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Ephesus, Efes in Turkish was a city in Ancient Greek on the coast of Ionia. It was built in the 10th century BC on the site of Apasa, the former Arzawan capital, by attic and Ionian Greek colonists. During Classical Greek era, it was one of twelve cities that were members of the Ionian League. The city came under the control of Roman Empire in 129 BC an Ottoman Empire around 1425.

Ephesus has long history can be divided as, Neolitic Age, Bronze Age, Period of Greek Immigrations, Archaic Period, Classical Period, Hellenistic Period, Classical Roman Age (129 BC-395AD), Byzantine Period (395-1308), Pre Ottoman Period (1304 – 1390) and Ottomon Period (1425 – 1922)

Ephesus was an important centre for early christianity from AD50s, the apostle Paul lived in Ephesus, working with the congregation and apparently organizing missionary activity into the hinterlands.

A legend, which was first mentioned by Epiphanius of Salamis in the 4th century purported that Mary may have spent last years  of her life in Ephesus. Since 19th century, The House of Virgin Mary about 7km from Selcuk has been considered to have been the last home of Mary.  It is a popular place of Catholic pilgrimage which has been visited by three recent popes.