Domitian’s Temple – Ephesus

In the days of the Roman Empire it was a great honour for a town to be awarded the status “neokoros” or Warden of the Temple, a temple dedicated to an emperor.  Domitian (emperor AD 81-96) granted this status to Ephesus.  In gratitude the Ephesians erected a five metre high statue in his honour, parts of which can be seen in the Ephesus Museum in Selçuk.

Domitian’s Temple, at the southern end of Domitian Street was the first building in Ephesus to be dedicated to an Emperor, the unpopular Domitian. When Domitian was murdered by a servant the Ephesians destroyed the inscriptions of dedication but, so as not to lose their neokoros status,  rededicated the temple to his father, Vespassian, Ephesus Tours.

The temple was built on vaulted foundations on a wide, elevated terrace measuring about 50 x 100 metres. The short side had 8 columns, the longer side 13 with a further 4 columns at the entrance to the cella or sanctuary which contained a statue of the emperor.  The northern side of the temple had stairs, which can still be seen today, leading up to a second storey. The northern side also contained an altar which is today on display in a museum in Izmir.

Category: History & Ephesus  Tags: , ,  Comments off

The Temple of Apollo – Didyma

Present-day Didim, site of the ancient holy place Didyma, takes its name from the Greek word for twins “didymoi”.  In mythology Zeus spent an hour of love with the beautiful Leto beside the holy spring, which resulted in the birth of the twin gods Apollo and Artemis in the Orthega forest near Ephesus.

Long before the days of the Greeks there was a cult sanctuary at the site, centred on a sacred grove and a holy spring.  The first known temple was built in the 8th century BC and remains have been found beneath later buildings.  It was thought to have measured 24 x 10 metres, to have had no roof, and to have enclosed a holy well and an altar.  By the 7th century the site had been adopted and construction of the enclosure completed by Ionian Greeks, who dedicated it to Apollo.  The oracle became the most important in Asia Minor, rivalling that at Delphi in importance, its fame spreading as far as Egypt.  King Croesus and Alexander the Great consulted this oracle and their decisions changed the course of history, Ephesus Tours.

The temple was in the care of hereditary priests known as Branchids, descendants of Bronchus, a favourite of Apollo, who constructed the Sacred Way lined with statues from the temple to the small port of Panamos, 10 km away near the city of Miletus.  A new larger temple on the site was destroyed by the Persians, who also stole the statue of Apollo while it was still under construction in 494 BC.

Alexander the Great placed the responsibility for the oracle with the city of Miletos after he captured the city in 334 BC. During his visit in 331 BC the oracle proclaimed him “Son of Zeus”.  Shortly afterwards work began on a new Hellenistic style temple and the stolen statue of Apollo was returned in 300 BC.  The temple covered an area of 60 x 118 metres, making it the third largest structure in Ancient Greece after those at Ephesus and Samos.  It was to have had 124 columns but many were never erected.  Inscriptions found on some of the columns show that a typical column needed 20,000 man-days of labour to construct it at a labour cost of 172 kg of silver.

The sanctuary was raided by Gauls in 278 BC but construction continued until 70 BC, when it ended after the Temple was sacked by pirates.  The oracle continued to function however until 385 AD, when it was closed by the Emperor Theodosius, who banned all forms of fortune-telling in the empire, and a Christian church was built within its grounds.

In the 15th century the buildings were reduced to rubble by a catastrophic earthquake, which left only three columns standing. Excavation and partial restoration was begun by French archaeologists in 1834 and continued by the Berlin Museum from 1904 to 1913, following which the German Archaeological Institute has carried on the work from 1962 until today.

Category: History & Ephesus  Tags: , ,  Comments off

The Amphitheatre Ephesus

With its seating capacity of about 25,000, the Great Theatre at Ephesus is the largest Roman theatre in Anatolia and is believed to have been the second biggest in the ancient world after the Colosseum in Rome, which had a capacity of 50,000.  Built into the side of Panayir Hill and measuring some 300 x 150 metres, it is the most magnificent structure in the city and is easily visible from the main Kuşadası to Selçuk Road.

The theatre was first built in the third century BC during the reign of Lysimachos in the Hellenistic period and then later, under the Romans, enlarged to its present size and form.  The semi-circular seating area, or cavea, has sixty-six rows of seats divided into three sections by two horizontal walkways, or diazoma.  The lower section, which had seats with marble backs and contained the Emperor’s box, was reserved for important people.  The audience entered from the back of the cavea into the top section of seats.  The stage was three stories and 18 metres high and decorated with columns, windows, niches and statues. Ephesus Tours There are five doorways opening to the orchestra area, the middle one being wider than the others to enhance the appearance of the stage, making it seem larger and more monumental.

