Ancient Sites of Turkey — Rick Steves’ Europe Travel Guide

The prehistoric caves of Kaymaklı and Zelve, Greco-Roman Ephesus, and Roman Hierapolis and Aphrodisias are among Turkey’s most fascinating sites. #ricksteves #ricksteveseurope #turkey

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Rick Steves, America’s most respected authority on European travel, writes European travel guidebooks, and hosts travel shows on public television and public radio.

People have carved communities into These formations for thousands of years While many of these evocative caves are Abandoned many cave settlements have Grown into thriving towns whose main Industry is clearly tourism well For extra guidance we're joined by my Friend and fellow tour guide Lali sermon Iran For years lollies LED our bus tour Groups around turkey and for this Itinerary she's joining us While mainly Muslim today Anatolia was Christian for five centuries before Islam even arrived early Christians had To take shelter they had to hide from The ancient Roman persecutions they had To hide from the 7th Century Arab Invasions and the landscape around here Provided the perfect Hideout it really Does And to actually see what Lolly's talking About we're descending into kaimakley a Completely underground city dug out of The Rock Much of kaimakley was originally dug in Hittite times over a thousand years Before Christ Later this underground World provided an Almost ready-made Refuge Through the centuries when invading Armies passed through the area entire Communities lived down here for months At a stretch in ancient times Christians

Were persecuted and actually did go Literally Underground [Music] Foreign This is a remarkable example of their Determination to live free and true to Their faith imagine 300 A.D hiding out Down here with your family in fact Hiding out down here with your entire Community and people up there hunting You down Tourists are free to explore the Networks of streets and plazas You'll find kitchens Cramped Living Spaces Massive roll away the stone doors And ingenious ventilation shafts to Bring fresh air to the many underground Levels Could have made these tunnels bigger but That was part of the plan Certainly made And to conserve oxygen Candlelight was Kept to a minimum it must have been a Long dark wait But for us it's back to fresh air and Sunshine we are on our way again [Music] As time went on sprawling communities Still digging caves for homes inhabited Entire valleys like Selva [Music] Around the 10th century zelvo was one of Scores of similar cave communities here

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In Cappadocia Cleverly they run a livelihood out of This parched land Caves served as ancient Condominiums With holes dug out as cooking pits in Addition to Living Spaces they were also Equipped with natural pantries cubby Holes carved out for storage of food and Wine Big animal powered Stone Wheels ground Grain Ingeniously used whatever nature offered Them Pigeon droppings were collected Providing valuable fertilizer to assure A good harvest in the valley below The ancient home of the Ephesians is one Of the world's greatest classical sites The west coast of what we now call Turkey was once a cultural Heartland of Ancient Greece Ephesus blossomed as a Greek city in About the 4th Century BC It was later consumed by the expanding Roman Empire and eventually became a Major Roman City While the site is vast only about 15 Percent this Greco-Roman Metropolis has Been excavated But as Rome fell so did Ephesus once a Thriving Seaport the city was sacked by Barbarians Eventually its busy ports silted up and It was abandoned a thousand years of

Silt left it stranded three miles Inland From the Aegean Coast [Music] The library the third largest of the Roman Empire is a highlight Assad is striking Statues of women celebrating the virtues Of learning and wisdom inspired the Citizenry The city's Main Street is lined with Buildings Grand even in their ruined State this one known as Hadrian's Temple Was built in the second century Dedicated to Emperor Hadrian its Decorations are full of symbolism To this day archaeologists debate just What it all means For extra guidance we're joined by my Friend Lolly sermon Iran for years Wally's LED our bus tour groups around Turkey and for this itinerary she's Joining us Huge City quarter of a million people This was one of the biggest metropolises Of the Roman period now we're in the Downtown and the main street of the city But the city expanded Beyond this Main Street on both sides so way up to the Mountain actually on both directions way Up to the mountains and housed 250 000 People All the city was planned right Underneath us there was a huge sewer and There were clay pipes at either side of

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The street taking fresh water to the Baths and The Fountains so they had Aqueducts coming in and powering the Whole city yes [Music] See these were the public toilets Attached to the Roman bats next door Everybody sat next to one another so Public toilets were really public That Terrace houses stretch up from the City's main drag these excavations are Incredibly complex like piecing together An enormous puzzle the fragments are so Delicate the ongoing work is protected Under a roof the Terrace houses give us A particularly intimate look at Ephesian Life two thousand years ago now how many Families would have lived in this Zone Only five just five five families and These were huge houses this must have Been the elite of Ephesus Ultra Ultra Rich not only for ephesus's but Among The Riches of the world lived in these Houses so when you walk through here can You imagine what it would be like to Live at that time sort of it was very Luxurious living in these houses old Houses were arranged around an Atrium so They had a courtyard with rooms all Around which were richly decorated with Art on two or three floors Thank you [Music] A standard feature of any Roman city was

Its theater to estimate an ancient City's population archaeologists Multiply the capacity of its theater by 10 as this one holds 25 000 they figure The City's population was a quarter Million It was here that the Apostle Paul Planned to give his talk instructing the Ephesians to stop worshiping man-made Gods and here in Ephesus that God was Artemis The local Crafts People produce statues Of Artemis like this it was a big Industry they exported them far and wide When they realized Paul's message would Ruin their businesses they started a Riot imagine this theater filled with Thousands of people all shouting in one Angry voice great is Artemis of the Ephesians for his own safety Paul had to Flee and he ended up giving his message By letter that's why in the Bible we've Got Paul's letter to the Ephesians [Music] In what seems like the middle of nowhere We come to a striking white Hillside This marks the ancient city spa and Necropolis of heropolis in Roman times The rich and frail came here to spend Their last years and to die we Approached today as visitors always have Walking through the evocative tombs Then passing under an imposing Roman Gate where Grand Boulevard leads you to

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The Mineral Springs Famous since ancient times for its Curative Waters and tranquility Today the ever popular Springs in the Shadow of ancient ruins fill a pool Littered with a dreamy assortment of Ancient Roman columns that sparkle Beneath the crystal clear water A soak here is like bathing in hot Champagne Below the wondrous White Cliffs of Pamukale create a Scenic backdrop for Bathers [Music] The water flowing over the Rocks leaves A calcium residue that whitens and Solidifies creating a Wonderland of Pools and Terraces that along with the Commanding view make an unforgettable Setting Thank you [Music] [Music] Turkey fills the Anatolian Peninsula and Anatolia is peppered with remnants of Civilizations long gone and around here Important sites are constantly being Unearthed Aphrodisius is a relatively recent Excavation The more they dig the more many Archaeologists believe that Anatolia Rather than Mesopotamia further to the East is the Cradle of our civilization

While this site goes back much further What we see today is ancient Roman only About 2 000 years old [Music] This ornate Gateway gives us a sense of The impressive City's former grandeur And judging from its Stadium this town Was really into sports this is a proper Stadium one Stadium long that's about Two football fields events like athletic Contests animal fights and Gladiator Sports packed the house Foreign