We will have Rooftop Sunset Gala Dinner in our Hotel with an incredible seaview on 06.08.2019, please purchase your tickets for 50 Euro on registration system.
We will visit Ephesus and House of Virgin Mary on 09.08.2019 and have an amazing local dinner. Please purchase your tickets for 50 Euro on registration system.
Kuşadası is county of Aydın City and is situated 71 km northwest of Aydın and 95 km from Izmir City centres respectively. Kuşadası, located on the Aegean shore, is one of the prominent tourism spots of Turkey. The surface area of Kuşadası is 264 km² and the registered population is around 104.000 people, according to census records carried out in 2016. It is presumed that the first establishment was on the “Yılancı Cape” near Kuşadası by “Ionians” under the name of “Neopolis” and was under the ruling of Ephesus. The city was founded on the skirts of “Pilavtepe” known as “Andızkulesi” initially. This Byzantium shore was dominated by the Venetians and Genoese for a short period of time and due to the city access difficulties Kuşadası was moved from its existing location of Andızkulesi to its current location of “Yeni İskele” (Scala Nuova). Kuşadası Bay was named after the city and its periphery were known as art and culture centres. This territory has been home to multiple civilizations since its establishment in the ancient times. Whereas “Lelegs” were ruling the area around 30000 B.C., Aiols and Ions ruled around 11th Century B.C. and 9th Century B.C., respectively. The area between Greater Menderes and Gediz Rivers was referred to as ‘Ionia’ in the ancient times. Merchant and sailor Ions prospered in short period of time owing to overseas commercial activities and gained superior political strength due to this. This civilization also established 12 cities known as “Ionian Colonies” in the history. Kuşadası was one of the important harbours of Anatolia as a gate to Mediterranean and was called “Neopolis” in the antique period. Around 7th Century B.C., Lydian, with its capital city of Sardes, began dominating the region.
Persian ruling of the area starting from 546 B.C. prevailed until 334 B.C when “Alexander the Great” captured Anatolia. Thereafter, a brand-new era, a brand-new art and culture understanding as a synthesis of both Helen and domestic Anatolian civilizations dominated the territory and was called “Hellenistic Period” era. Ephesus, Miletus, Prynne and Didyma were the most popular cities of this period.
This followed the Romans conquering the region in the 2nd Century B.C and in the preliminary period of Christianity, with the arrival of Virgin Mary and one of the 12 apostles St. Jean this location became known as a sacred place of worship. Miletus was centre of episcopalism in the Christianity period and it was called “Ania” in the Byzantium period. Kuşadası became a harbour used by pirates in the medieval age. Then around 15thCentury, Venetians and Genoese named the port as “Scala Nuova”.
In 1086, Suleiman Shah I conquered the region for the Seljuk State starting the Turkish dominance. The port became an export gate to Aegean Sea through caravan connections deep into the Anatolia. However, Seljuk dominance did not last long due to the 1st Crusader Campaign and the region was captured by Byzantium once again. Menteşoğulları was controlling the region by the end of 1280s until its capture by the Ottomans around 1397-1402. This was followed by ruling of Aydınoğulları in the period of 1402-1425 up until Ottomans’ permanent dominance over the region in 1425.
Kuşadası was captured by Ottoman Sultan Mehmet I (Çelebi) in 1413. After this period, the area remained in Turkish ruling completely and Turkish monumental buildings started to fill the city. One of these monumental structures is what is known as Caravanserai of today and the fortification walls surrounding the city built by Mehmet Pasha in 1618. In its ancient time, Kuşadası had three gates giving access to the city. Today, only one of these gates exists and is located between Barbaros Hayrettin Pasha Street and Kahramanlar Street separating them from each other. Upper section of this gate is used as City Traffic District Commandership.
Isle of Küçükada and Güvencinada, an important military base in the Byzantium period, was renovated extensively in 1834 and its famous fortress was built constituting the origin of the name of “Kuşadası” city. During the Independence War, Kuşadası was invaded by Italians in the period of 1919-1921; then upon their retreat, occupied by Greece. Finally, it was cleared from all enemy invasion on September 7th, 1922, the date which has been declared Kuşadası Independence Day.
Foundation of Ephesus antique city, located in Selçuk district of İzmir City, goes back to 6000 B.C. Based on recent studies and excavations pre historical settlements and bronze age and Hittite settlements were determined to have resided in this area and the nearby Ayasuluk Hill where the castle can still be seen today.
The city was called Apasas during the Hittite period. Immigrants from Greece arrived and settled into the port city of Ephesus around 1050 B.C. and moved to Artemis Temple proximity in 560 B.C. Today’s Ephesus City was established by Lysimakhos,, one of the commanders of Alexander the Great, around 300 B.C. Ephesus experienced its most prosperous and magnificent times in Hellenistic and Roman periods as a capital of Asia state and as the largest harbour city and had a population of about 200,000 people. Ephesus relocated once more in the Byzantium period and moved to the Ayasuluk Hill in Selçuk District where it was initially established.
What are the most significant characteristics of Ephesus City?
