Lonely Planet review
Formally the Arcadian Way, Harbour St was built by Byzantine Emperor Arcadius (r AD 395–408) in a late attempt to revive the fading city. At the time, it was Ephesus' most lavish thoroughfare, illuminated at night by 50 streetlights on its colonnades, while water and sewerage channels ran beneath its marble flagstones. It greeted visitors after they patronised the Harbour Baths . Look for the high column at the arcade's end to see how far inward the sea reached in those days.
After exiting the Lower Gate, the ruined Gymnasium of Vedius (2nd-century AD) had exercise fields, baths, toilets, covered exercise rooms, a swimming pool and a ceremonial hall. Further along is the contemporaneous Stadium , stones from which were later used for the Byzantine Ayasuluk Hill castle.
While here, look out for new surprises as archaeologists continue to dig. In 2007 a gladiator’s cemetery was discovered near the Stadium, and Roman-era synagogue remains reportedly lie behind the library; these are among several areas where new discoveries may be made.
In the future, Turkish authorities are planning for war against the silt accumulation that defeated all previous Ephesian civilizations. If accomplished, their marvellous idea of dredging a canal to the Aegean would allow visitors to come to Ephesus by boat, or to gaze out from it onto the sea, thus bringing back the city's original identity as a romantic port.