Friday, July 26, 2013

Ephesus continued - the Terrace Houses!

We made our way through the area that is dedicated to pedestrian traffic only.  It was closed off to chariots!  The first thing that you see is the facade of the Library of Celsus. What an amazing site this is!

Today you see tourists walking through the cobblestone streets - but imagine how this was thousands of years ago?  You can almost picture it!

You can see on the left modern coverings on some buildings?  Well this is the site of some current archaeological projects! The Terrace Houses!  The highlight of Ephesus in my opinion.  It's a small extra fee, but we absolutely went into the Terrace houses, except my dad, who was concerned that maybe there would be too many steps – I think he would have been fine. But the Terrace Houses are houses built into the hills that are currently being excavated. They call them the houses of the rich – there are six residences here. You can see the mosaics and the frescos – the colors are amazing! You can see the pipes that were used for plumbing!

These Terrace Houses for me were most definitely the highlight of Ephesus. The detail of what has been recovered is amazing. The ruins are massive. 

Then of course there really is so much more. There are stones with carvings indicating where the Dr would have been. There are the public bathrooms, which were apparently quite the social gathering places!  The people who didn't live in the terrace houses didn't have their own private plumbing, they had public bathroom - you'll see these!  There are statues, fountains, buildings... There is then the Carvings that were in front of the merchants indicating that they were Christians – and this is how the first symbols of Christianity came about and eventually developed into the Jesus Fish that we have come to know today!

This was the public bathroom! Often used for meetings and social time - quite the hangout! 

Moving on we approached the facade of the Library of Celsus. This itself is one huge, amazing structure! It is said to have held 15,000 scrolls!

It’s here I’ll mention the cats. In Athens it was the city of the stray dogs. Everywhere! Ephesus was the ruins of the cats! Here at the Library of Celcus was a mamma cat nursing her three baby kittens. I’ll say the crowd to take pictures of this site was as busy as any part of the ruins here! Animals sure draw a crowd! Especially when baby animals are involved!

As we walked towards the exit of this part of the town on Ephesus, we had a chance to visit the larger of the amphitheaters. Keith, Alex and I went in and climbed up the rows of seats to get a view from above.

Just had to share - not exactly sure what this would be, but they were selling them at the somewhat high pressure sales stands on the way back to our van leaving the ruins.....

It was a great morning! But we still had much more to see. But so far, Turkey was absolutely nothing like I had expected. It was so green and lush. Rolling hills and vast open spaces! I don’t know if I expected deserts or it to be flat. But it was very peaceful, it was beautiful. We all were really enjoying our time here! 

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