Ephesus

Stone carving of Nike, the winged goddess of victory

Stone carving of Nike, the winged goddess of victory

One of the ports of call of our 2012 Eastern Mediterranean cruise was Izmir in Turkey. We arrived in the early morning of April 26, and a bus took us to Ephesus, approximately an hour away. We made a brief stop in Selçuk so people could get a drink or use the rest rooms. From there it took only a few minutes to reach Ephesus where we were dropped off near the upper agora. Ephesus is an amazing place! The extent of the excavations is mind-boggling: in AD 100 this used to be a city of some 450,00 inhabitants, and only between 15 and 30 percent of the town (depending on whom you listen to) have been excavated thus far. Even so, this is the largest collection of Roman ruins in the Eastern Mediterranean. Rather than list a ton of details on this page, we suggest you consult one of the many on-line resources, such as this page.

Click on any image to see a larger (1500 x 1000 pixel) version!


Arriving in Izmir in the early morning light Country road near Selçuk

Arriving in Izmir in the early morning light

Country road near Selçuk


View of Selçuk castle The upper Agora

View of Selçuk castle

The upper Agora


Ancient plumbing The remains of the Basilica

Ancient plumbing

The remains of the Basilica


The Odeon: Senate building and auditorium in one Visitors gathering in the Odeon

The Odeon: Senate building and auditorium in one

Visitors gathering in the Odeon


Nicely fitted stones make up this old wall Beautifully carved decorations

Nicely fitted stones make up this old wall

Beautifully carved decorations


The view from the upper Agora into the plain Looking down Curetes Street...

The view from the upper Agora into the plain

Looking down Curetes Street...


...and looking up from where we came. A maze of columns and partially rebuilt structures

...and looking up from where we came.

A maze of columns and partially rebuilt structures


Getting closer to the Library of Celsus Treasures wherever one looks

Getting closer to the Library of Celsus

Treasures wherever one looks


The temple of Hadrian Detail inside the temple of Hadrian

The temple of Hadrian

Detail inside the temple of Hadrian


Along Curetes Street Elaborately decorated doorway

Along Curetes Street

Elaborately decorated doorway


Latriana: Public bathrooms (for men only!) View from the South Gate onto the library

Latriana: Public bathrooms (for men only!)

View from the South Gate onto the library

The Library of Celsus with its beautifully restored façade has become the symbol of Ephesus. It stands in the spot where the Street of the Curetes meets Marble Road, conveniently close to the public latrines and even closer to the town brothel (both facilities being reserved for use by men). According to our guide, this allowed husbands who had been seen in the vicinity of the house of ill repute to claim that they had just finished an intense study period in the library. It's interesting how certain things have barely changed in almost two thousand years!


The Library of Celsus Corinthian columns

The Library of Celsus

Corinthian columns


The South Gate of the (lower) Agora Marble Road leads to the theater

The South Gate of the (lower) Agora

Marble Road leads to the theater


Columns by Marble Road Along Marble Road

Columns by Marble Road

Along Marble Road


An upside-down ionic column? Looking back to the library

An upside-down ionic column?

Looking back to the library


The 25,000 seat theater where the Apostle Paul preached... ..and Elton John performed (though not at the same time).

The 25,000 seat theater where the Apostle Paul preached...

...and Elton John performed (though not at the same time).


Arcadia Street, leading to the harbor Near Arcadia (or Harbor) Street

Arcadia Street, leading to the harbor

Near Arcadia (or Harbor) Street


The ruins of the theater gymnasium It's a constant struggle to prevent nature from taking over

The ruins of the theater gymnasium

It's a constant struggle to prevent nature from taking over

After visiting most places of interest, we exited the site through its lower part as most visitors do. By the huge bus parking lot, there were a whole bunch of tourist traps where people could buy something to drink or nibble on, as well as a bewildering number of items that had absolutely nothing to do with Ephesus, such as fancy watches. At least there did seem to be a certain standard regarding truth in advertising, and the advantage of this rather tacky souk is that the ancient town itself remains untouched by all this modern hoopla.


Getting ready to leave Izmir At sea, on our way to Athens

Getting ready to leave Izmir

At sea, on our way to Athens


On the way back to our ship, we stopped in a place where they make, and especially sell, Turkish rugs. These were truly beautiful, and between the refreshments we were served and the smooth presentation, we only escaped without having made a major purchase by the narrowest of margins. Less than an hour later we were back on board the Costa Pacifica which sailed for Athens that same evening.




<< Previous

Trips Home

Next >>

Home | Site Info | Family | The Area | Trips | France | Work | Rants | Odds & Ends




This page was last modified on July 17, 2012
Send feedback about this page to feedback@kiechle.com
http://www.kiechle.com/trips/izmir/index.htm
(optimized for Retina display)

All contents © 1999-2017 The Kiechles