Ephesus in Ionia




The Theatre  

Ephesus was one of the most important and largest cities of the Roman Empire. Numerous public buildings were financed by both the city and rich citizens. Temples for the emperors Vespasian and Hadrian were built within the framework of the Emperor's cult. Ephesus was the seat of the governor of the province of Asia.

The harbour streed (led from the harbour to the theatre)  

The Library of Celsus  

The first settlements in the city date back to around 5000 BC. In the 2nd millennium B.C., Hittite texts mention an Apasa settlement in the land of Arzawa, which is probably identical to the later Ephesus. Settlement by Ionian Greeks began around the 10th century. In 296 B.C. Ephesus was moved to its present location. Since then Ephesus was a large port city, which was incorporated into the Roman Empire after 133 BC. Increasing sedimentation shifted the coastline, so that today Ephesus lies several kilometers inland. The city lost its importance. When the Seljuks conquered the city in 1090 AD, it was like a small town. After a short period of prosperity, the city was completely abandoned in the 14th century.


The Gate of Mazeus and Mythridates  

Ephesus was also famous for Artemision, the temple of Artemis, one of the seven wonders of the ancient world. The temple of Artemis was built in the first half of the 6th century B.C. on the remains of old temples. He was 55 x 110 m. In 365 AD, on the night of the birth of Alexander the Great, the temple was set on fire and burned down by a maniac. The Ephesians built a new temple, even more beautiful than the old one. During the Gothic invasion in 263 AD, during which all of Ephesus was plundered and burned down, the temple of Artemis was plundered and devastated. Although it was rebuilt, it lost importance due to the spread of Christianity.


The 'Terrace Houses'  

The so-called terrace houses are two complexes (so-called insulae) of ancient private houses.
Both insulae are located on the southern slope of Bülbüldağ, the larger of the two city mountains of Ephesos. The better preserved "terrace house 2" occupies an area of about 4000 m² and borders on the so-called Curetes Street in the north.
The Roman residential development in the form visible today began in the Roman Imperial period, its use in the structure visible today ended with the destruction of terrace houses 2 by an earthquake in the 3rd quarter of the 3rd century AD.
Terrace houses 2 is particularly remarkable for its well-preserved mural paintings, most of which date back to the 3rd century AD. It is the most extensive and best preserved find of wall paintings of this period from the east of the Roman Empire to date.
Pieces of furniture and small finds from the Terrace houses  as well as some wall paintings are exhibited in the room of the house finds in the Ephesus Museum in Selçuk.


The Curetes Street  



Ephesus is also important in connection with the development of Christianity. The New Testament mentions the Epistle to the Ephesians, which the Apostle Paul wrote to the Christians of the city. According to legend, after Jesus' Ascension Mary settled in Ephesus with the apostle John and taught medicine to many people there. The house where Mother Mary died, on a hill above the city, is now a place of pilgrimage. The well water there is said to have a healing effect.



Columns of a Byzantine basilica in front of the Odeon/Bouleuterion  




The Odeon / Bouleuterion

Photos: @chim, Monika P.    
Translation aid: www.DeepL.com/Translator    
Source: Wikipedia and others