The Curetes street lead us to the Library of Celsus which is, in my opinion, the most imposing monument of the ancient city not only because a big part of it has survived in a very good condition but also thanks to its architecture and its decorative sculptures. I had already seen several photos and I had read a lot about Celsus’s Library, so I was looking forward to visit it and admire its beauty in real time! My first touch with the Library was from the top of Curetes street from where we had a panoramic view to it.
Ephesus - Curetes Street and Celsus Library
As we were approaching, a large imposing building was emerging, leaving us speechless thanks to its size and of course its grandeur!
Ephesus - Celsus Library
Our “private guide” told us that the library was built by Galius Julius Aquila who dedicated it to his father Gaius Julius Celsus Polemaeanus(governor of the Province of Asia), in 135 AD. There are nine big marble steps that lead visitors to the indoor ground floor of the library. Four statues symbolizing the Knowledge, the Virtue, the Intelligence and the Wisdom adorn the niches of the facade columns, symbolizing the virtues of Celsus.
The façade of Celsus Library. The four statues can be seen on the lower side of the picture.
This statue symbolizes Celsus’s knowledge
The Grotto was a small chapel with a statue depicting Virgin Mary placed in it. We were not allowed to take any photos idorrs, so we just captured the outer part of the chapel and its yard.
Virgin Mary's chapel
After having taken a large number of photos at Virgin Mary’s Grotto, excited by natural beauty of it, we went back to our taxi and directed to Ephesus. I kept enjoying the route as we were descending the mountain, overlooking a colorful valley lightened by a sweet sun that had made or journey idyllic! It took us no more than 10 minutes to arrive at the entrance of the archaeological site of Ephesus. The taxi driver had already let us know that we had to pay either in Turkish liras or by credit card. The fee was 20 liras (11 euros). Once having taken our tickets, a man came to us offering his services as a guide, politely yet we said him that we were not interested because one of my friends is an archaeologist and she had promised us a private guidance to Ephesus! What is more, the taxi driver had given us a guide book about Ephesus that would help us to explore the ancient city.
Entering the site of Ephesus
I will present you some of the best preserved monuments of Ancient Ephesus. The Odeion is one of the first sites one can see when entering Ephesus. It was constructed in the 2nd century AD and was used for concert and theatrical plays. It could host 1,500 persons. Two entrances were on both sides of the theatre, through which the spectators entered it.
Odeion - Ephesus (Entrance to the lower diazomas on the left and to the upper diazomas on the top right side)
The other side of the entrace to the upper diazomas!
Walking along Curetes streets is a unique experience! It connects Hercules’s Gate with Celsus’s Library.
Curetes Street - Ephesus
Its slope ground consists of marble stones and a series of columns line its right side while a stone wall lines the left one. It was constructed in the 2nd century AD and it is a Hellenistic style street. The view to Celsus’s Library is amazing from the top of the slope Curetes street.
Curetes Street - Ancient Ephesus