The theatre was used not only for concerts and plays but also for political, religious and philosophical discussions and for gladiatorial fights.

The gladiators were the sporting superstars of their day.  Most were slaves who were given their freedom if they survived three years of combat.  Others were sons of rich or noble families who fought for excitement and fame.  A gladiator cemetery was discovered in Ephesus in 1993 and examination of the bones showed that many had survived multiple wounds and some appeared to have received extensive (and probably expensive) surgery.  Some of the retired gladiators lived into their nineties.

The Great Theatre was the scene of the riots against St Paul instigated by the silversmiths of the Temple of Artemis, who made their living by selling images of the goddess and whose livelihood was threatened by his preaching.

The theatre is still in use today, being used to hold classical music concerts and also occasional celebrity appearances.  Celebrities who have performed there include Diana Ross, Joan Baez, Chris de Burgh, Bryan Adams, Elton John, Sting, Julio Iglesias, and Luciano Pavarotti.

Category: History & Ephesus  Tags: , ,  Comments off

The Terrace Houses of Ephesus

The Terraced Houses of Ephesus

Of all the awe-inspiring sights of Ephesus, for me the most fascinating are the Terraced Houses, for they give us a detailed insight into the lives of some of the wealthier residents of the city.

Built on three terraces on the lower slopes of Mount Bulbul opposite Hadrian’s Temple, the oldest of the six residential units dates back to the first century BC and they were occupied until the seventh century AD. Excavation started in 1960 and work has been completed on two of the houses which are now open to visitors (an additional entrance fee applies).

Each unit housed several families or, more likely, a large extended family, and was built around a central courtyard or “peristyle” with a pool in the middle and living and dining rooms opening onto the courtyard on the ground floor with bed and guestrooms above. The rooms had no exterior windows; all light came from the open courtyard or from lamps.

The houses were heated in the same manner as the public baths with clay pipes carrying hot air from a furnace around the house. They were also equipped with hot and cold water systems, a luxury which was largely lost to the world until the 20th century. The floors were lavishly decorated with mosaics and the walls covered with exquisitely-cut sheets of marble and, above them, beautiful fresco paintings.

Today the houses are protected from the elements by roofs said to resemble Roman roofs and visitors are guided around by glass walkways routed to take best advantage of the frescoes and mosaics and designed to give both maximum visibility and protection. There are stairs in the walkways which might cause problems for people with limited mobility.

The houses are well worth the entrance fee and I would recommend that first-time visitors go around in small groups with a professional guide who can explain the finer points and answer all questions.

Information About Ephesus Tours

Ephesus & History

Ephesus was in ancient times by the sea. By sedimentation, and climatic and seismic changes, the coastline shifted over time to the west, so the city is now several miles inland.

The earliest evidence for human presence in the city of Ephesus later go back to 5000 BC. Already in the 2nd Millennium BC, the Hittite texts of known and probably located with the later settlement Apasa Ephesus to be identified, in the land Araya, an important center in the area of influence of the Hittite and Mycenaean cultures. From the 2 Half of the 2nd Millennium BC, there are Minoan and Mycenaean remains. About the 10th century BC began the settlement by Ionian Greeks. The legend has Androklos, King of Attica, founded the city.

Lydian and Carian locals living northeast of the current city limits, the immigrant Greeks to the tradition established by its own settlement called Koressos. After being conquered by the Lydian king Croesus in 560 BC, there was a Synoikismos, that is, several small villages were merged and a new settlement in an area near the Temple of Artemis (Artemision), widely considered one of the Seven Wonders of the World was built.

Only 296 BC Ephesus was by the Diadochi Lysimachus King of Thrace to the present location and relocated temporarily renamed after his wife in Arsinoeia. Since that time Ephesus was a major port city of almost 350 hectares, owned by 189 to 133 BC the Kingdom of Pergamon after 133 BC the Roman Empire.

Ephesus was one of the most important and perhaps with more than 200,000 inhabitants, one of the largest cities of the Roman empire and seat of the governor (proconsul) of the province of Asia. Many public buildings were created by both the city and funded by wealthy citizens. This included the Temple of Vespasian and Hadrian, were honored as part of the imperial cult. The city retained its outstanding position to Late Antiquity on, both as a place of pilgrimage and bishop, on the other hand, as the capital of the (secular) diocese of Asiana.

