Ephesus is the best preserved classical city of the Eastern Mediterranean, and among the best places in the world enabling one to genuinely 'soak in' the atmosphere of Roman times.
Ancient Ephesus was a great trading city and a centre for the cult of Cybele, the Anatolian fertility goddess. Under the influence of the Ionians, Cybele became Artemis, the virgin goddess of the hunt and the moon, and a fabulous temple was built in her honour.
When the Romans took over and made this the province of Asia, Artemis became Diana and Ephesus became the Roman provincial capital.
The city was famed for the Temple of Artemis (completed around 550 BC), one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. Emperor Constantine I rebuilt much of the city and erected new public baths.
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