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Ephesus

Discussion in 'Other Resorts of Turkey' started by Smilina, Nov 24, 2004.

  1. Smilina

    Smilina Fan

    Ephesus

    If you start your tour from the lower entrance of the archaeological site of Ephesus you will first pass through a beautiful road flanked by rows of centenary eucalyptus trees... enjoy this part of your trip because it may be the only shaded part of your visit.
    Soon you'll find yourself on the Marble Sacred Street connecting the Great Theater with the Library of Celsus, the Facade of which has been fully restored. To the right of the Library is the Commercial Agora, connected to the Library Square by the Gate of Augustus. From the Library heading East is the Curetes Street, also paved entirely with marble so remember not to wear slippery shoes.
    Along the Curetes Street you'll notice that it had beautiful side walks for pedestrians paved with mosaics. On the right hand side there are narrow little streets heading to private hill houses, now excavated and partially restored. On the left side of the Street there were official monuments (i.e. Temple of Hadrian), fountains and some other interesting buildings like the baths, the brothel and the public toilets. To reach them you'll have to take a small picturesque street.
    Continuing up the Curetes Street you will reach, almost on the top, the Domitian Square on the right, Continuing further East you'll find yourself in the State Agora which is a large rectangular esplanade, comparable of what we'll call a city square. During ancient times the square would have been full of life, little shops and people everywhere. Around the State Agora were the most important buildings of the city: the city hall, fountains, temples, baths, and the place that you'll be inevitably heading towards, the Odeon.

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    MARBLE STREET , CELSUS LIBRARY & CURETES WAY
    From the theatre, walk south along the marble-paved Sacred Way, also called the Marble Way. Note the remains of the city's elaborate water and sewer systems beneath the paving-stones, and the ruts made by wheeled vehicles (which were not permitted along the Arcadian Way).
    The large, open space to the right (west) of the street, once surrounded by a colonnade and shops, was the commercial agora (3 BC) or marketplace, heart of Ephesus' business life, presently under restoration.
    The Sacred Way ends at the Embolos, or `central Ephesus,' with the Library of Celsus and the monumental Gate of Augustus to the right (west), and Curetes Way heading east up the slope.
    Gaius Julius Celsus Polemaeanus was the Roman governor of Asia Minor early in the 2nd century A.D.. In 110, after the governor's death, his son, Consul Gaius Julius Aquila, erected this library in his father's honour; as says an inscription in Latin and Greek on the side of the building's front staircase. Celsus was buried under the west side of the library, where he rests to this day.
    The library held 12,000 scrolls in niches around its walls. A one-meter gap between the library's inner and outer walls protected the valuable books from extremes of temperature and humidity. Though it now stands alone, the library was originally built between other buildings, and architectural legerdemain was used to make it look bigger than it is: the base of the fa├žade is convex, adding height to the central elements; and the central columns and capitals are larger than those at the ends.
    The niches on the facade held statues (now in Vienna's Ephesus Museum) representing the Virtues: Arete (Goodness), Ennoia (Thought), Episteme (Knowledge), and Sophia (Wisdom). The library was restored with the aid of the Austrian Archaeological Institute.

    EPHESUS: The Great Theater
    The Great Theater, magnificently set on the western slope of Panayirdag, is undoubtedly the most interesting of all the ruins in Ephesus. Building was begun in the reign of the Emperor Claudius (A.D. 41-54) and completed in the reign of the Emperor Trajan (98-117 A.D.). The theater could seat 24,000 people but most of the seats have been removed and used In the construction of later buildings. A wide arcaded staircase led up to a columned gallery around the top of the theater. Thirty meters above the orchestra.In Hellenistic times the orchestra was used for plays but in the Roman period a stage (logeion). 2.7 metres higher, was used for the same purpose.The facade of the three-storied proscenium was richly decorated with columns, relieves and statues. The first two stories were built in the reign of Septimus Severus (193-211), There were ramps leading to the stage from the right and left and a staircase from the front. The columns which carried the marble floor of the stage are still to be seen. There were, at the front of the theater, five doors with statues above them, and three rows of columns. In early times the Great Theater was given over to the celebrations of the Festival of Artemis, protectress of the city, during the month of April. At this time 89 golden idols donated to the temple were brought to the theater in procession with singing and dancing, and plays were performed before a huge crowd of visitors

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    CELSUS LIBRARY SQUARE
    The famous Ephesus Library was situated to the south of the Agora. This elegant monument was built in A.D. 135 by Julius Aquila in memory of his father, Celsus Polemaeanus of Sardis, Roman Senator and Proconsul of the province of Asia. After passing through a marble-paved courtyard twenty-one meters wide one reaches the main reading-room by nine wide marble steps. There are four bases for statues at the top of the staircase The floor of the main reading room is built on arched vaults and the inner and outer walls are separated by a corridor, thus protecting the library from damp. The walls and floor of the room were completely faced with colored marble. Across the main reading room there was an exactly placed niche for offerings: to the right and left of the round niche and on the sidewalls were square niches containing cupboards to hold the rolled manuscripts. On the front of the library there was a two-storied gallery.
    A section sixteen meters high was very richly decorated with a raised column, door ornaments and sculptural architectural monuments, carving and decoration. These carvings are to be seen in the Vienna Museum.
    In a burial chamber in the lower part of the library can be seen a decorated white marble tomb in which Gaius Julius Celsus Polemaeanus was buried. The life of Celsus is related in Greek and Latin on the bases of the statues on each side of the library staircase.

