Small Group Seven Churches of Revelation

Arrival in Izmir Airport (pick up also available from Kusadasi or Cesme Ports). You will be met with a sign and transfer to your hotel. Overnight in Izmir. (D.)

After breakfast drive to Pergamum (Bergama). It is one of the sites of the Seven Churches of Asia [Rev. 1:11; 2:12]. Here we explore the impressive Acropolis, the steepest theater in the world, the Aesclepion, famous medical center of ancient times, see the Altar of Zeus which is mentioned as the «Throne of Satan» in the book of Revelation, the marble columns of the Temple of Trajan and the Library which was foremost in the world and was long a rival of the equally famous Library of Alexandria in Egypt. Its wealth of volumes was estimated at over 200,000. It inspired the invention of parchment. Then we continue our visit to Thyatira, now called Akhisar, another one of the Seven Churches of Asia [Rev. 1:11; 2:18-24; Acts 16:14]. It was a city famous for purple dyes. We visit the remains of a basilica and some architectural fragments from the Roman period. We continue with a panoramic ride through Izmir (Smyrna) one of the sites of the Seven Churches of Asia [Rev. 2:12-17]. We ascend to Mount Pagus where we visit the Citadel of Lysimachos, commander of Alexander the Great, erected in the 4th century BC. We will also see the Clock Tower. Overnight in Izmir. (B.D.)

Today we depart early in the morning to one of the most beautiful areas of any of the Seven Churches of Asia [Rev. 1:11; 3:1-4], Sardis, presently called Sart, was the capital of the ancient Lydian kingdom of the 6th century BC and was portrayed as a dying church. We visit the great Temple of Artemis. We will also visit some ancient Lydian houses, the gymnasium and reconstructed Synagogue. We also see the last several meters of the royal Persian Road from Susa to Sardis built by Cyrus the Great and the «golden» river Pactolos. We continue to Philadelphia (Alasehir) another church of the Seven Churches of Asia Minor [Rev. 1:11; 3:7], and the only church not censured. We see the remains of a Byzantine basilica built of brick and some 11th century frescoes. Proceed to Laodicea. The city established by the Seleucid Antiochus II and was named after his wife Laodicea. Built on the Lycus Tributary of the Meander River, it was surnamed Laodicea on Lycus, to distinguish it from other similarly named cities. Laodicia is the last of the seven churches. As a crossroad of two important roads, this city had an important commercial and logistical position. We drive to the healing city of Hierapolis, Pamukkale, the white «cotton fortress» where hot mineral water bursts from the earth and cascades over steep cliffs forming pools, channels and stalactites. The therapeutic waters were known to the founders of Hierapolis and of Laodicea in 190 BC. In Hierapolis [Col. 4:13] we visit the Martyrium of the Apostle Philip where he was martyred during the persecutions ordered by Domitian. Check in and overnight in a thermal spa hotel. (B.D.)

We depart after breakfast to the ancient city of Ephesus and visit also the Basilica of St. John. The Apostle Paul preached to the Ephesians and lived here for three years. This church also received an epistle from him. This important city was founded in the 10th century BC. Stroll along marble streets lined with stately public buildings including the Baths of Scholastica, the Library of Celsus, the Temple of Hadrian and the Theatre. View the Temple of Diana of the Ephesians, one of the seven wonders of the ancient world. We will also see the important pilgrimage site of the House of Virgin Mary. Overnight in Kusadasi. (B.D.)

Pick up from your hotel lobby and transfer to Izmir Airport. End of Services. (B).

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