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Ephesus
Ephesus is one of the most fascinating archeological sites on the eastern Mediterranean. The findings at this ancient city are the remains of one of the most important cities in the Roman Empire. The ruins from the Roman and early Christian era are so extensive and well preserved that it is easy to imagine the daily interactions of the 250,000 people who used to live here.

This area grew to be the second-largest city in the Roman Empire and the site of a Christian Shrine thought to be the one time Home of the Virgin Mary. Ephesus flourished as the center for worship to the fertility goddess Cybele. The Arcadian Way was the street and the amphitheater held over 24,000 people. The Temple of Hadrian, The Celsus Library, The Marble Way and the Fountain of Trajan are under constant restoration, but in amazingly good condition.
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The House of Virgin Mary
The House of Virgin Mary where the Blessed Virgin is reputed to have spent the last years of her life. The site was made famous by the travels of Pope Paul VI and Pope John Paul II. in November of 2006, Pope Benedictus the 16th paid an official visit to the House of the Virgin Mary. Outside is the Fountain of Our Lady, providing the faithful water from the holy foundation.
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The Terrace Houses
The Terrace Houses of Ephesus inside the ancient site, which is considered as an exclusive museum in Ephesus located on the slopes of Bulbul Mountain, opposite the Hadrian Temple. Also called as "the houses of rich", these houses belonged to the important and prominent people of Ephesus. The terrace houses contain great engraving, mosaics, sections, floors, representing the life style of the rich Ephesians who used to live in these apartments.

The most ancient of the houses were built in the first century BC, and most of the houses were restored in the second century AD. The houses seemed plain from outside, but inside were constructed with the highest standards of their era. They are decorated with mosaics and frescoes, and they had interior courtyards in the center, with the ceiling open. The houses also had cold and hot water usage to give you an idea about the quality of life in Ephesus.

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The Ephesus Archeological Museum
The Ephesus Archeological Museum exhibits the religious and chronological history of the ancient city. Filled with attractively displayed mosaics, statuary, and other artifacts, the museum exhibits several marble statues of the Mother Goddess Artemis, goddess of nature, childbirth, and the harvest.

Combining the information at the Open Air Museum and the Archeology Museum will give you a very fulfilling idea of the city of Ephesus and its importance in the ancient times.
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The Basilica of St. John
The St. John's Basilica, a once great church built on a 2nd century tomb thought to hold the remains of St. John. While the church is now in ruins, there are frescoes, mosaics and graceful columns that attest to the glory that marked the place where St. John, the Evangelist, lived and died.
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Artemision
The temple of Artemision is known as one of the Seven Wonders of the ancient world. It has been built in the areas of Ephesus on a flat area which has over the centuries turned into a swamp. Today one can only see the ruins of the foundations of this marvelous construction of the Hellenistic Age, entirely made of marble and full of sculptured columns' capitals and shafts.
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Seven Sleepers
The burial churches built in a natural cave on the skirt of Mount Pion (Panayir), to the north of Ephesus, are known as Seven Sleepers' Grotto.
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Church of Virgin Mary (Double Church)
In the middle of fourth century the former market place was converted to a very different function; a great church, a three-aisled, apsed basilica with a narthex and large atrium. The floors were paved with marble and mosaic of geometric design and the wall were faced with marble. The great basilica was the cathedral of Ephesus, the Church of the Virgin Mary in which the Councils of 431 and 499 were held.
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Sirince Village
This pretty old Orthodox village, 12 km away from Ephesus and 30 km from Kusadasi, was once Cirkince ("ugly"). Indeed its habitants gave this name on purpose as they did not want to be bothered by foreigners nor to share the beauty of their village. Still after years, visitors understood that the village was not ugly at all and called it Sirince ("pretty").
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Tomb of St. Luke
This is where the beloved author of Luke-Acts has been laid to rest. There was some circular building that was later converted into a church. It was ascribed as Luke's tomb because there was apparently a bull carved into the door.
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Topkapi Palace
The Topkapi Palace for over three centuries has served as the grand palace for the Ottoman Sultans. The palace was built on the shores of the Bosphorus. Constructed after the Conquest of Constantinople in 1453, it is now a museum. The imperial palace houses the popular Harem, the private quarters of Mehmet IV. Among the many jewels and precious stones that the Imperial Treasury holds are; an uncut emerald weighing approximately over 7 pounds (3.26 kg), the pearl studded throne, and the golden Topkapi dagger.
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Hagia Sophia
Hagia Sophia Museum (Aya Sofya in Turkish) was originally a basilica created at the command of the Emperor Justinian during 532 to 537. This basilica was known to archeologists as a Theodosian Church. After the Conquest of Constantinople in 1453, the Ottomans converted the basilica into a mosque and then in 1932, Hagia Sophia was converted into a museum. It is renown for its Byzantine Mosaic decor, the enormous wooden plaques with the sacred names of Islam inscribed, massive pillars, and at one time hosted the largest dome in the ancient world.
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Blue Mosque
The Blue Mosque is known to architects as one of the great marvels of the world. It is called the Blue Mosque because its interior gleams with a magnificent paneling of blue and white tiles, which are enhanced by the reflection of the sun. It was built between 1603 – 1617 on the orders of Sultan Ahmet I. It houses a series of magnificent domes, Byzantine ivory work, beautifully decorated tiles and six distinctive minarets, which no other mosque in Istanbul possesses. The decor of this mosque is classic Ottoman style and design.
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Hippodrome
The Hippodrome (an ancient Roman stadium) was built in 198 AD by the Emperor Septimius Sererus. Numerous chariot races took place here. The races were known to have political and military implications. The Hippodrome was the center of the Byzantium era for over a 1,000 years.
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Grand Bazaar
The Grand Bazaar is one of the most famous markets in the world. Its official name in Turkey is Kapali Carsi, and it is also known as the covered market. The Grand Bazaar was constructed shortly after the Conquest of Constantinople at the command of Faith Mehmet. Today it houses over 4,000 shops, with an enormous variety of goods.
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Underground Cistern
Basilica Cistern also known as the Yerebatan Sarayi or the Underground Palace is not a basilica but a Byzantine cistern (underground reservoir). It is 70 m (230 feet) wide and 140 m (459 feet) long and the fine brick vaulting is supported by 336 columns.

