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The antique town of Ephesus

Ephesus is a very ancient city. Her origin gets lost in legends and would go back up in more than 2000 years before JC. But it is in 27 before JC that the city takes its essort and its nobility, when the August emperor decides to make of Ephesus the capital of the province of Asia instead of Pergame.

having located near the mouth of Caystre on the Aegean sea, Ephesus to prove it very big commercial port, but today the sea is really very far, because of the silting-up of this zone. 


The antique theatre of Ephesus
The antique theatre of Ephesus
(click on the photo to enlarge)

The visit begins with the antique theatre of Ephesus. His dimensions are very spectacular : 154m of diameter and 38m of height. He could receive about 25 000 spectators.

It was also richly decorated: some coloured marble covered bleachers in the past.

The Ephesus' theatre
(click on the photo to enlarge)

The Ephesus' theatre

The Ephesus' theatre

The Ephesus' theatre

You leave the theatre currently to go towards thermal baths and library. To do that, you borrow the street of marble. This big avenue was completely covered in the past and sheltered the passers-by on all its length. Today, only remain feet of columns and some arks.

On a marble slab of this street, you can discover an inscription representing a feminine head and a foot. This inscription points out in fact the direction of the brothel...


the street of marble
the street of marble
(click on the photo to enlarge)

The direction of the brothel
The direction of the brothel
(click on the photo to enlarge)


At the end of the street of marble, you arrive in front of the Library of Celsus.

Constructed between 114 and 117 before JC, in favour of C.J. Celsus, it contained about 12 000 rolls of parchments. It made one of the richest of the ancient world, after those of Alexandria and Pergame. It was devastated by a fire in 3rd century. The facade of the batiment was entirely restored between 1970 and 1989, what explains its actual beauty. 


The Library of CelsusThe Library of Celsus
(click on the photo to enlarge)

The Library of CelsusThe Library of Celsus
(click on the photo to enlarge)

The Library of Celsus
The Library of Celsus
(click on the photo to enlarge)

On the facade, there are four statues which represent the four qualities of Celsus :

Wisdom, destiny, science and virtu.

 


Wisdom
Wisdom
(click on the photo to enlarge)

Destiny
Destiny
(click on the photo to enlarge)

Science
Science
(click on the photo to enlarge)

Virtu
Virtu
(click on the photo to enlarge)

On the right of the library is the Gate of Mazeus and Mithiridate. This door allows to achieve the lower agora: vast quadrilateral of 110m aside, supervised by a portico sheltering numerous boutiques among which some people were on two floors. Not far of the harbour, it was the shopping centre of the city.


The Gate of Mazeus and Mithiridate
The Gate of Mazeus and Mithiridate
(click on the photo to enlarge)

The Gate of Mazeus and Mithiridate
The Gate of Mazeus and Mithiridate
(click on the photo to enlarge)

The lower Agora
The lower Agora
(click on the photo to enlarge)

The lower Agora
The lower Agora
(click on the photo to enlarge)

The lower Agora
The lower Agora
(click on the photo to enlarge)

From the library, you go back up towards the high party of the city. For it, you borrow a very important way in the city: the courete street.

Couretes were the priests made responsible for managing the worship of the temple of Artémis. This street was therefore the sacred way and all streams went it through. As well, on the south side were boutiques and on the north side steles, fountains and temples.

For example, Adrien's temple, constructed by rich man inhabitant to find favour with the emperor Adrien.



The courete street
The courete street
(click on the photo to enlarge)

The Adrien's temple
The Adrien's temple
(click on the photo to enlarge)

Details of the Adrien's Temple
Details of the Adrien's Temple
(click on the photo to enlarge)

The hight part of the town was reserved to administrations. You can find the Odeon which was the place where the senate were in session. About 1400 persons could stay in the odeon.



To the hight part of the town
To the hight part of the town
(click on the photo to enlarge)

The Odeon of Ephesus
The Odeon of Ephesus
(click on the photo to enlarge)

The Odeon of Ephesus
The Odeon of Ephesus
(click on the photo to enlarge)

And this is the end of the visit...

We can notice that only 1/10e of the superficie of Ephesus was uncover there about 130 years....


Last look on the theatre
Last look on the theatre
(click on the photo to enlarge)





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