Ephesus Ram Figure, Turkey.Archaeological site, Ephesus - Turkey. The entrance to one of the brothels in Ancient Ephesus was marked by a (carved) footprint.
Turkey brothel Ephesus




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 visiting sailors and merchants simply used it as a guesthouse and bath, which of course would not necessarily exclude prostitution services on demand. The priapic statue of Bes in the Ephesus Museum in Selçuk was found in a well here.

Whatever the brothel's fundamental purpose, its administrators reputedly required visitors to this windowless structure to undergo various degrees of cleansing before entering the inner areas, which were adorned with little statues of Venus and mosaics of the four seasons (Winter and Autumn still visible). Rumours also abound about the possible existence of a secret underground tunnel connecting the brothel to the Library of Celsus opposite.

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Nearby Ephesus attractions

1. Latrines

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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…

2. Gate of Hadrian

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

3. Terraced Houses

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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…

4. Baths of Scholasticia

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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…

5. Temple of Hadrian

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One of Ephesus' star attractions and second only to the Library of Celsus, this ornate, Corinthian-style temple honours Trajan's successor and originally…

6. Library of Celsus

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This magnificent library dating from the early 2nd century AD, the best-known monument in Ephesus, has been extensively restored. Originally built as part…

7. Trajan Fountain

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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…

8. Marble Street

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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…