Near the Ruins of Ehpesus is St. John's Basilica. This is the castle that was built near the basilica in order to protect the holy site from Arab invaders.
These pictures are the ruins of St. John's Basilica. After his exile on the nearby isle of Patmos, John returned to Ephesus to work with the church there. After he died he was buried here and early Christians later built a memorial on his burial site. A few hundred years later the Basilica was built around the site of his tomb. Some of the ruins date back as far as 400 AD
Baptistry in the floor of the Basilica
On another day we travled across the Bosphoros which is the channel of water that separates the European and Asian sides of Istanbul. We travled from the Asian side on a large ferry to go and see some of the ancient sites on the European side. This is a picture of the Blue Mosque.
This is the Hagia Sophia, which is one of the most ancient sites in all of Christendom. It was built around 350 AD and was the seat of Christendom after Rome fell. It was destroyed on two other occasions and the current building is actually the third one on the same site and was built around 500 AD.
This is inside the Blue Mosque which was built near the site of the Hagia Sophia. It is still a working mosque and an architectural marvel as well. However, it is inferior to the Hagia Sophia even though it was built about 1000 years later.
On the streets of Istanbul, headed to the Grand Bazaar
This is a picture taken from the balcony of my hotel room in Beirut. It was fascinating and sad to see some buildings that have been completely untouched by the former years of fighting and others (like this one) that were almost completely destroyed. Beirut is now a peaceful place, but the ravages of violence and clashes with Israel still hang in the atomosphere.