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other hıstorıcal attractıons  EPHESUS


The great theater is the most magnificent and biggest structure in Ephesus ancient city. it is located on the slope of Panayir Hill, opposite the Harbor Street. It is one of the first structures when entering from the south entrance to Ephesus. It was first constructed in the Hellenistic Period, in the third century BC during the reign of Lysimachos, but then during the Roman Period, it was enlarged and formed its current style that is seen today.


It is the largest Hellenistic / Roman Theater in Anatolia which has the capacity of 25,000 seats. The cavea has sixty six rows of seats, divided by two walkway between seats into three horizontal sections. In the lower section, too many marble pieces, and the Emperor's Box were found. There  seats with backs ,made of marble, which were thought to be reserved for important people. The audiences used to enter from the upper cavea.

The stage building is three-storied and 18 meters high. The facade facing the audience was ornamented with relieves, columns with niches, windows and statues. There are five doors opening to the pitch area, the middle one of which is wider than the rest. 



The Gate of ''Mazaeus and Mithridates'' had been built in 40 AD,  and dedicated to the emperor Augustus.  It was being used as the monumental entrance to Ephesus' Commercial Agora. The gate with three passage ways at the right of the Celsus Library which was built by the slaves called Mazeus and Mythridates  who wants to be freed by the Emperor. the gate is known by the slaves who built it.
The passages are vaulted, the front side of the vault facing the Celsus Library is made of black marble, while the other side is white. A Latin inscription made of bronze is still visible on one side of the structure. Part of the inscription says:
  "From the Emperor Caesar Augustus, the son of the god, the greatest of the priests, who    was consul twelve and tribune twenty times; and the wife of August Livia; the son of Lucus, Marc Agrippa who was consul three times, Emperor, and tribune six times; and the daughter of Julio Caesar Augustus, Mazeus and Mythridates to their master and the people."
The small area in front of the gate was used as an auditorium. The steps around the gate, in front of the library and the round pedestal were used as seats. 
Inside one of the three arches, to the left if one enters the agora, there is an interesting graffito of the goddess Hecate.



The commercial agora of Ephesus was built in the third century B.C during the Hellenistic Period, but the ruins date from the reign of Caracalla. İt was the most important trade center of Ephesus and it used to be accessed  throught the monumental gate next to the Celcus library.

It was in a square form and each side was 110 meters long. It was surrounded completely by columns which were carrying the roofs.  One of the gates of the agora rather than the gate next to Celcus library was from the front of the theater, the other one was reaching to the harbor on the west. The north side of the Agora is left open, and the other three sides are surrounded by a portico, in which there are rows of shops. At the center of the Agora was a sundial and a water-clock.

commercial agora ephesus
commercial agora ephesus
commercial agora ephesus
commercial agora ephesus
commercial agora ephesus
Agora reconstruction Ephesus
Agora Ephesus


The baths complex was built in the First Century and in the Fourth Century it had been restored by a rich inhabitant woman called Scholastica. On the left of the eastern entrance of the ruins, her statue without head can be seen.

İt was a three-storied structure, but by the time the upper two stories were collapsed. The baths had two entrances, one from the Curetes Street, which is the main entrance, and the other from the side street. After the enterance first section to be seen is the dressing room called as ''apodyterium''. the apodyterium had ten cabins. The following sections are the cold room (frigidarium) with a pool to refresh, the warm room (tepidarium) to lay & relax, and the hot room ''caldarium''.  The second floor was being used for health issues like massage and scrubbe.

It was being used not only to have bath but also to socialize and discuss the topics of the day which is generally the main function off all the Roman baths. Discussing & meeting in the bath is one of the main means which helped Roman philosophy to be enrichened.

The custom of Roman baths was continued during the Byzantine era and with the arriving of the Turks reached its top point.


Temple of Domitian is located at the south end of the Domitian Street, It is the first structure in Ephesus which was dedicated to an emperor. It was built on a high and wide terrace set , on vaulted foundations. The northern size of the terrace was two-stories high, reached by stairs which are still visible today.

The temple had eight columns on the short side and thirteen columns on the long side, and four additional columns in front of the cella. At the northern side there was an u-shaped altar, which is now displayed in Izmir museum.
Emperor Domitian was the first emperor who gave permission to built a temple dedicated to himself, or with other words to an Emperor.  Such a permission used to be accepted as a great honor for a Roman city.

The emperor than was killed by his servant. he wasn't an emperor who were loved & respected by his people too much. So, the people of Ephesus quickly erased his name from many inscriptions after his death & re-dedicated the temple to Vespasian, the father of Domitian.


The State Agora ruins are on the southern part of the Basilica. It was built in the Roman Period in the first century B.C. This agora wasn't a classical agora which is used for commerce. Because of that, thare was another commercial agora in the city. It was being used for business & played an important role as a meeting place for the governmental discussions. During the excavations in the Agora a great number of graves were found. they were dated to  7th-6th centuries B.C.  An archaic sarcophagus of terra cotta was another finding from that era. Considering this, it is thougt that in the archaic period this part of the Agora was the necropolis of Ephesus. A water reservoir at the corner of the Agora was also found the water of which was used to be brought to the city through the Pollio Aqueduct. The remains of the Pollio Aqueduct can be seen 5 kilometers away, along the Selçuk-Aydin highway.

The agora has stoas on three sides and a temple in the center, dating from the 1st century A.D. The temple in the center was dedicated to Isis. It was collapsed during the reign of Augustus and was not re-built again, as Emperor Augustus' dislike of anything representing Egyptian culture or religion. On the facade of the Temple, there were group of statues describing the legend of Odysseus and Polyphemos which are now displayed in the Ephesus Museum.


The monument that is called as ''Hercules/Heracles gate'' is located towards the end of the Curetes Street. Its name comes from the relief of Hercules on it.  Only the two side of the columns remain today and the other parts couldn't be found.  The relief of the flying Nike in the Domitian Square is thought to be another part of this gate.

The Heracles Gate was built with the purpose of narrowing the street in order to preventing the access of vehicles. It is thought that at the beginning of Fourth Century, the street had been turned into a pedestrian area.

In these reliefs Heracles was depicting with the skin of the ''Nemean lion'' mentioned in Greek myhtology, which he has killed in a difficult fight.

Hercules gate.jpg

Click on the links below for other pages of Ephesus

Ephesus main page

Ephesus/Terrace Houses,      Ephesus/Celcus Library     Ephesus/Temple of Hadrianus    Ephesus/Temple of Artemis      Selçuk/İsa Bey Mosque       

Ephesus/Other Historical Attractions

Ephesus & Christianity  

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