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My Favourite Planet > English > Middle East > Turkey > Ephesus > photo gallery
Ephesus, Turkey Ephesus photo gallery 1 3 of 66
The Upper State Agora, Ephesus, Turkey at My Favourite Planet

The north side of the Upper "State" Agora, with the Odeion and the south slope of Mount Pion.
The Upper "State" Agora

Ephesus had two agoras (gathering places or market places), the Upper State Agora or Public Agora (Eleuthera Agora) and the Lower Commercial Agora (Tetragonos Agora). The Upper Agora was in the city's administrative precinct, with a group of official buildings such as the council meeting place (the Odeion or Bouleuterion) and law courts.

Like the Lower Agora, it was first built during the Hellenistic period, and completely redesigned during the Roman period. As was usual in Greek and Roman cities, a number of monuments, statues and inscriptions, and practical constructions such as water fountains, were set up around the agora over the centuries.

To the north of the agora were the Prytaneion and the Odeion. Between these two bulidings was a large open courtyard known as the Temenos (sanctuary), although its exact function is uncertain. It was surrounded on three sides by Ionic colonnades and contained a raised structure with stairs, which may have been the base of an altar or small temple.

The agora square was surrounded by stoas (roofed colonnades) on all four sides. Along the north side, the long, narrow Roman Stoa Basilica (see photo below), replaced a Hellenistic single-aisled stoa.

On the south side was a monumental entrance gate, dated to the 2nd or 1st century BC, with four prostyle marble Doric columns and two pillars. On the southwest corner stood the Hydrekdocheion or "Water Palace", otherwise known as the Fountain of C. Laecanius Bassus.

On the square itself was a small peripteral temple, thought to have been dedicated either to Divus Julius and Dea Roma or Isis, and on the west side the Pollio Fountain, which was also the tomb of Sextilius Pollio.

To the west of the agora stood the Temple of Domitian (reigned 81-96 AD), which was the first Neokoros, the centre of the imperial cult, in Ephesus. Little has survived of this temple, but the vaults which formed part of its substructure now house the Inscriptions Museum.
Ruins around the Upper State Agora of Ephesus at My Favourite Planet

Ruins around the Upper "State" Agora of Ephesus.
photos and articles:
© David John
See also:


the nearby town

galleries index
Selcuk photo gallery 1 - town of Selcuk, Turkey

Selçuk gallery 1
around town
Selcuk photo gallery 2 - Ephesus Archaeological Museum, Turkey

Selçuk gallery 2
Ephesus Museum
Selcuk photo gallery 3 - Serbian folk dancers in Selcuk, Turkey

Selçuk gallery 3
Serbian dancers
visit Selçuk
The Odeion on the north side of the Upper State Agora, Ephesus at My Favourite Planet

The Odeion (see gallery page 6) on the north side of the Upper "State" Agora.
The Stoa Basilica in the Upper State Agora, Ephesus at My Favourite Planet

The Upper "State" Agora from the Odeion, with the columns of the Stoa Basilica.
In the background, top right, is the row of vaults which formed part of the
substructure of the Temple of Domitian and now house the Inscriptions Museum.
The paved road to the Magnesian Gateon the south side of the Upper Agora, Ephesus at My Favourite Planet

The road to the Magnesian Gate ,running east-west outside the south side of the Upper Agora (right).

The road, which is aligned with the southern wall of the agora (or was the agora boundary aligned with the road?), has its western on the south west corner of the agora, near the front of the Temple of Domitian. It is paved with huge stone slabs and littered with parts of columns and other pieces of monumental buildings.

To the left are the remains of a nymphaeum (monumental fountain) which fronted a water storage tank (see photo below).
The remains of the fountain and water tank on the Magnesian Gate road, Ephesus at My Favourite Planet

The remains of the "Fountain" and water tank on the road to the Magnesian Gate.

The building with a semi-cicular plan is referred to as a nymphaeum on an inscription from the proconsulship of P. Calvisius Ruso Julius Frontinus. The large tank served to store and distribute water brought to the city by the Marnas Aqueduct, completed 92-93 AD.

It was enlarged in the 2nd century AD, with the addition of two side wings and a fountain basin at the front. It was decorated with statues, fragments of which were discovered during the excavation of the site by the Austrian Archaeological Institue (ÖAI) in 1908. Following severe damage, it was renovated around 340 AD by Proconsul L. Caelius Montius.
Map, photos and articles: © David John

Additional photos: © Konstanze Gundudis

All photos and articles are copyright protected.

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have been attributed where applicable.

Please do not use these photos or articles without permission.

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Higher resolution versions are available on request.

Some of the information and photos in this guide to Ephesus
originally appeared in 2004 on
See also
The Cheshire Cat Blog
photo essays about Turkey:

Istanbul Essentials part 1

Istanbul Essentials part 2

Istanbul Essentials part 3
with video

Ionian Spring part 1

Ionian Spring part 2

Ionian Spring part 3
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