Find Your Way To Coastal Kuşadası With ShoreTrips | TravelResearchOnline


Find Your Way To Coastal Kuşadası With ShoreTrips

Turkey’s busiest port city, Kuşadası grew from an ancient stronghold of art and culture to the bustling resort town it is today. The city’s name comes from the Turkish terminology for “Bird Island”— “kuş” meaning “bird” and “ada” meaning “island.” Part of the coastal town’s infamy comes from the Catholic belief that St. John and the mother of Jesus, the Virgin Mary, both settled here.

60-Second Geography

Kuşadası, Turkey




  •  Kuşadası outside of tourist season is tranquil and quiet, with around 50,000 permanent residents who call the city home. During peak tourist seasons, however, the total number of residents, hospitality staff, and guests swell those numbers up to almost half of a million people swarming the beaches and hotels in this Turkish resort town.
  • Originally used as a roadside inn for travelers in the 17th century called a “caravanserai,” the Öküz Mehmed Pasha Caravanserai is almost 400 years old. Commissioned by Öküz Mehmed Pasha, the Governor and Grand Vizier of Ottoman Egypt, the fortress also served as a customshouse, holding the goods brought by ships in the harbor. After renovation from 1954 to 1966, the fortress today serves a very similar purpose from its heyday, as a hotel. The hotel spotlights 25 double bed rooms, one suite room, and an open-air restaurant that can seat 350 guests comfortably.
  • Ephesus was once part of Aegean Turkey, under the rule of Hellenistic Greece before the Romans conquered the territory. Augustus made the city one of the centers of the ancient world by naming it the capital of Asia Minor, drawing in over 250,000 immigrants, merchants, and nobles. The city holds a special significance for Christians, as home to both St. Paul and St. John, the latter of whom Catholics believed settled with the mother of Jesus, Mary, and wrote his gospel in the city. The third largest library of the ancient world, after the libraries at Alexandria and Pergamon, still resides here as a stunning piece of ancient architecture. Ephesus today is the largest archaeological excavated site in the world.
  • The Library of Celsus is a testament to one of the earliest men in antiquity to break cultural barriers between the Greeks and the Romans. Senator Tiberius Julius Celsus Polemaenus was a popular and wealthy local citizen, a Greek by birth who lived in a Roman settlement in what is modern-day Turkey. Celsus was a Roman consul and the governor of Asia; however, he paid for construction of the library from his own personal wealth. Construction took three years, and the debris that remains intact is considered some of the last surviving examples of Roman libraries. Sadly, much of the interior and books that the Library housed were lost in a fire due to a great earthquake in 262 C.E. The outer façade eventually caved as well to another earthquake in the tenth or eleventh centuries. Celsus is still in the library, entombed in a highly decorated lead sarcophagus under the ground floor. What is left of the library today can attest to the wonder of ancient architecture, from eroded statues of the gods to speckled cream and grey marble columns. Lovers of antiquated architecture and artifacts will all rejoice at these magnificent ruins.
  • The Basilica of St. John is positioned over the believed burial site of the saint, commissioned by Byzantine emperor Justinian I. St. John authored the 4th Gospel and the Book of Revelation, and often known as “The Theologian”. During a time when Christian persecution was at its highest, John brought the Virgin Mary to Ephesus and continued his teachings in the tradition of St. Paul. After the decline of Ephesus and multiple raids by the Arab people, the Basilica fell into disrepair and ruin. The building was converted into a mosque in the 14th century, but then was decimated by invading forces at the beginning of the 15th century, leaving it irreparable. The Basilica is partially renovated, with some walls and the foundation reconstructed, and continuing archaeological excavations consistently reveal more and more areas previously unknown, including a chapel and central pool.
  • One of the original Seven Wonders of the Ancient World, the Temple of Artemis was so significant to the ancient Greeks and Romans that the temple underwent three separate renovations before its destruction at the beginning of the 5th century. After its decline, archaeologists rediscovered the temple in 1869 in an expedition sponsored by the British Museum and led by John Turtle Wood. The most intact architectural features are on display at the British Museum in London, but much remains at the site of the original temple in Ephesus. The site is open to visitors, an empty field with a lone reconstructed column to signify the former glory of the temple, which sported 127 columns.
  • Discovered in the 19th century, the House of the Virgin Mary is believed by Christians and Muslims alike to be the former home of the Virgin Mary. The visions of an ailing German nun, Anna Katherina Emmerich, described Mary’s last days and motivated Clemens Brentano to record her visions and eventually publish them into a book. The home, built entirely of stone in the Roman architectural style, is believed to have been built by the Apostle John for Mary to live her last days in the town of Ephesus. The locals converted the home into a chapel, and today is revered as a holy site where pilgrims come to ask for blessings from Mary. Water fountains are positioned on the outside of the right bedroom that is believed to be Mary’s, and the fountains are said to be connected to water that flowed through Mary’s room and possess healing properties.

Explore Beautiful Kuşadası With ShoreTrips!

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Discovery Of Christian Ephesus

See the sights of Christian importance in and around the magnificent archaeological site of Ephesus. You’ll visit the Basilica of St. John and see the Temple of Artemis, one of the Seven Wonders of the ancient world, which Alexander the Great visited while it was being constructed in 335 B.C.

Discover Turkey Package-Kuşadası & Istanbul

Your first stop on this fascinating tour is the House of Virgin Mary, a Christian shrine in the vicinity of Ephesus. Now continue on to the ancient city of Ephesus, one of the most magnificent and best-preserved sites of Roman history in the world. Tour the ancient town, visiting the Fountain of Trajan, Temple of Hadrian, Celsus Library, the Marble Road, and the Roman theater that is mentioned in the Acts of Apostles.

House Of The Virgin Mary And Ephesus

Escape the crowded, big bus tours by purchasing a seat in a comfortable luxury van. Upon your return to Kuşadası, you will have the opportunity to go bargain hunting for handmade souvenirs and leather products in the market area.

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