Top ChoiceRuins in Ephesus

Ephesus

Ephesus

Of Turkey's hundreds of ancient cities and classical ruins, Ephesus is the grandest and best preserved. A Unesco-listed World Heritage Site, it's the best place in the Mediterranean to get a feel for what life...

Top ChoiceRuins in Ephesus

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...

Top ChoiceRuins in Ephesus

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...

Top ChoiceRuins in Ephesus

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...

Ruins in Ephesus

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, rows of shops selling...

Ruins in Ephesus

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...

Ruins in Ephesus

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...

Christian Site in Ephesus

Mary's House

Atop the foundations of a ruined house on the slopes of Bülbül Dağı (Mt Coressos), said by some to be where the Virgin Mary lived, a chapel now receives busloads of pilgrims and tourists. There may not be space...

Ruins in Ephesus

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...

Ruins in Ephesus

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...

Ruins in Ephesus

Church of St Mary

Northwest of the Lower Gate, a signposted path leads to the ruins of the Church of St Mary, also called the Double Church. The original building was a Hall of the Muses, a place for lectures, teaching and...

Ruins in Ephesus

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...

Ruins in Ephesus

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 the small Temple of Isis –...

Ruins in Ephesus

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...

Ruins in Ephesus

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...

Ruins in Ephesus

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...

Ruins in Ephesus

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...

Ruins in Ephesus

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...

Ruins in Ephesus

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...

Gate in Ephesus

Hercules Gate

Marking the upper boundary of the 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...