2012 April 4 – Day 24 – Kusadasi, Turkey (Day 2) (Part 4)

Our tour of the ancient city of Ephesus in Turkey is almost over.  We have walked through the Agora district, down Processional Way, along Curetes Street and up three levels of Terrace Houses on the hillside.

After leaving the Terrace Houses, which are right at the end of Curetes Street we turned on to Marble Street and almost immediately were at the amazing Library of Celsus.

Ephesus over the years was hit by many earthquakes so parts of the city have been built and re-built after each disaster. Such a tragedy occurred in AD 270 and destroyed the Library.  It took 8 years (1970-78) to reconstruct it according to the original. The library was built in 117 AD as a monumental tomb for the famous Governor of the Province of Asia, Gaius Julius Celsus Polemaenas by his son.  The governor is buried beneath the ground floor.  There were about 12,000 papyrus rolls kept in niches along the interior walls. The library was the third richest in ancient times.
Marble Street goes past the Grand Theatre and down to Harbour Street where the Main Entrance to the city is located. At the corner of Curetes and Marble Streets there was the brothel, marked by distinct ‘signage’ in the stone. The Grand Theater of Ephesus was the largest in ancient Turkey.  It was able to seat 24,000 people and took 60 years to build.  It was originally Greek, but converted to Roman usage. On the other side of the theater was the site of the Gymnasium.  This area was being used as a sorting ground for all the pieces. Harbour Street leads directly to the Main Entrance of Ephesus and the conclusion of our tour. This four-part blog on our time in Ephesus includes less than half of the photos I took and very little of the information we were given.  It was an incredibly awesome day and I am so thankful we were able to visit such a marvelous historic site.

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