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Galata Tower
The Galata Tower is believed to have been constructed in approximately 1348. Now a major tourist attraction, this ancient bastion was added as reinforcement for the defensive walls designed to protect it in the event of an enemy attack. The tower, a massive cone shaped structure was built at approximately 38 m (115 feet) above sea level, and rises to a height of 72 m (220 feet) above its base. There is an amazing view from the tower that encompasses this ancient city.
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Beylerbeyi Palace
Beylerbeyi Palace, situated on the Asian side of the Bosphorus, was built by Sultan Abdul Aziz in the 19th century. It possesses a beautiful garden with magnolia trees. It was used as a summer residence of the Ottoman Sultans and a great house for visiting foreign dignitaries and heads of state.
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Chora Church Museum (Kariye Museum)
Kariye Museum is the 11th century church of St. Saviour in Chora. The church is one of the most important Byzantine monuments in Istanbul. The walls of the church are decorated with magnificent 14th century frescoes and mosaics on a gold background. The walls illustrate scenes from the life of Jesus Christ and the Virgin Mary. The Chora Church represents the last golden age of Byzantine.
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Turkish and Islamic Arts Museum
The Turkish Islamic Museum of Arts is located on the west side of Hippodrome, now exhibits a variety of items from antique kilims, manuscripts, calligraphy, wood, ironwork, and stone sculpture, stained glass and folk art as well as the Ethnological collection, devoted mainly to the nomads of Anatolia. The Museum also hosts the most valuable ancient Turkish carpets namely the original Usak and Selcuk Carpet collections.
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Istanbul Archaeology Museum
Museums promise much more than their "cold" buildings. Hundreds of invaluable historical artifacts including the Code of Hammurabi, the chains used to close the entrance of Golden Horn during Istanbul conquest, Alexander Sarcophagus and Kadesh Treaty are on exhibit within these walls.
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Turkish Bath
The Turkish Bath is the Middle Eastern variant of a steam bath, which can be categorized as a wet relative of the sauna. They have played an important role in cultures of the Middle-East, serving as places of social gathering, ritual cleansing, and as architectural structures, institutions, and (later) elements with special customs attached to them. Europeans learned about the Hamam via contacts with the Ottomans, hence the "Turkish" part of the name. Something not to miss in a person's lifetime to treat oneself is certainly Turkish Bath - Hamam! Specially decorated sultan's fruit platter and Ottoman appetizers will finalize your experience while resting at steam center.
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Spice Market (Bazaar)
The Spice Bazaar is where you will see and smell the exotic products of mystical Istanbul.
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Bosphorus Cruise
Take in the city’s famous and beautiful landmarks from the water as your guide recounts Istanbul’s colorful history.
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Whirling Dervishes Show
The Whirling Dervishes trace their origin to the 13th century Ottoman Empire. The Dervishes known as Mevlevi Order are Sufis, a spiritual offshoot of Islam. Sufis are known as the Whirling Dervishes due to their famous practice of whirling as a form of zikr (remembrance of God).
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Rustem Pasha Mosque
The famous for its exquisite tile work. Designed by architect Mimar Sinan, the mosque was built between 1561-1563. One of the distinguishing features is the abundance of red-colored Iznik tiles. While blue, green, yellow and white tiles were considered easy to produce, red was quite difficult at the time. The interior of the Mosque also boasts some intricately carved doors and gilded trim work. What Rustem Pasa Mosque may lack in size and grandeur, it makes up for with its artistic beauty.
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