Travel Photo Thursday: Ephesus, Turkey

The Roman Library of Celsus - Ephesus, Turkey (photo credit: Joe Figueiredo)

The city of Ephesus was founded by the ancient Greeks and later grew to be the second largest city in the Roman Empire, after Rome. It’s located on the west coast of Asia Minor, near present-day Selçuk in the Izmir Province of Turkey. Ephesus contains the largest collection of Roman ruins in the eastern Mediterranean.

This photo shows the Library of Celsus which was built circa 125 CE in honor of Tiberius Julius Celsus Polemaenus, a governor of Roman Asia. The library is said to have held nearly 12,000 scrolls, making it the third richest library in ancient times after Alexandria and Pergamum. Double stone walls behind the bookshelves were constructed to protect the scrolls from heat and humidity. In the early 1900s, the Austrian Archaeological Institute restored much of the library’s façade which no doubt helped make the city into one of the largest tourist destinations in the region.

This photo was taken by my Dad in 2009, when he and my Mom traveled to Greece and Turkey. When I went to Turkey last year, I unfortunately ran out of time so missed out on Ephesus. Hopefully I’ll be able to visit there someday in the future!

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