A mini-tour of restored Roman Ephesus. Photos were taken on our May 2004 trip. Ephesos was considered the 4 th greatest city of the Roman Empire topped only by Rome, Alexandria, and Antioch. At its height it had a population of nearly 300,000. Lying on the river Meander, The city was served by a great harbor which silted up and caused the rapid decline of the city in late Roman/Byzantine times. The ruins now lay 9 miles from the Aegean Sea.
Looking down Curetes Street named after the priests who presided over the sacred fire of Hestia. The street is paved with marble slabs with sidewalks covered in mosaics.
The Odeon or small theater at the top of Curetes Street. This could comfortably (if you brought your cushion) seat1500 people.
Several images of the fountain of Trajan. The first is a marble block with the inscription to Traiano Caesar. The other shows the interior of the building.
The temple of Hadrian. There is a bust of Tyche serving as the keystone of the first arch and a magnificent relief of Medusa filling the interior arch. Other reliefs of Amazons and the Olympian gods grace the interior.
An often seen motif on Roman coins - Nike with palm branch and wreath.
One of the true glories of Ephesus is the reconstructed facade of the Library of Celsus. Dedicated in 120 A.D to the former governor of Asia Gaius Julius Celsus Polemaeanus, the library contained up to 12,000 scrolls. It was burned when the Goths sacked the city in 260 A. D. The edifice to the right is the Gate of Hadrian which connected the library to the public agora or marketplace.
The Terrace Houses are still being excavated and reconstructed. They were the high rent condominiums of Ephesus. The Frescoes, mosaics, plumbing features, and courtyard give one interesting insight into how the people in this rich city once lived.
The public latrines. What a way to do business! Bring your little sponge, clean it out in the flowing water on the other side of the building, and be on your way. I wonder if this contributed to the silting of the harbor?? In the winter, slaves would precede the master onto his throne to warm up the seats. They would also have live entertainment.
The most imposing structure in Ephesus is the theater which could seat up to 25,000 persons. It is still used for concerts and has almost magical accoustic qualities. The street leading away from the Theater is the Harbor Way. Thirty six feet wide, this was one of three lantern lit streets in the empire.
The public Agora which lay between the Harbor Way and the Library.