Yesterday, whilst staying at Garden Camping, we were lucky enough to wander through the ruins o Ephesus. While Will and I both thought that the ruins were one of the seven wonders of the world we were wrong. Which explains why we didn't see any signs touting a wonder of the world. If anyone around us spoke English, I'm sure they thought we were delirious from the heat rambling about a wonder of the world.
While it is not a wonder of the world, it is definitely impressive enough to be one.
The first of the ruins was the Church of Mary. The sign described it as a small church with three pews. It was not small by any means. We couldn't find the pews, but we were able to see the alter, the aspersorium, and where they baptized people. The ornate decoration on the columns and tiles is amazingly well preserved and quite impressive.
Next we saw some ancient mile markers that were used to tell the distance between important monuments and towns. The reining emperors name was below the distance/street name and when a new emperor took over they simply turned the marble blocks over. When they ran out of space they started writing in red. Amazingly we saw remnants of red paint on a few of the signs.
Next we walked down a long columnated street to the city market. It was at one time a 2 story building with offices and shops lining the walls surrounding a massive open square. Today all that remains is one upper level shop and columns lining the market square.
After the market we made it to the Library of Celsus. This was our favorite part of the town (Will took a liking to the latrine as well). The library once housed 12,000 ancient scrolls and had rooms for reading. Today the face of the library is all that still stands. It is a massive, marble masterpiece with status of the emperor and his family as well as elaborate decoration on every part of the library.
Next we saw Hadrian's Temple and Hercules' Gate. The town was massive and neither of us can fathom how t was built. Everything was made of marble, elaborately decorated, and still in great shape.
After we left Ephesus we went back to he camp ground to cool off. While flipping through Lonely Planet we realized that Ephesus is not a wonder of the world, the Temple of Artemis is the wonder of the world. So, we set out for the Temple of Artemis. We made it with 20 minutes before they shut the gates and it was free! For being a wonder of the world it was very poorly marked. We stumbled upon it while trying to read our map. After seeing Ephesus the temple was not nearly as impressive to me. Will enjoyed it a bit more. The Temple of Artemis was once a 127 column temple with a sunken alter for a wooden figure that was worshiped by a cult. Artemis was the goddess of Ephesus, thus the name. The temple was burned by an emperor who declared Christianity as the religion of the land and only 1 pillar stands today. The pillar is massive and you can see the base of many other pillars as well as parts of the ceiling. We're not quite sure what qualifies this as a wonder of the world, but it does eclipse the Acropolis in Greece, which is pretty impressive. I guess that qualifies it as a wonder.