Ephesus

Ephesus

Ephesus attracts millions every year with its spectacular archaeology and sights.

Ephesus being one of the best preserved and largest ancient sites in the Mediterranean, Ephesus offers sights like the Temple of Artemis (one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World), the Library of Celsius, The Ancient Brothel and an impressively large amphitheatre which has hosted stars like Elton John and Tom Jones.

Ephesus has played a great role in the history of Christianity. St. Paul stayed here for three years during which he wrote his letters to the Corinthians. Situated 9 km ahead of Ephesus is the entrancing shrine of the Virgin Mary where she came with St. John to spread Christianity and spend her last days on earth. The shrine has been declared a pilgrimage site by the Vatican.

Terraced Houses

The roofed complex here contains seven well-preserved Roman homes built on three terraces, which are well worth the extra visiting fee. As you ascend the stairs through the enclosure, detailed signs explain each str…

Curetes Way

Named for the demigods who helped Lena give birth to Artemis and Apollo, the Curetes Way was Ephesus’ main thoroughfare, 210m long and lined with statuary, religious and civic buildings, and rows of shops selling in…

Library of Celsus

This magnificent library dating from the early 2nd century AD, the best-known monument in Ephesus, has been extensively restored. Originally built as part of a complex, the library looks bigger than it actually is: …

Marble Street

This street, paved with marble slabs slightly raised to aid drainage, formed part of the Sacred Way linking the city centre with the Temple of Artemis. Ruts indicate that vehicles used the thoroughfare frequently; m…

Temple of Hadrian

One of Ephesus’ star attractions and second only to the Library of Celsus, this ornate, Corinthian-style temple honours Trajan’s successor and originally had a wooden roof when completed in AD 138. Note its main arc…

Great Theatre

Originally built under Hellenistic King Lysimachus, the Great Theatre was reconstructed by the Romans between AD 41 and 117 and it is thought St Paul preached here. However, they incorporated original design element…

Latrines

This square structure has toilet ‘seats’ along the back walls with a roof above. Although some wealthy citizens had private home bathrooms, they also used the public toilets; some even paid a membership fee to claim…

Harbour Street

The 530m-long Harbour St was built by Byzantine Emperor Arcadius (r 395-408) to link the Great Theatre and the Middle Harbour Gate in a late attempt to revive the fading city. At the time, it was Ephesus’ most lavis…

Temple of Hestia

The Prytaneum hosted this shrine, where the city’s eternal flame was tended by vestal virgins, and was fronted by a giant statue of Artemis, now in the Ephesus Museum in Selçuk. The fertility goddess was portrayed w…

Pollio Fountain

Backing onto the Upper Agora, this fountain honouring the builder of a nearby aqueduct hints at the lavish nature of ancient Ephesus’ fountains, most of which were Roman and filled the city with the relaxing sound o…

Lower Agora

This 110-sq-m one-time market had a massive colonnade. The shops in the colonnades traded in food and textiles; the agora’s proximity to the harbour suggest that the goods were imported.

Brothel

This site, demurely called the ‘Love House’ on signboards, is eagerly anticipated by visitors, but its rather dishevelled state makes envisioning licentious goings-on a challenge. Indeed, some experts believe that v…

Prytaneum

Two of six original Doric columns mark the entrance to the ruined Prytaneum, one of the most important civic structures in Ephesus. Within and dedicated to the goddess of the hearth, the Temple of Hestia contained t…

Church of St Mary

The Ephesus Lower Gate car park is ringed with çay bahçeleri (teahouses), restaurants and souvenir shops, and to the west of the road are the ruins of the Church of St Mary, also called the Double Church. The origin…

Odeon

Built around AD 150, this once-lavish 1400-seat theatre boasts marble seats with lions’ paws and other carved ornamentation. It was used primarily for lectures and musical performances but, given its location next t…

Upper Agora

This large square measuring 58m by 170m, and used for legislation and local political talk, was flanked by grand columns and filled with polished marble. More or less in the middle was a small Temple of Isis – testa…

Asclepion

A side road called Sacred St running along the western edge of the Upper Agora led to the Asclepion, the medical centre of Ephesus. Protected by the god Asclepius and his daughter Hygieia, doctors used the Rod of As…

Temple of Domitian

This ruined temple recalls Domitian (r AD 81–96), the tyrant as evil as Nero who banished St John to Patmos (where the evangelist wrote the Book of Revelation), and who executed his own nephew for showing interest i…

Trajan Fountain

This honorary fountain from the early 2nd century AD was once dominated by a huge statue of the great soldier-emperor Trajan (r AD 98–117), grasping a pennant and standing on a globe; the inscription reads, ‘I have …

Baths of Varius

Baths were situated at the main entrances to ancient cities so that visitors could be disinfected and wash before entering. These 2nd-century ones stand at the entrance to Upper Ephesus beside the Magnesian Gate ere…

Gate in Ephesus
Hercules Gate

Marking the upper boundary of Curetes Way, this two-storey gate with reliefs of Hercules on both main pillars was constructed in the 4th century AD. One of its functions was to stop wagons from entering the pedestri…

Baths of Scholasticia

Marble steps behind the Trajan Fountain lead up Bath St to this large hamam. In one niche is a headless statue of Scholasticia, who repaired the baths in the 4th century AD.

Memmius Monument

This monument from the 1st century AD is dedicated to Caius Memmius, nephew of the dictator Sulla who sacked Ephesus in 84 BC. Pillars with dancing figures rest on a colossal square base.

Gate of Hadrian

This monumental arch, which links Curetes Way with Marble St, is thought to have been dedicated to Hadrian when he visited Ephesus.

Hydreion

This rectangular fountain with four columns sits next to the Memmius Monument.

Sanctuary of the Mother Goddess Cybele

Excavations on the northern slope of Panayır Dağı (Mt Pion) overlooking the so-called Cave of the Seven Sleepers have revealed stelae or sepulchral monuments representing the Anatolian fertility goddess Cybele with …

Stadium

Outside the Lower Gate, the stadium dates from the 2nd century AD. The Byzantines removed most of its finely cut stones to build the fortress and the Basilica of St John on Ayasuluk Hill. This ‘quarrying’ of precut …

Temple of Serapis

This massive structure, reached by a flight of marble steps in the southwest corner of the Lower Agora, may have contained a temple to the Greco-Egyptian god of grain. Egypt was one of the granaries of ancient Rome …

Gymnasium of Vedius

On a side road between the Lower Gate car park and the Selçuk road, this ruined 2nd-century-AD structure has exercise fields, baths, a lavatory, covered exercise rooms, a swimming pool and a ceremonial hall. Unfortu…

Please visit Ephesus details on Marmaris Excursions pages.

Please visit Ephesus & Pamukkale 2 Day Trip details on Marmaris Excursions pages.

Ephesus
Ephesus