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My Favourite Planet > English > Middle East > Turkey > Ephesus > photo gallery
Ephesus, Turkey Ephesus photo gallery 1 17 of 62

Kuretes Street, Ephesus, Turkey at My Favourite Planet

Kuretes Street, Ephesus. View northwestwards down to the Lower Agora.
Kuretes Street

Kuretes Street (or Curetes Street) was named by archaeologists following the discovery there of column drums, originally from Prytaneion, inscribed with lists of the union of the kuretes (κουρῆτες, priests of Artemis), which had been reused in an early Christian stoa. It is thought that the street's ancient name was either the Embolos (ἔμβολος, wedge, peg, stopper; in late antiquity a common name for a colonnaded street) or Plateia (πλατεῖα, wide street).

The steep street was one of the main roads of Ephesus following its reconstruction by Lysimachus (see History of Ephesus) and part of the processional route between the city and the Temple of Artemis, known as the Sacred Way (see gallery page 12). However, it is not aligned with the surrounding orthogonal street grid and probably predates this phase of city planning, perhaps used since at least Archaic times as a route between the Temple of Artemis and the sacred grove of Ortygia, which according to local legend was the birthplace of Artemis (see Selcuk gallery 1, page 3).

It runs northwestwards down through the valley between Mount Pion (όρος Πίων; Turkish, Panayırdağ) and Mount Koressos (όρος Κορησσός; Turkish, Bülbüldağ, Nightingale Mountain), from Domitian Square, in the administrative district in the Upper City, to the junction on which stand the Library of Celsus and the entrance to the Lower Agora. A number of narrow side streets and alleys led from the street to other parts of the district.

From the lower northwestern end, one way led through "Hadrian's Gate" to the road further northwestwards to Ortygia. The other way, northwards, known as the Marble Street, led to the Great Theatre and the harbour.

The marble-paved street is 6.8 - 10 metres wide and descends around 20 metres along its 210 metre length. During the Roman Imperial period it was lined on either side with Stoas (porticos or colonnades), 3.5 - 4.5 metres wide, behind which were rows of shops arranged in insulae (islands or blocks). In front of each column of the stoas stood a marble or bronze statue on an inscribed base, set up in honour of an emperor or dignitary. Several bases and a few parts of the statues have survived. Not all the columns of various forms, sizes and different types of marble which now stand along the street belong to the original stoas. A number of monumental buildings also stood along the street, particularly on the north side, including the Fountain of Trajan and the "Temple of Hadrian". A sewer channel ran beneath the street.

The street was closed to traffic through the Herakles Gate in late Antiquity, however, it remained in use and was maintained until the 6th - 7th century AD.

A marble statue of the doctor Alexander on Kuretes Street, Ephesus at My Favourite Planet

A headless marble statue of the doctor Alexander on an inscribed base
at the top end on Kuretes Street, on the right (north) as you go down.

The statue of a male figure wrapped in a himation (cloak) was made in the Roman Imperial period and reused, perhaps with the addition of a portrait head of Alexander (Ἀλέξανδρος, Alexandros) in the late 4th - 5th century AD, perhaps circa 380. The inscription on the base states that the statue was set up by council and people (the boule and the demos) of Ephesus.

Height of statue 135 cm, height of base 192 cm.
photos and articles:
© David John

See also:


the nearby town

galleries index

Selcuk photo gallery 1 - town of Selcuk, Turkey

gallery 1
around town

Selcuk photo gallery 2 - Ephesus Archaeological Museum, Turkey

gallery 2

Selcuk photo gallery 3 - Serbian folk dancers in Selcuk, Turkey

gallery 3
Serbian dancers
visit Selçuk

The upper entrance to Kuretes Street, through the Herakles Gate, Ephesus at My Favourite Planet

The upper (east) entrance to Kuretes Street, through the Herakles Gate (see previous page).

Marble paving stone with graffiti on Kuretes Street, Ephesus at My Favourite Planet

Graffiti carved on a marble paving stone on Kuretes Street.

This is another rough carving which may be an ancient
improvised gameboard (see gallery page 5). In this
case the game may have been rota, Latin for wheel.

Wild spring flowers and Roman masonry on Kuretes Street, Ephesus at My Favourite Planet

Wild spring flowers and Roman masonry on Kuretes Street.

The view along Kuretes Street, Ephesus at My Favourite Planet

The view along Kuretes Street, northwestwards down to the Library of Celsus.

The large modern structure on the lower left end of the street shelters the Terrace Houses.

The view along Kuretes Street from the Herakles Gate, Ephesus at My Favourite Planet

The view northwestwards along Kuretes Street from the "Herakles Gate".
Photos, articles and map: © David John,
except where otherwise specified.

Additional photos: © Konstanze Gundudis

All photos and articles are copyright protected.

Images and materials by other authors
have been attributed where applicable.

Please do not use these photos or articles without permission.

If you are interested in using any of the photos for your website,
project or publication, please get in contact.

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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