Ephesus, Turkey, 12th September 2017

September 30, 2017
Written by: Rob Slusar

At the beginning of September, my wife and I attended a wedding of some friends in Turkey. Whilst we spent a lot of time with them and on the beach next to their house, we did get some time to get out and explore on our as we have done before.

When we went in 2015, we visited the ancient city of Ephesus near Selcuk. It was full of tourists at the time, so given we were out of season and it was unseasonably quiet, we decided to jump on the local Dolmus (bus service) and head down again.

It was much much quieter this time, and as were not part of a tour group like we were before, we were able to have a leisurely walk around in the sunshine.

I won’t go into too much detail about Ephesus as I did that before, so if you want to catch up, you can find that report here.

Last time, I took a lot of pictures on my bride camera, this time I went with my D5200. I didn’t want to just take straight repeats of the photos I did before, so I tried to get more details, and venture into an area we didn’t get chance to last time.

Romans loved their columns and these are just 2 examples of the countless columns that still remain in the city. These columns would have formed part of the Basillica, which once stood next to the Odeon.

The Odeon was a small theatre built to hold around 1500 people for small concerts, plays and talks.

More columns, this time in marble.

You will see from my last report that there was a long street paved with marble stones, designed to show the elegance of the area. It soon dawned on the Romans that marble becomes slippery when it is wet, and with it being sloped, caused a number of accidents. To resolve this, some stones had grooves cut into them in order to be more slip resistant.

Lots of stones in the city have carvings on them. Some with lists, some with funeral rites, it appears that few stones could go without an inscription.

The Romans are well known for the mosaics, and one of the streets, believed to be the location of high class shops, there is a whole mosaic road. This is a small section of that road, which is mostly still intact.

The Temple of Hadrian, compelte with carvings of Medussa.

This comes from an area which we did not visit last time. This area was at one time private homes, and is still undergoing uncovering and restoration. Some parts of this are so well preserved that you can see the original wall paintings, just as can be seen in this panorama.

This would have been a courtyard of a house, and you can see how well decorated these homes would have once been. With extensive mosaics, marble tiles, columns and wall coverings, there was certainly some money around.

Some of the wall art is incredibly well detailed, and show gods, animals and all sorts.

This mosaic of a lion was one of my favourites.

This photo gives a view of what one of the houses would be decorated like in all of its glory. Stunning workmanship.

Another mosaic.

Another possible courtyard.

Very detailed stonework on the library.

The Library of Celcus is possibly one of the most iconic and best known images from Ephesus. Whilst not the grandest building in the city, it was definitely one of the most elegant and attractive.

We did take a wander around the theatre, but as they were setting up for a concert in there (which they still do from time to time) I decided not to take any more inside as the stage and lighting set up took away from the historic element of it. It still looks mighty impressive.

I love Ephesus. There really is so much history in the stones of the place. Whilst I have been there before, I am still taken aback by some of the architecture and building styles that were achieved such a long time ago. I was even more blown away by seeing the old homes, looking at how much effort would have gone in to decorating and tending to them is amazing when you consider homes these days are just painted in magnolia.

I may not go back again for a few years, but given they are unearthing parts all the time (they believe they have only uncovered 15% thus far, although some may never be excavated), I’m sure there will be something else to see next time.

Thanks for looking.


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