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Photographer's Note

Ever since its facade was reconstructed, the Celsus library of Ephesus has become one of the best known classic monuments in Turkey. It is to be seen on postcards, on prospects and posters of tourism firms, even on the Turkish bank note of 20 million lira. The hundreds of thousands of tourists who yearly visit Ephesus and, walking down the Embolus from the agora, see the magnificent artefact from afar, know it best. From the point where the marble road turns north to the theatre, the visitor has only to walk a few more metres to reach a little square, the west side of which is comprised by the library. In its glory days, between 12,000 and 15,000 scrolls were housed in this grand building and it was the third richest library in ancient times after the Alexandra and Pergamum.

Designed by the Roman architect Vitruoya, the library was built in memory of Celsus Polemeanus, who was a Roman senator, General Governor of the Province of Asia, and a great lover of books. Celsus' son, Julius Aquila, began the construction in 110 AD. The library was completed by Julius Aquila's successors in 135 AD.

The Library of Celsus was remarkable not only for its size and its beauty, but also for its clever and efficient design. The library's marble facade rises with nine steps to 17 m height, with a width of 21 m. The facade of the library has two-stories, with Corinthian style columns on the ground floor and three entrances to the building. There are 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.

The external walls of the building, to the southern, western and northern side, were plain and made of bricks, based on foundations from architectural parts previously used in other buildings. The remnant of one of these walls can be seen on the right. Also you may observe the wall which runs into the pitcture from the lower frame...from where I was stood as I took this shot; This is the wall of the public toilet of Ephesus.

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Additional Photos by Angshuman Chatterjee (Angshu) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 7766 W: 324 N: 15678] (55295)
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