkey

Looking down the Harbor Street


From the theater steps again, looking down the Harbor Street this time. There would have been shops on either side, the harbor agora to the left, and at the end of the street, the harbor itself.  Somewhere along this street was the prison where Paul was kept several times. In ancient times the Cayser River brought so much silt to the harbor that it became defunct, and people left the city.
Looking down the Harbor Street
Ephesus, Turkey

Inside the theater


At last, we've made our way into the famous theater and climbed to the highest leve open (though there are higher levels fenced off). Here is where the townspeople nearly started a riot, shouting "Great is Artemis of the Ephesians" while Paul's friends kept him outside, fearing for his life. So amazing to be sitting in the very place where it happened, knowing I'm walking the same streets as Paul did.
Inside the theater
Ephesus, Turkey

In the audience


Sitting in the theater. Loving it!
In the audience
Ephesus, Turkey

Theater


The base of  theater, which would have been used for musical performances and dramatic events. Behind the semi-circular stage you'll see a series of columns. These would have been part of the two-story facade that was used as a backdrop.
Theater
Ephesus, Turkey

This place is huge!


From this perspective it's easier to see just how vast this theater is.  It would have seated over 20,000 people.
This place is huge!
Ephesus, Turkey

From the theater steps


Looking down the Harbor Street ahead, the Agora Street to the left, and the square in front where the scene of the scroll-burning takes place.
From the theater steps
Ephesus, Turkey

Theater tunnel


One of the underground tunnels beneath the theater, where scenes from the ending of So Shines the Night.
Theater tunnel
Ephesus, Turkey

Theater entrance


Entrance into the theater at one level (with the cat!), and to the right, the doorway into the lower levels beneath the theater, where scenes at the end of So Shines the Night take place.
Theater entrance
Ephesus, Turkey

Outside of the Theater


If Daria could do it, why can't I?! This is the outer wall of the theater, across from the agora.  The two-story theater backdrop facade would have risen above this wall.
Outside of the Theater
Ephesus, Turkey

Romans?


Some sort of exhibition, I think it was supposed to be Cleopatra and Mark Antony. They are heading off into the hills, I guess!
Romans?
Ephesus, Turkey

Theater from the lower end of the city


Moving out of the lower part of the city, here's a shot of the theater. You can see why it would have been the center of city life!
Theater from the lower end of the city
Ephesus, Turkey

Going exploring


We walk out of the lower end of the city, and I know from my last visit that the Temple of Artemis should be near enough to walk to. But during my last visit, I took a cab from the upper end of the city. Since I don't have the best sense of direction, it was brave of my husband to trust me to lead him there!
Going exploring
Ephesus, Turkey

Temple column


We found it!  This is all that's left of the Temple of Artemis, besides some scattered stones.
Temple column
Ephesus, Turkey

Temple stones


The temple location was huge, and here are some scattered stones that are left. Most of the stones were taken and used in other nearby structures during the Middle Ages.
Temple stones
Ephesus, Turkey

Interesting


All the action in Acts 19 started with the Silversmith Guild getting angry over the damage done by Paul to their business, since the sales of their shrines of Artemis were declining in the wake of the gospel.  Here is all that is left of their business. A small table with a few figurines of Artemis.
Interesting
Ephesus, Turkey

Kusadasi


The city of Ephesus is reached from the port of Kusadasi. Here's a little bazaar in the port.
Kusadasi
Ephesus, Turkey

Relaxing in port


Looking out over the sea after a lovely day.
Relaxing in port
Ephesus, Turkey

The end of a great day


Back in port, ready to board our great big boat!
The end of a great day
Ephesus, Turkey

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Readers’ Comments
Ephesus, Turkey
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