Terraced Houses

Top choice ruins in Ephesus

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 structure's evolving use during different periods. Even if you aren't a history buff, the colourful mosaics, painted frescoes and marble provide breathtaking insight into the lost world of Ephesus and its aristocracy.

In dwelling 2, keep an eye out for handwritten wall graffiti including everything from pictures of gladiators and animals to love poems and shopping lists. Dwelling 3 has depictions of the Nine Muses, Sappho and Apollo and, in the spacious inner courtyard, renowned philosophers of the period. Dwelling 6 contains a huge 185-sq-m marble hall as well as remarkable hot and cold baths, dating from the 3rd century AD.

The whole residential area was originally a graveyard – the Romans built the terraces for their homes over this and other Hellenistic structures.