Ephesus, an ancient city in the turkish İzmir Province, was one of the last sites to be added to the UNESCO WHS and it was also one of the last to me added to my collection. Last August Ana visited this site and couldn't decided which of these cards she would send me so she sent both!! Both are great, thank you so much.
Located within what was once the estuary of the River Kaystros, Ephesus comprises successive Hellenistic and Roman settlements founded on new locations, which followed the coastline as it retreated westward. Excavations have revealed grand monuments of the Roman Imperial period including the Library of Celsus and the Great Theatre.
The Ancient City of Ephesus is an outstanding example of a Roman port city, with sea channel and harbour basin. - in: http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/1018
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The Great Theatre was built on the foot of Panayir mountain and its façade faced the Harbour street, in the first century AD and later on it was renovated by several Roman Emperors. It is considered to be the most imposing and the most impressive structure of Ephesus city. It could host up to 25,000 spectators.
Apart from the theatrical plays and the music performances that took place in the theatre, political and religious events were carried out in it as well. Among the most important of them is the conflict between Christians and the followers of Artemis during which Saint Paul was judged and sent to prison as he was accused of hurting Artemis.
The Great Theatre of Ephesus was destroyed due to an earthquake in the 4th century AD and only a part of it was repaired. In the 8th century AD it had been incorporated into the defense system of the city. - in: http://www.ephesus.ws/the-great-theatre-of-ephesus.html
The Library was built by Gaius Julius Aquila to honor his father Julius Celsus Polemaenus, General Governor of the roman province of Asia, in 135 AD, designed by the architect Vitruoya. It was one of the largest libraries of the ancient world and it could host more than 12,000 scrolls. Celsus died when he was 70 years old and hw was buried in a marble sarcophagus in a cellar under an arched ceiling under the ground floor of the Library. It can be accessed through some stairs and then a narrow corridor which leads to the sarcophagus that has been adorned with nice sculptures.
There were nine steps leading to the entrance of the library which consisted of three large doors. The thick columns between the doors had been adorned with statues depicting the Wisdom, the Knowledge, the Intelligence and the Fortune.
The library was burnt during the 3rd century by the Goths who attacked Ephesus. Fortunately, a great part of its façade was not damaged seriously, so it has survived nowadays in a pretty good condition. - in: http://www.ephesus.ws/the-library-of-celsus-ephesus.html