Where We Be
Ephesus, Turkey
The Library of Celsus is one of the highlights of any visit to Ephesus. It was built by
Celsus around 120 AD to store 12,000 scrolls and to serve as his monumental tomb.
Celsus was Governor of Asia in 115 AD, and a wealthy and popular local citizen. He used his own personal wealth to pay for the library's construction.
Our private tour with Ephesus Shuttle ($50 per person) was a great success. Murat, our tour guide, spoke great English and was very knowledgeable.
Unusual angle on the Library of Celsus as seen through an archway leading towards the Great Theater
It was great to get to share this experience with my Mom and Dad!
Gladiator tunnel leading to the arena
This path through a "junk yard" of ruined columns leads to the Great Theater -- in the distance you can see the Library of Celsus
Here's a closeup of the Odeon, the more intimate theater for the upper crust
Robin loved sitting in one of the premier seats at the Odean and imagining who might have attended a performance in that exact spot before her
Ruins and red poppies -- a great photo combo!
Even closer to the entrance. This is a view of the broken columns lining Curette's Way. Beyond is a small theater for the elite citizens of Ephesus.
The terrace houses had running water, sophisticated heating systems, large colonnaded inner courtyards, and rich decor including these mosaics
We saw six houses, some of them very large by ancient standards. They were inhabited from the 1st to the 7th centuries.
I wasn't sure if my parents would be able to climb all the stairs involved in touring the Terrace Houses, but they did great!
During the return trip, we stopped at the Temple of Artemis, once one of the Wonders of the Ancient World, now reduced to a single standing column!
Now we're backtracking to the actual beginning of our tour. This is Curette's Way, which leads downhill from the ticket booth to the Library of Celsus.
The Great Theater, where St. Paul preached, could hold 25,000 people! It was used for gladiator fights – and for sacrificing early Christians to the lions.
Paul was none too popular with the gold and silver merchants because he preached against false idols, including Artemis,
and the merchants made most of their money selling Artemis statuettes, so he barely escaped with his life!
This stork made its nest on top of the one remaining column!
Ephesus is often said to be second only to
Pompeii as an introduction to ancient Roman
civilization, and we'd have to agree. The ruins
are very well preserved and you get a great
feeling for what life would have been like in the
centuries just before and after Christ.

The nice thing about the layout of Ephesus is
that you can start at the Upper Gate and walk
almost all downhill to the Lower Gate where
your transport can pick you up again. We took a
guided tour, starting at the Odeon, a small
theater for the upper crust. We walked down
Curette’s Way, a columned stone path with many
points of interest. At the end of this path is the
highlight of any tour of Ephesus, the Library of
Celsus. This two-tiered ruin is particularly
beautiful and graces the cover of nearly every
tourist brochure of Ephesus. The other star
attraction is the Great Theater where St. Paul
preached and where gladiators once fought.
Our tour guide, Murat, did a fabulous job of showing us Ephesus
Robin is always in high spirits when exploring ancient ruins
We saw ancient backgammon tables made of stone all around Ephesus -- apparently it
was a popular game for the shopkeepers to play while waiting for their next customers!
All along Curette's Way were beautiful statues and bas reliefs set amongst the poppies
The public toilets were VERY public -- a fountain ran
in the center to provide a bit of sound dampening!
The Temple of Hadrian includes a sculpture of Medusa at the center of the arch
These stone signs on the way to the Great Theater advertised 1) a store for buying weapons, 2) a brothel, and 3) gladiator fights
Lovely column carving of Hercules wrapped in a lion skin
Our guide pointed out the round hole in the center of the
column -- an iron rod held the column pieces together
Our guided tour included the Terrace Houses, which gave us a great idea of what it would have been like to be an aristocrat in ancient Ephesus