Also in connection with the development of Christianity is Ephesus important: According to tradition, the apostle Paul stayed during his 3rd Mission trip (to 50) in Ephesus. He aroused the indignation of the other things there, devotional, who feared for their good business with the “Diana of the Ephesians.” Paul was legal but tolerated in the city. Also in the New Testament Epistle to the Ephesians is mentioned, he should have addressed later on the community of the city.

have established an extra-biblical legends to be Maria to after the Ascension of Jesus with the circle of women around Jesus and the Apostle John in a house near Ephesus (Virgin Mary) and up to their own ascension, many people in medicine and teaching of Christianity taught.

Met in Ephesus in 431 by Emperor Theodosius II convened third Ecumenical Council, also called the Council of Ephesus, in 449 then the so-called Robber Synod, whose decisions have been discarded already 451st The so-called St. Mary’s Church, the only remains are preserved, has been named several times as a place of the council, which is controversial in the research, however.

Well into the sixth Century, flourished in the late ancient Ephesus life. In Byzantine times the city but then lost gradually its former importance – especially by the increasing siltation of the harbor. 867 took an army of Paulicians under John Chrysocheires the city. In 1090 – shortly before the First Crusade – Ephesus was conquered by the Seljuk Turks, near the town was in Turkish time Ayasoluk, later renamed Selçuk.

In the 19th Century began the archaeological exploration of Ephesus to search for the remains of the Artemis Temple. Incorporated the initial parts of the city proper were known. The first excavations took the British railway engineer John Turtle Wood (1863-1874) and the archaeologist David George Hogarth (1904-05) on behalf of the British Museum. Since 1895 takes the Austrian Archaeological Institute before planned excavation. They have discovered large areas of the city, next to public buildings and some large houses (“Hang houses”), belonging with wall paintings and mosaics of the best preserved residential buildings in the eastern Mediterranean.

The Mazäus Mithtridates Tor @ copyright by chim

Today, Ephesus is one of the main tourist attractions of Turkey with hundreds of thousands of visitors every year by Ephesus Tours. This fact, they tried in the sense of restoration to modern aspects, but also to tread in the presentation of the ancient ruins new ways. This is particularly true for the reconstruction of the so-called Celsus Library in the early 2nd Century AD on. It is not just a library building, but also the grave of the founder Tiberius Julius Celsus Polemaeanus.

The public buildings were uncovered in the city, including the so-called “market state”, among other things Bouleuterion, the meeting room of the City Council, and the Prytaneion, the offices of the leading representatives of the city. In addition to private residential buildings (of which represent the slope houses an example of luxurious living culture), the ancient streets, such as the Kuretenstraße lined with other public buildings. These include monumental fountains (Nymphaeum Traiani) as well as temples, such as the small Temple of Hadrian.

Testimony to the bathing habits of the Ephesians is the large bath-gymnasium complexes, including the body care, the theater, the East and the port and the high school Variusbad. In addition to the personal care and exercise they were also an important social and social center of public life dar.

In the great theater of Ephesus is the Apostle Paul experienced the described in the Acts scene with the devotional of the Artemis Temple. From the temples of the imperial cult, especially those for Domitian and Hadrian, today only small remnants.

Important discoveries from the early days of the excavations, which were brought with the permission of the Ottoman ruler out of the country, are now in the Ephesus Museum, the Kunsthistorisches Museum in Vienna, the Neue Burg, a part of Vienna’s Hofburg. Today, the findings from the recent excavations at the Archaeological Museum are kept in a nearby Selçuk, earlier findings are to some extent in the Archaeological Museums of Istanbul and Izmir and in the British Museum.

In the covered Terrace House 2    copyright by Hartmut

The so-called Hillside homes Two complexes of ancient Ephesus in private homes.

Both complexes are located on the southern slope of Bülbüldağ, the larger of the two mountain town of Ephesus. The better preserved “Terrace House 2” has an area of 4000 m² and bordered to the north by the so-called Kuretenstraße. The Roman residential development in the currently visible form began in the Roman Empire, their use ended in the structure visible today with the destruction of Terrace House 2 by an earthquake in the 3rd Quarter of the 3rd Century AD The Terrace House 2 is particularly remarkable for its well-preserved wall paintings, the 3rd in large part to the Century AD, are dated. It is the most comprehensive and best-preserved find of wall paintings of this time from the east of the Roman Empire.

“Terrace House 1” next to the covered complex of the “Terrace House 2”, also on the Kuretenstraße. The indoor complex to the “Terrace House 2” is accessible via a separate entrance in Ephesus.

Frequently asked questions about Ephesus Tours we have prepared for you

About Harbour Street

Category: History & Ephesus  Tags: , ,  Comments off