Istanbul–Kusadasi/Ephesus–Pamukkale–Antalya(for the eclipse) –Istanbul
March 22-April 1, 2006
10 Nights, 11 Days
US$ 1190 to $1350 per person, double occupancy, depending on the number of tour participants (minimum 10, maximum 25: see below)
On the shores of the cobalt-blue Bosphorus dividing Europe and Asia, you’ll discover centuries of splendor and enchantment in Istanbul.
In Istanbul, time is measured in centuries and its art and architecture in degrees of splendor. Topkapi Palace, composed of a series of domed buildings overlooking the Golden Horn, was the luxurious home of the Ottoman sultans, their harems and eunuchs, artisans and artists.
Hagia Sophia, a cathedral of mathematical perfection and beauty was built by leading geometers of the 8th century in accordance with principles laid down by Euclid. The dome was for centuries the largest in the world and awestruck visitors said it must be “suspended from the sky by a golden chain.”
The Roman city of Ephesus, the largest and best preserved ancient city in the Mediterranean. From the Library of Celsus and the Marble Street to its temples, theaters and agora, this city shows us the extent to which our ancient forebears had created sophisticated, cultured societies with well-established traditions of art, commerce and religion. On another hill not far from the city of Ephesus stands what is perhaps the most moving monument of all, the final home of the Virgin Mary.
The Virgin followed Saint John the Evangelist out of Palestine in the mid-first century AD and came with him to Ephesus. The chapel on the site of her last home dates from Byzantine times but stands on older foundations.
The fame of Ephesus stems not only from its wealth but also from its importance as a spiritual center. For many years Ephesus was home to both Saint John the Evangelist and Saint Paul. It was to the citizens of Ephesus that Saint Paul wrote his famous “Letters to the Ephesians”. Saint John, in fact, is buried here on the same hill where the Basilica of Saint John stands.
Pergamum (known today as Bergama) was an important city in Anatolia before Christianity, it is believed that a huge Roman temple, built by the secret River of Selinus, turned into a church after the spread of Christianity. This famous “Rd Basilica,” probably dedicated to Saint John, can be seen in the centre of the town today.
Pergamum is where parchment (from pergament) was invented. The city boasted the world’s best library, until Antony gave it to Cleopatra, who installed it at Alexandria (where it was later destroyed by fire).
Pergamum’s Asclepion was the world’s greatest center of healing in ancient times, led by the world’s first great physician, Galen.
In Pamukkale we see distinctive limestone travertines created over the millennia, and we visit the Roman health spa of Hierapolis, as well asAphrodisias, the City of the Goddess of Love, whose acres of marble testify to what was once the most cultured city in Roman Asia.
From Pamukkale we move down to the Mediterranean coast, where we observe the solar eclipse, and explore the resort city of Antalya.
King Attalus of Pergamum had instructed his generals to find paradise on earth and they returned with the news that they had found Antalya. Surrounded by breath-taking archeological sites and exquisite natural beauty, Antalya is indeed the paradise the king sought.
One of our first stops is the Antalya Archaeological Museum where we admire its outstanding collection of art and artifacts from Turkey’s ancient empires.
Our next stop is Aspendos, which boasts the largest, best-preserved ancient theater in Asia Minor, an acropolis, including a basilica and a nympheum, both 16 meters high.
Nearby Perge, the great Pamphylian trading city founded about 1000 BC, has ruins of a theater seating 14,000.
We return to Antalya, and then to Istanbul, for your homeward flight.
US$ 1350 (10-14 participants)
US$ 1290 (15-19 participants)
US$ 1235 (20-24 participants)
US$ 1190 (25 participants)
Single supplement US$ 250
For further information, please contact Credo Tours.