Incredible Turkey … the land at the middle between East and West cultures. Just one lonely column (topped by a stork’s nest) is all that remains of the Temple of Artemis, once one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. Excavations carried out by archaeologist JT Wood here showed that the site was originally occupied by a stone platform on which the cult image of the goddess stood, while underneath were rooms where votive offerings were presented. The renowned gigantic marble temple of Seven Wonders fame was built in the 6th century BC and boasted a staggering 127 columns. Although destroyed by fire and other disasters across the centuries, it was twice restored and rebuilt before finally falling into a state of complete dilapidation in the Byzantine era, when its stones began being used as a quarry for building material, including for Constantinople’s Hagia Sophia (now the Aya Sofya), where some of its columns and marble slabs can still be seen.
At 14 kilometers (9 miles), Patara is one of the longest stretches of sandy beach found anywhere in the Mediterranean. The beach is backed only by ancient Lycian and Roman ruins and swooping dunes with no buildings visible except of a small cafe. Patara Beach is also the breeding ground of the endangered Loggerhead turtle. The nearby village of Patara was the birthplace of St Nicholas, the 4th-century Byzantine bishop who later passed into legend as Santa Claus.
With its stunning, lonely setting, built into a cliff face, Sumela Monastery (Monastery of the Virgin Mary) is the star attraction for visitors along the Black Sea Coast. Wandering around this abandoned religious complex, with its church interiors crammed with dazzling and vibrant frescoes, is a must for anyone who makes the long journey to Turkey’s northeast region. The monastery first opened during the Byzantine era and was only closed in 1923. Today, wandering its empty cells, it’s easy to imagine the isolated lives of the monks who once lived here.
An imposing tourist attraction in one of Turkey’s most popular resorts, Bodrum Castle has provided many a visitor with an afternoon of exploration when a break from the sun lounger is required. This impressive 15th century citadel was originally built by Christian knights. Today, Bodrum Castle is open to the public and houses the world renowned Museum of Underwater Archaeology founded in 1962.
Most Ephesus excursions will take you The Isa Bey Mosque, constructed by the locals in the 14th century has a spectacular marble portal which your Ephesus tour guide will be happy to show you. Also, a visit to the Basilica of St John is a must along with a walk around the Ephesus Archaeological Museum where you will see unique works of art including the Statue of Artemis. Ephesus Kusadasi Turkey Tours are very popular as you get to see the lovely coastal town of Kusadasi while enjoying your Ephesus day tour. Marble street is a great place to take some pictures as the view looking down on Ephesus is spectacular. Extra details about Ephesus private tours.
One of the most important museums in Turkey, the Istanbul Archaeological Museum is actually three museums: the Archaeological Museum, the Ancient Orient Museum and the Tiled Kiosk Museum. The three museums combined contain more than 1 million objects from civilizations around the world. Founded in 1891, it was the first Turkish museum, and was located on the Topkapi Palace grounds. The Tiled Kiosk dates back to 1472. The museums contain thousands of precious artifacts, including the sarcophagus of Alexander the Great.