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My Favourite Planet > English > Middle East > Turkey > Ephesus > photo gallery
Ephesus, Turkey Ephesus photo gallery 1 4 of 62
The Upper State Agora, Ephesus, Turkey at My Favourite Planet

The north side of the Upper "State" Agora, with the Odeion and the south slope of Mount Pion.
The Upper "State" Agora

Part 1: introduction and history

Ephesus had two agoras (gathering places or market places), the Upper State Agora or Public Agora (Eleuthera Agora) and the Lower Commercial Agora (Tetragonos Agora).

The Upper Agora, in the Upper City, was in the city's administrative precinct, with a group of official buildings such as the council meeting place (the Bouleuterion or Odeion) and law courts.

Like the Lower Agora, it was first built during the Hellenistic period, and completely redesigned during the Roman period. As was usual in Greek and Roman cities, a number of monuments, statues and inscriptions, and practical constructions such as water fountains, were set up around the agora over the centuries.

To the north of the agora were the Upper Gymnasium, the Bouleuterion and the Prytaneion. Between the latter two bulidings stood the "Temenos" (τήμενος, sanctuary), a colonnaded courtyard in which stood an altar or two small temples (see gallery page 10).

The agora square was surrounded by stoas (roofed colonnades) on all four sides. Along the north side, the long, narrow Roman Basilica Stoa replaced a Hellenistic single-aisled stoa.

In the centre of the west side of the square itself was a small peripteral temple, thought to have been dedicated either to Divus Julius and Dea Roma, Augustus or Isis (see below).

On the south side (see next page) was a Hellenistic gate of the 2nd or 1st century BC. On the southwest corner stood the monumental Hydrekdocheion ("Water Palace"), also known as the "Fountain of Gaius Laecanius Bassus".

To the west of the agora stood the Temple of Domitian (see gallery page 13), which was the first Neokoros, centre of the Roman Imperial cult in Asia Minor, in Ephesus. Little has survived of this enormous sanctuary, but the row of vaults which formed part of its substructure now house the Inscriptions Museum.
photos and articles:
© David John
See also:


the nearby town

galleries index
Selcuk photo gallery 1 - town of Selcuk, Turkey

Selçuk gallery 1
around town
Selcuk photo gallery 2 - Ephesus Archaeological Museum, Turkey

Selçuk gallery 2
Ephesus Museum
Selcuk photo gallery 3 - Serbian folk dancers in Selcuk, Turkey

Selçuk gallery 3
Serbian dancers
visit Selçuk
The Odeion on the north side of the Upper State Agora, Ephesus at My Favourite Planet

The Bouleuterion or Odeion on the north side of the Upper Agora. To the right
of the Bouleuterion are the enormous, gaping vaults of the Upper Gymnasium.
The temple in the Upper Agora, Ephesus at My Favourite Planet

The foundations and fallen columns of the temple on the Upper Agora square.

The peripteral temple (with columns all around) stood in the centre of the west side of the agora, on a podium 23 metres long and 15 metres wide. It had 6 columns at each end and 10 columns along the sides. Fragments of red granite monolithic columns lie in front of the excavated foundations.

The temple was probably built around 15 AD, during the reign of either Augustus (27 BC - 14 AD) or Tiberius (14-37 AD). It is thought that it may have been a sanctuary of the conventus Civium Romanorum (the Association of Roman Citizens) dedicated either to Divus Julius and Dea Roma, or to Augustus (see Athens Acropolis gallery, page 17). According to another theory, it may have beeen a temple of Isis. It was completely demolished during the late antique period.
Remains of buildings on the east side of the Upper Agora, Ephesus at My Favourite Planet

Remains of buildings on the east side of the Upper Agora.
Terracotta water pipes on the east side of the Upper Agora, Ephesus at My Favourite Planet

Terracotta water pipes in one of the buildings on the east side of the Upper Agora.
Sections of terracotta water pipes on the east side of the Upper Agora, Ephesus at My Favourite Planet

Sections of terracotta water pipes stacked in front of the Basilica Stoa on the east
side of the Upper Agora. Exposed lengths of underground water conduits can be seen
around the agora. The piping found around the agora temple (see above) led to the
theory that it had been a temple of the Egyptian goddess Isis surrounded by water.
Photos and articles and map: © David John

Additional photos: © Konstanze Gundudis

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have been attributed where applicable.

Please do not use these photos or articles without permission.

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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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