Private History and Religion of Roman Ephesus

Private History and Religion of Roman Ephesus Tour from Izmir (Basilica of St. John)
From $140.00/person to $421.00/person (Select "Individuals" below) Price varies based on number of individuals in your group
Choose Options My Cruise Itinerary
Shore Excursion Size ? Private
Shore Excursion Type Cultural, Scenic
Shore Excursion Duration 8 Hours
Activity Level ? Moderate
Shore Excursion Leaves From ? Cruise Ship Pier
Food/Beverage Provided Lunch
Recommended Dress As you will be visiting a religious or memorial site, shoulders and knees should be covered. Sensible flat-soled walking shoes, sun glasses and sunscreen are recommended.
Restrictions Guests must be able to walk over uneven paved, as well as cobblestone surfaces. There are several uneven steps along the way. Tour starts at the upper part of the city and ends at the lower gate.

Private History and Religion of Roman Ephesus

Roman Catholic tradition states that St. John and the Virgin Mary moved to Ephesus, where they eventually died, though there is an alternative tradition that holds Mary's death to be in Jerusalem, where her tomb is, a tradition held to be true by Orthodox Christians. This private Ephesus, Turkey tour will visit Ephesus, the House of the Virgin Mary and the Basilica of St. John.

With your professionally trained guide, you will first visit the House of Virgin Mary. It is known with certainty that the Virgin Mary went to Ephesus and lived there for some time. Whether or not she died in Ephesus was not known until Anne Catherine Emeriti's 1884 vision. The stigmatized German nun, who had never been to Ephesus, had a vision of the House of the Virgin Mary and described it in detail to the German writer Clemens Brentano, who later published a book about it. In 1891 Paul, Superior of the Lazarus from Izmir, read about her vision and found a little building that corresponded with Emeriti's descriptions. Archeological evidence showed the foundation to be from the 1st Century A.D., but the little house itself was from the 6th Century A.D. The site has officially declared a shrine of the Roman Catholic Church in 1896, and since then it has become a popular place of pilgrimage.

From the house, you will travel down to the ancient city of Ephesus. Follow your guide as you walk the city visiting the Forum, the Odeon, the Library of Celsus, the Thermal Baths of Scolastika, and the Great Theater. It was in this theater that Paul preached to the Ephesians.

You will then visit the Basilica of St. John. It is believed that the evangelist St. John had spent his last years in the region around Ephesus and was buried in the southern slope of Ayosolug Hill. Three hundred years after the death of Saint Paul, a small chapel was constructed over the grave. The chapel was replaced with a marvelous basilica during the region of Emperor Justinian (527-565 A.D.). The monumental basilica was in the shape of a cross and was covered with six domes. Its construction, being of stone and brick, is an extremely rare find amongst the architecture of its time. Raised on two steps and covered with marble, the tomb of St. John was under the central dome. After this visit you will have a traditional lunch at a local restaurant.

After lunch, you will have the opportunity to see a Turkish carpet demonstration before returning to Izmir.