As an important gate between east and west, Ephesus was primary harbour city. Such position enabled this city to become the most important political and commercial centre of its era; and made it capital of the Asia state in Roman period though this was not the sole reason which made Ephesus so important. The largest temple of the Artemis culture based on the mother-goddess Kybele tradition of Anatolia was located in Ephesus as well. Artemis Temple in Ephesus is considered as one of the Seven Wonders of the World. Ayasuluk was conquered by Turks in 1330 and became the capital of Aydınoğulları State. This district steadily became smaller after 16th Century and was renamed Selçuk after Turkish Republic announcement in 1923. Today Selçuk is a tourism town with a population of 30,000 people. Ephesus, one of the most significant places of the antique world, has played a major role in civilization, science, culture and art fields in its history dating back to 4000 B.C. Since Ephesus has re-located along its history multiple times, its ruins are scattered across a large area. Various excavation and restoration activities has been implemented on these ruins which is distributed across an area of approximately 8 km² and the following sections has been opened to visitors;
1- Ayasuluk Hill (the earliest settlement location dated 3000 B.C. from Byzantium period; St.Jean Church of significant importance to Christians),
2- Artemision (an important religious centre from 9th-4th Centuries; hosts Artemis Temple, one of the seven wonders of the world)
3- Ephesus (settlement of Archaic-Classical-Hellenistic-Roman and Byzantium Period),
4- Selçuk (important settlement in periods of Seljukian and Ottoman and today’s prominent tourism county) and Ephesus, significant civilization centre in the antique age welcome about 1.5 million visitor annually.
The preliminary archaeological excavations in Ephesus were commenced by J.T. Wood on behalf of the British Museum in 1869. Wood’s srch to find the famous Artemis Temple were continued by D.G. Hogarth afterwards in 1904. Austrian excavations, continued to date, were initiated by Otto Benndorf in 1895. Studies of the Austrian Archaeology Institute interrupted during the 1st and 2nd World Wars were continued after 1954 without any interference. In addition to studies of the Austrian Archaeology Institute, Ephesus Museum has been maintaining excavations, restorations and organizations since 1954 on behalf of the Ministry of Culture and Tourism.
HOUSE OF VIRGIN MARY
The first modern history related to Virgin Mary begins in the first half of XIX in German coast of Rheine. Anna Kathrina Emmerick of Dülmen was a lady who been bedridden due to an incurable for 12 years and who lived in a small town of Westphalia (1174-1824). Anna was in constant pain and only found relief with the visions she had of Jesus Christ and Virgin Mary. As these envisions continued and she began talking about people, places and events which she could never possibly have known in such great detail her talks began to attract the attention of the public and some intellectuals and evoked admiration among people. One of these people, Clemens Brentano who was poet from the German romantic stream came and settled in Dülmen as a ‘secretary’ of Emmerick in 1818.
Emmerick kept a detailed record of all what Anna talked about including what she told of Jesus Christ and Virgin Mary. While he was reviewing the collected material one day Brentano decided to publish them and wrote a book under title of “Dolorous Passion of Our Lords Jesus Christ” in 1895. A second book, “The Life of the Blessed Virgin Mary Based on Visions of Anna Katharina Emmerick” was also published after his death.
In a section before the final chapter of this book it is stated that ‘after Jesus Christ rose up above, Virgin Mary stayed three years in Sion (Jerusalem), three years in Beytanya and nine years in Ephesus’. St.Jean brought her here after Jews left Lazarus and his sister alone in the sea. Virgin Mary did not live in Ephesus exactly but in proximity of the town where some of her friends were living. Her house was on top of a mountain, on the left side of the road coming from Jerusalem, 3.5 miles away from Ephesus. The top of this mountain covered with wild vegetation was reached via narrow pathways from the south section of Ephesus. There was rippled flatland of half-a-mile width toward the zenith of the mountain which was covered with vegetation as well. The house of Virgin Mary was built precisely on this very specific spot. This area was rather isolated but ornamented with nice fruitful hills, fertile land, in pretty settings, where there were caves among narrow earth gaps; regular but virgin hills in pyramid shapes housing shadowy sparse trees with straight trunks.
St.Jean built a house for Virgin Mary when he took her there. There were some Christian families and religious women living in the area. Half of these lived in caves transformed into houses by means of wooden structures and the other half was living in tents.
These people retreated up above the mountain before the great oppression and massacre and resided in caves with couple of hundred-meter distance among them or used natural cavitation as shelters. Only Virgin Mary’s house was made from stone. The goat path at the back of her house led up to the mountain. It was possible to view Ephesus and Aegean Sea embellished with isles from the rocky zenith. This lonely place was closer than Ephesus which was a couple of miles away.
The visit to Virgin Mary ends with the three fountains located at the bottom the stairs on the right side of the church exit.
There is a small shop selling souvenirs at the bottom of the stairs also. The house of Virgin Mary, its surroundings and this small shop is the property of the Virgin Mary’s Association, founded jointly by the Muslims and Christians. The association tries to meet the needs of this place by making use of the income from the donations and the shop in question.
Water flowing from the fountains and the wells by the church are potable. Visitors do not only drink from these wells but they also take it away with them by the bottles in the firm belief that they contain healing qualities.
The symbolic qualities such as love-health-richness or intelligence-wisdom-success attributed to these three fountains are myths told by the guides to entertain the tourists.. Another recurring behavior is the attachments of ribbons, cloths, pieces of strings to the vine or tree branches around the fountains for devotional vows, wishes and prayers. But, unfortunately, this behavior is also contrary to the environment and the ecological balance.