Ephesus twice

To see Ephesus twice

Ephesus is the best-preserved classical city on the Mediterranean, and disputes with Rome and Jerash the condition of best place in the world to get the feeling for what life was like in Roman times.

Very near it’s the Basilica of St. John, and, in a close hill (so steep that our old bus almost refused to climb) a small house is said as being Virgin Mary’s.

​In 1967 Pope Paul VI. visited the site, where a chapel now stands, and confirmed the authenticity of the legend.

A Large collection of ruins


The main street, named Curetes, is lined with lots of ruins, most of them impossible to identify or just to imagine what they were in the old days until you listen to a guide – then everything is explained in detail.

Directions: Between Hercules Gate and Celsus Library

Heracles Gate


Located in the beginning of Curetes street, this gate seems to have been part of a two-storey building.

​Well, if they say so, I have no reason to doubt, but in place it is hard to extract a clear idea from that amount of stones.

Pollio Fountain


An arch and a small pool is everything that remains of this fountain, close to the Agora.

An inscription dates its construction in 97 A.D.

Directions: in front of Odeon-Bouleuterion

Website: Ephesus

Domitian Temple


Each set of stones has a name. Of course, I do believe the honesty of the studies, and the accuracy of the identification, but, here and there is hard to guess the original building, and how they identified it. Domitian Temple, they say!

​OK. Domitian Temple, I say. But don’t ask me more details. You have to go there, read the lines, and use your imagination.

Directions: Between Hercules Gate and Celsus Library

Great Theatre


The biggest construction remaining in Ephesus, and the most impressive after the Library, is the great theatre.

Built under Greek influence, it was enlarged and transformed by the Romans, and, despite the effects of time and earthquakes, it still impresses by its size and wise conception, integrated in the hills.

Website: Theatre

​Temples of Rome and Caesar


In Kusadasi.biz I read:
“In the Augustan era, the spread of Imperial-Roman cults was by then a fact in many provinces of Asia Minor. The cult of the Emperor was alive in Nicomedia and in Pergamum, together with that of the Goddess Rome. The idea for the building of a temple which could celebrate the Goddess Rome, the Roman divinity by antonomasia, together with Julius Caesar, whose divine attributes were venerated, occurred to his adoptive son, Octavius.​

The later – who was become Emperor with the name of Augustus – authorized the construction of the sanctuary on the occasion of a visit made to the Asiatic province in 29 B.C

Its erection in the vicinity of the Prytaneion, constituted an aggregation point for the Romans resident in the province and a unquestionable testimony to the important role played by Ephesus within the political and administrative organization of this important part of the Roman Empire.

The architectural conformations of the buildings, usual in Ancient Rome, was in fact very atypical for the territories of Greece and Asia Minor. The remains of these temples have in our day been located in the immediate vicinity of Odeion.”

Well, I believe, but, as in many other places, we only saw some disperse stones.

​Trajan’s Fountain


I admire those guys that, starting from 3 or 4 stones near each other, imagine the whole puzzle, and rebuild… the possible.

Reading (or listening to) the description, while watching the mounted stones, everything seems reasonable, and we can imagine what is missing, but… when everything was piled in the floor, how could they start? “Chapeau!”

They say this was Trajan’s fountain! Why not?

Harbour Street


In Ephsus all the ways lead to Celsius library, the top attraction in the center of the ruined town. You may use two entrances: Harbour gate or Magnesian gate.

​This one stays in the highest point, which allows you to do the visit descending the city, as we did (twice). Harbor street is generally the last vision to the visitors, already “filled” with the visions of the successive ruins, and the Harbour street only impresses by its width and straightness.

Final Apotheosis


t’s a long way down the main road, lined with the ruins of several buildings that your guide will describe in detail.

Finally it all ends facing the library, whose facade is the best preserved of all, and the most harmonious.

​An excellent detail in the historical visit, that withdraws importance to everything that is next to it.

Transports Another option

Another option
Another option

I’ve been twice in Ephesus: the last one as part of a circuit across Anatolia, the first one in a short visit coming from Greece.

I was in Samos and found that it was available a day tour to Ephesus, and Selçuk.

We did it and enjoyed. So, if you want to see Ephesus in a glimpse, and rather stay in Greece, this trip is easy and cheap (from Samos, not from Athens, of course!).