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 contained the sacred flame of the city that was never allowed to go out. This is also where religious and civil officials received official guests.

Here and elsewhere in Ephesus, note the differences between the Ionian Greeks' heavily ornamented, spiralling columns, and their smooth, unadorned Roman counterparts. Both coexist in tandem across the site, due to ancient recycling and modern relocations. A similar difference is notable in arches: the genius of single-material, harmoniously balanced Ionian Greek arches, and the pragmatic use of mortar by the Romans.

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Nearby Ephesus attractions

1. 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…

2. Odeon

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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…

3. Temple of Isis

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Objects discovered in this small temple in the Upper Agora suggested that it was dedicated to the Egyptian goddess Isis.

4. Upper Agora

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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…

5. Memmius Monument

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This monument from the 1st century AD is dedicated to Caius Memmius, nephew of the dictator Sulla who sacked Ephesus in 84 BC. Pillars with dancing…

6. Hydreion

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This rectangular fountain with four columns sits next to the Memmius Monument.

7. Pollio Fountain

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Backing onto the Upper Agora, this fountain honouring the builder of a nearby aqueduct hints at the lavish nature of ancient Ephesus' fountains, most of…

8. Hercules Gate

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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…