Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Ephesus

Ephesus is amazing!!! The Roman's however, had to have had some major confidence issues, they all had to have temples or monuments in their names.  Like that was going to make them immortal. On the other hand I guess their names are still well today. The temple of Hadrian, the Roman temple was constructed in 118 A.D. and reconstructed the the 5th century.
Temple of Artemis, in ancient times it was one of the seven wonders of the world Ephesus was famed for the Temple (completed around 550 BC)  The temple was destroyed in 401 A.D. by a mob. Today  the Temple of Artemis  is a single column standing in a swamp.

 This will have to be edited, I can't remember which apostle is supposedly buried here, I think it was John
 Isabey Mosque, was built in 1375 at the direction of the Emir of Aydin. It incorporates columns and stones recycled from the ruins of Ephesus and the Temple of Artemis. In the back ground was the fortress built to protect from invasions.

 St. Lukes Grave, there is debate whether or not this is Lukes Grave site. The ox and cross are very clear.


 The Bouleuterion was used for meetings of the Boulea or the Senate. It's second function was the Odeum, a concert hall. It was built in the 2nd century A.D. Elder Hunter was preforming in the  theater for us.
Who knew my cat's heritage came from Turkey!!!!


Can't remember what this was. Someone really liked themselves and built a temple or a monument.

The brazen serpent,  this symbol literally has been around forever.


 This was the first structure in Ephesus known to be dedicated to the emperor Domitian. When the unpopular emperor was killed by his servant, the public quickly took vengeance and erased his name from many inscriptions and re-dedicated the temple to Vespasian, the father of Domitian.
At first we thought this was the Nike Swoosh, but then we realize it was the Greek goddess of Victory



There were six columns at the entrance to Heracles Gate. 
                  Close up view of Curetes Street, the street is marble, caution, slippery when wet.

 Curetes Street once lines with shops, workshops and inns, Curetes Street was a main city street  and an important processional route in the cult of Artemis

Celsus Library,  the facade of the library of Celsus is one of the most spectacular sights in Ephesus. Built by a Roman in memory of his father. It faces east so the reading rooms received the morning light. Paul was thought to have taught on the stairs of the library. The Jewish  synagogue was to the left of the temple. He would have also taught there.




This was a hugh city. Only 35% of the city has been uncovered.   Here we are just tourist for the day.
The Hunter's were wonderful tour guides. They wanted us to get the real favor of the country so instead of taking a taxi to Ephesus we took the bus to another bus, to the metro, to another bus and then to a taxi. We have a new appreciation for what they do every day.

Gate of Augustus, the gate way to the city.
The Great Theater is the probable place where Paul preached to the pagans in Acts.  The tree-tiered theater, built into the slope of a hill, once seated 25,000 people.



Ephesus was an ancient Greek city and later a major Roman city, on the west coast of Asia Minor.  It was one of the twelve cities of the lonian League during the Classical Greek era. In Roma period, Ephesus had a population of more than 250,000 in the 1st century BC, which also made it one of the largest cities in the Mediterranean world.  As prophesied by Paul the city would be destroyed if the people didn't repent.  They mocked him, it was a magnificent city nothing could destroy it.  The city was partially destroyed by an earthquake in 614 A.D. The city's importance as a commercial center declined as the harbor was slowly silted up by the Cayster River and the prophesy was fulfilled.


 This is my favorite! The public toilets of Ephesus built in the first century A.D. The toilets were side by side with no partition between them. In the middle was a square pool, like you would have gotten in that pool!  The floor was paved with mosaics.  The upper class that had servants would send their servants to sit on the toilet before they arrived to warm the seat. 

Aladja Rock Monastery (Aladzha)



Aladja is the best known medieval rock monastery on the Bulgarian Black sea coast, dating from the time of the Second Bulgarian kingdom, it was founded in the 13th century in rock caves, which had been used before - as early as the 4th - 6th centuries by hermits and brotherhoods of monks.  It was inhabited until the 18th century.

The funeral chapel, not many details, but from the pictures it was used for funerals and burials.  I don't know who was bury here or who was buried in the catacombs.

Differently colored 13th and 14th century frescoes are still discernible on its walls, but only few of them are preserved.
The chapel is behind a locked wooden door that had a window.  People come to worship here today. They leave there prayer slips and money.

The catacombs seemed to be a amaze of many tombs or burial sights. There was n clear information on who stayed in the burial chapel and who was laid to rest in the catacombs.

Monday, October 29, 2012

Sofia

 The underground store. The stump by the window is to sit on while you place your order. Unique!!


                The local pizza store. Pizza isn't pizza without ketchup, mustard and mayo.

St. Petka of Saddlers



 The church of Saint Petka of the Saddlers, is a medieval Bulgarian Orthodox Church in Sofia. It is a small building partially dug in the ground, located close to the centre of the modern and antique city.
 It is said that in Ottoman times a christian church could be no taller than a man on a horse. This would be the purpose of the church being partially in the ground.
 The church is made of brick and stone and is mentioned in the 16th century.
The Church was dedicated to St. Petka and 11th century Bulgarian Saint. The church of Saint Petka acquired it's present name due to it being a patron of the saddlers in the Middle Ages, who
 performed their rituals in the church.











The Church of St. George (Rodtonda Sveti Georgi) is said to be the oldest building in Sofia.  It's history dates back to the 4th century, being constructed by the Romans.  It is mainly famous for the 12th and 14th century frescoes inside the central dome.  Three layers of frescoes have been discovered, the earliest dating back to the  10th century.  Magnificent frescoes of 22 prophets over 2 metres tall crown the dome.  Painted over during the ottoman period, when the building was used as  mosque, these frescoes were uncovered in the 20th century.


              The grounds around the church contain excavations dating back to Roman times.

Church of Sveta Sofia


The church of Sveta Sofia is the oldest eastern orthodox church in Sofia with a long rich history. It was built in the 6th century on the site of two earlier churches from the 4th century.
During the Ottoman rule 1395-1878 the church was taken and turned into a mosque.  Unfortunately the old frescoes were covered by plaster.  It was abandoned in 1858 when a second earthquake struck causing severe damage. The bell fell down and was damaged. A new bell was hung in a tree and remains there today.

It is built in the style of a Byzantine basilica. Inside remains of a mosaic from one of the 4th century churches can be seen in the floor.

After liberation in 1878 an extensive restoration was completed, the church is still in use today.

The City of Sofia was named in the 18th century after this church.









The tomb of the unknown solider.
The Lion that protect the tomb