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Why You Should Visit Ephesus
Ephesus is located 3 km southwest of Selcuk in Turkey. The area dates back to the Neolithic Ages – 6,000 B.C. During the 3rd millennium BC the city was known as Apasas, the name taken from a successful Amazon Queen. In fact, some say that the city was founded by female warrior Amazons from Anatolia. Legends abound about the fierce women warriors who did not like men and used men only for fertility. The women used to amputate their right breast so they could be faster and more well equipped at archery.
The Bouleuterion (Odeon)
The Bouleuterion was constructed in the 2nd century A.D. in the shape of a small theatre. It was used for the meetings of the Senate (Boulea) and as a concert hall holding 1500 spectators.
Hadrian’s Gate is located at the junction of Curetes and Marble Street. It was dedicated to Hadrian in honour of his visits to the city.
The Temple of Hadrian
The Temple of Hadrian at Ephesus was built before 138 AD and dedicated to the Emperor Hadrian. It is one of the most beautiful and preserved structures on Curetes Street.
Emperor Hadrian was known as one of the 5 Good Emperors but he was a man of many secrets. Some say that he tried to poison his wife and stories abound about the mysterious death of his young friend Antinous. Antinous fell overboard on a boat trip that the two of them took down the Nile.
As you can see, Hercules Gates was constructed narrower than the road, this was to prevent the wheeled chariots from going into the city. When you pass through the gates you will notice the smoothness of the road as a result of less wheeled traffic passing through. A relief of Hercules can be found on each gate.
A 210m long main boulevard with porticoes and marble paving that lies between Hercules Gate and Celsus Library.
How did Curetes Street get its name? Priests of Artemis were known as Curetes and they assisted him in the birthing of infants. Some say that the french word curettage which means abortion comes from the Curetes of Ephesus.
Celsus Library was built in 110BC and housed over 12,000 scrolls which were kept in the niches of the walls. The scrolls were made out of parchment which comes from the skin of sheep or goats and papyrus.
Secret: an underground tunnel was constructed between the library to a brothel or a drinking establishment.
Four statues are located in the niches at the front of the Library representing Wisdom, Valor, Thought and Knowledge.
Fountain House was constructed during the 3rd century B.C. It is located behind the Great Theatre’s stage. An inscription on one of the column states that the water collected here was brought in from the Marnas River 15km away.
The Grand Theatre
The magnificent Grand Theatre was first constructed during the 3rd century B.C. and later enlarged to its current size during the Roman Period. It has a capacity of 25,000 seats divided into 3 sections:
- lower marbled section – Emperor’s Box
- seats with backs – reserved for VIP’s of the day
- seats located higher up – general public
The Theatre was used for:
- concerts and plays
- religious, political and philosophical discussions
- gladiator and animal fights
The Theatre Gymnasium
The Theatre Gymnasium located in front of the Theatre had lobbies, warm bathing pools, a frigidarium (cold baths), recreation rooms and halls for training.
Our Top Tip:
Enter Ephesus from the Upper Gate – this is an easier walk downhill to the lower gate (exit).
Take plenty of water and sunscreen with you.
Entrance Fees: Euros 11.oo or Turkish Lire 25.00
We have more stories on our adventures in Turkey…read here.