Travel theme: Pale Ruins

This week’s travel theme from Ailsa is PALE and what is paler than sun bleached ruins? I explored Ephesus while traveling through Turkey a couple of years ago, it was amazing!!

The library of Celsus stands at the end of a long paved walkway
The library of Celsus stands at the end of a long paved walkway

The library of Celsus is definitely the most recognizable  ancient Roman building in Ephesus, Turkey. It was built in honor of the Roman Tiberius Julius Celsus Polemaeanus  in 177 AD.

Only the facade survived after the devastating earthquake that struck the city in 262.
Only the facade survived after the devastating earthquake that struck the city in 262.

The library was built to store 12,000 scrolls and to serve as a monumental tomb for Celsus. Celsus is buried in a sarcophagus beneath the library, in the main entrance.  It was unusual to be buried within a library or even within city limits, so this was a special honor for Celsus. The interior of the library and all its books were destroyed by fire in the devastating earthquake that struck the city in 262. Only the facade survived, which is quite sad. I think it might have been a magnificent building as a whole.

This building must have been magnificent once.
This building must have been magnificent once.

The building is important as one of the few remaining examples of an ancient Roman-influenced library. It also shows that public libraries were built not only in Rome itself but throughout the Roman Empire.

The building’s facade was depicted on the reverse of the Turkish 20 million lira banknote of 2001-2005 and of the 20 new lira banknote of 2005-2009.

Walking along the paved walkway between all these thousands of years old ruins was magnificent.  

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15 comments

  1. Turkey has always been one of my dream destinations, though I have never been able to make it so far. How many days do you think will be good for a trip ? I know to know a country, no time is enough, but still as a tourist sojourn ?

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  2. Spent two weeks in Turkey. So much to see. I’d love to give it a couple years to see more! Thanks for the photos of Ephesus–better than I remember! I must have taken photos (in the 35mm days), but where are they?!

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    • Turkey is a fabulous place to visit, hope you get to visit soon! It has so much to offer and is filled with so much history, there is still so much I would like to see, I will definitely be going back some day!

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