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    CELSUS LIBRARY
    The famous Ephesus Library was situated to the south of the Agora. This elegant monument was built in A.D. 135 by Julius Aquila in memory of his father, Celsus Polemaeanus of Sardis, Roman Senator and Proconsul of the province of Asia.

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    GATE OF AUGUST
    To the right of the library, the Gate of Augustus, also called the Gate of Mazaeus and Mithridates, leads into the 110-metresquare commercial agora where food and craftwork items were sold. The monumental gate, dedicated to the honor of the Emperor Augustus, his wife and son-in-law, was apparently a favorite place for Roman ne'erdo-wells to relieve themselves, as an informal inscription curses `those who piss here'.

    EPHESUS: Temple of Hadrian
    Turning from the Marble Street into the Street of the Curetes one is immediately struck by a very beautiful and decorative building on the left. This is the Temple of Hadrian built between 117 and 138 A.D. It measures 7.20 by 5 meters. The triangular pediment is supported by four Corinthian columns. The middle two columns support a rounded arch which has Os its keystone a bust of Cybele. According to the Roman oracles, if it were possible to bring to Rome the sacred statue of Cybele from Pessinus in AsIa Minor, Rome would conquer Carthage. The statue was taken to Rome and in this way, since Rome was victorious over Carthage, Cybele became the emblem of Rome and of Italy.Inside the temple on the wall immediately opposite, there is a low relief of a Medusa keeping watch with her fearful eves. On either side of the Medusa there is a frieze depicting gods, goddesses and other mythological figures connected with the foundation of the city. There are still four pedestals for statues outside the front of the building. The temple was built in the 2nd century A.D. but was always in danger from earthquakes. It was repaired at a later date at which time the relief of gods and goddesses was added.
    In the opposite side of the street there is a sidewalk all paved with mosaics and, on the hill side, the terrace houses.

    EPHESUS: The Square of the Temple of Emperor Domitian
    In front of the Hydreion and beyond the street of the Curetes is a wide space which was once the courtyard of the temple of Domitianus. There were shops and stores of all kinds on either side of the temple. The massive walls rising on two sides of the courtyard served as terraces for the stupendous architecture of the sanctuary, which rose on the southern terrace. The stairs leading to the top are in a fairly good state of preservation. The emperor's colossal statue stood on the top of this terrace. The statue is now in the Archaeological Museum at lzmir. The heaps of broken carved pieces lying all over the courtyard were found as they stand now, during the excavations. They belonged to buildings which stood in the other quarters of the city.On the Square of Domitianus, a ruined, large fountain decorated with a monumental arch attracts attention. The fountain, built in 93 A.D. by C. Atilius in the name of C.Sextilius Pollia, poured its water into a pool lined with marble slabs. The fountain, which was restored in recent years, was decorated with statues. The statues of the Ulysses and Polyphemos group, as well as the Reclining Warrior, which are now in the Ephesus Museum, were taken from here.

    EPHESUS: The Odeon and the State Agora
    In this general view of the State Agora one can see the ruins of the The Town Hall (Prytaneum), the open central area and the Odeon.The town halls of ancient capital cities were seats of prime importance, because they were the seats of the government of the city-states. The town hall of Ephesus is near the Hydreion. On its farther side it adjoins the Odeon. The vast, complex building has a main porticoed courtyard, which gave admission to an inner rectangular hall. This central portion of the edifice is flanked by different sections, halls, and rooms where the town councils met. The 'holy of holies' of the city was the rectangular inner hall. On the foundation of a new colony or city, fire was token from this altar and transported to the new settlement. The roof of this hall was supported by four triple columns of Corinthian style. Three of these can actually be seen standing. In front of the altar in an arched niche stood the idol of the goddess of the hearth, Hestia in Greek, and Vesta in Latin. In Christian times this sacred precinct was transformed into a church. The place where the altar stood is a black square on the white marble pavement. In the above-mentioned main courtyard, a large statue of Artemis was found during the excavations. This indicated that she also was worshipped as the mighty protectors of the city. The foundation walls of the earlier Hellenistic Prytaneum can be seen near the Odeon. The Roman Prytaneum had toppled in the 4th century A.D., and its remains were used in the construction of the Baths of Shcolasticia,
    The Odeon (50): Following the path towards the southeast one soon finds this beautiful little theater on the southern slope of Panayirdag. The Odeon was used for poetry-readings, small concerts and prize-giving ceremonies. In Hellenistic times, theatres and odeons were as important as temples in the Fife of the people. Enjoyment for the Romans meant food, games and spectacles. The cry of the decadent people for ((Bread and Circuses.. is witness to the countless mad spectacles that were provided.
    Built into the slope of the hill, it could seat 2,200 people. The upper closed part of the building was entered by two side doors. The twenty-three rows of seats were divided by a diazoma into two sections, thirteen below and ten above. The lower seats seem to have been wider than those above. The highest part of the theater was decorated with Corinthian columns made of red granite.
    The stage was not in fact very high but gave the impression of being richly ornamented with inscriptions and carving. The Odeon was built during the second century by Publius Vedius Antonius and his wife Flavia Papiana.
    Celebrations in the Odeon formed a large port of the festivals of Artemis.

    Ephesus Tours: http://www.kusadasi.biz/travel/ephesus-tours.html
     

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