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Excavated Streets of Ephesus
Ancient Ephesus was an important port city. Silting of the harbor however, has gradually moved this now historic archaeology site inland to be land locked. Cruising into the port city of Kusadasi, Ephesus is only 15 minutes away by land and well worth visiting as a day trip for a guided tour of the extensive excavations that have taken place over the years of this once vibrant economic and cultural center of ancient civilizations.
The Ephesus Theatre, which had a seating capacity of 25,000, was first constructed during the Hellenistic period, although the present structure dates from the 1-2nd centuries AD. The Roman Theatre was begun during the reign of Claudius (34-41 A.D.), and it took 60 years to build.
The Temple of Hadrian is on the street of the Curettes, and is one of the better preserved buildings at Ephesus. According to the inscription over the architrave it was constructed by P.Quintilius during 118-138 A.D., and dedicated to the emperor Hadrian.
Opposite Hadrian’s Temple are the excavated Terrace Houses, which were built on the slopes of Bulbul Mountain. Their name comes from their design, with the roof of one house providing the terrace for the higher structure. The important and wealthy of Ephesus were residents of these “houses of rich” when built from the first century BCE, and continued until their restoration period in the second century CE. Although plain from the outside, their interiors were decorated with mosaics and frescoes and designed with opened ceiling, interior peristyles. Although these houses were mostly two-storied, upper stories collapsed after the last structures were abandoned in the 7th century. Excavation continues with two houses fully restored. Visitors can see plans of houses which had living and dining areas on the first floor, bedrooms on the second, and heating systems provided by hot water that flowed beneath floors and behind the walls. Visitors can also view current restoration projects with frescoes and mosaics in situ.
Visiting Ephesus when traveling to Turkey is a “must do” in your yacht charter itinerary.