People come to the ruins of Ephesus to see the tourist sites. Here, you will find one of the great cities of the Greeks in Asia Minor. Christians also see Ephesus as a sacred site because several Biblical figures, including St. Paul, St. John the Evangelist and the Virgin Mary. In this article, you will learn about some of the attractions that await someone retracing the footsteps of St. Paul.
The Temple of Artemis (one of the Seven Wonders of the World) is located in the city of Ephesus. It is also a popular stop on Mediterranean cruises. Some of the highlights of this city include:
Â· House of the Virgin â€“ In 1812, this site was discovered by a bedridden German nun who saw it in a vision. The stone building is thought to be the place where the Virgin Mary lived the last years of her life. A healing fountain is also found at this site.
Â· Temple of Hadrian â€“ Built in 118 AD, the Roman imperial temple underwent reconstruction during the 5th century. An interesting frieze thought to depict Medusa is seen on the tympanum.
Â· Prytaneion â€“ The sacred fire of Hestia is believed to have been tended to at this civic building. Religious dignitaries would pay a visit to this site. Two statues of the Ephesian Artemis were found here.
Â· Grotto of St. Paul â€“ Typically, the public is not allowed to visit this attraction, but the cave is filled with significant frescoes and inscriptions.
After Ephesus, St. Paul went to Jerusalem â€“ one of the holiest cities in history. Afterwards, Paul returned to Syria.
The Third Missionary Journey of St. Paul
From Acts 18:23to 28:31, the third missionary journey of St. Paul (which he completed with Timothy) is highlighted. These travels are marked by many writings that Paul completed over the years. First, they traveled to Phrygia and Galatia before heading to Ephesus once again, as Paul spent time in the city during his second missionary journey. His visit would last for two years and during this time, he writes 1 Corinthians and possibly Galatians. He then moves onto Macedonia, where he pens 2 Corinthians. Next, he travels to Corinth once again, where he stays for three months and writes Romans.
After Corinth, Paul goes to Troas (or Troad), where he stays for seven days. In the New Testament, it is stated that he refers to Troas when he asks his fellow worker Timothy out of Ephesus so that he can retrieve his coat there. The journey was about 310 miles and Paul was accompanied by Luke. Following Troas, Paul goes to Assos (also known as Behramkale). According to Acts 20:13,14, this is the place where Aristotle taught.
In the next article of this series regarding the Footsteps of St. Paul, you will encounter some of the highlights of Samos â€“ one of the stops along the way of Paul's third missionary journey.
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