Library of Celsus


Library of Celsus is one of the most beautiful structures in #Ephesus. It was built in 117 A.D. It was a monumental tomb for Gaius Julius Celsus Polemaeanus, the governor of the province of Asia; from his son Galius Julius Aquila. The grave of Celsus was beneath the ground floor, across the entrance and there was a statue of Athena over it because Athena was the goddess of the wisdom.


The scrolls of the manuscripts were kept in cupboards in niches on the walls. There were double walls behind the bookcases to prevent the them from the extremes of temperature and humidity. The capacity of the library was more than 12,000 scrolls. It was the third richest library in ancient times after the Alexandra and Pergamum.


The facade of the library has two-stories, with Corinthian style columns on the ground floor and three entrances to the building. There is three windows openings in the upper story. They used an optical trick that the columns at the sides of the facade are shorter than those at the center, giving the illusion of the building being greater in size.


Excavations at the library brought to light a statue of Celsus which is on display at Istanbul Archaeological Museum. The library was burnt during the 3rd century by the Goths who attacked Ephesus. Fortunately, a great part of its facade was not damaged seriously, so it has survived nowadays in a pretty good condition.


Visiting Information;
Winter Season: November - March Library of Celsus can be visited between 8:00 AM - 5:00 PM Ticket booths close at 4:00 PM
Summer Season: April - October Library of Celsus can be visited between 8:00 AM - 7:00 PM Ticket booths close at 6:00 PM
Open: Library of Celsus can be visited everday.
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