We continue our tour of this wonderful ancient site with a visit to the two most famous buildings.

At this point in the series we should point out that we are not aiming to give you a detailed tour of Ephesus.

Instead we want to tell you about things you may miss (Temple of Domitian) and feature the familiar ‘famous’ bits.

You need to make your own visit to see the host of public baths, temples, the latrines and the brothel signs – even without a guide you will find them.

This article covers two of the most famous buildings in Ephesus and the first one you will encounter is the Library of Celsus, at the bottom of the downhill street you have been on since entering the site.

Celsus was a governor of Ephesus who was buried here after he died in the second century AD.

His son then erected a magnificent reading room over his tomb which was what we now call the Library.

Originally it had many more statues, outside in what are now empty niches, and inside.

Austrian architects working on the site at the beginning of the twentieth century took carved reliefs and four statues from the building, and they are still on display in a museum in Vienna.

The arched gateway to the right of the Library is the entrance to the Lower Agora, or market place and you proceed through it will soon come to the theatre.

The theatre is built against a hillside and was once one of the largest theatres in the Aegean with a total capacity of over 25,000 spectators.

Ephesus Theatre

In June and July each year performances of opera and classical music are staged in the theatre. If you have the opportunity to visit then you are in for an unforgettable experience.

Before we leave the subject of performances in Ephesus you should also know that camel wrestling takes place in the ancient Stadium in spring.

Another good reason to take a trip to Ephesus.

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