Built in the 10th century BC, Ephesus was an ancient Greek city on the coast of Ionia. It flourished after becoming part of the Roman Republic in 129 BC.
The city owed its fame to the Temple of Artemis, (one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World) the Library of Celsus, and a 25,000-seat theatre. St John is also believed to have spent the last years of his life there writing his version of the Gospel. Further, the House of the Virgin Mary is located a few kilometres away.
Ephesus was destroyed by the Goths in 263, then an earthquake in 614 AD.