Part of our trip to Turkey was spent travelling to various interesting destinations, one of which was Ephasus. Paul spent two years here and founded a Christian church. At it's height, Ephasus is believed to have been inhabited by 250,000 people.
The famous Ephesus Library is situated to the south of the Agora. This elegant monument was built in A.D. 135 by Julius Aquila in memory of his father, Celsus Polemaeanus of Sardis, Roman Senator and Proconsul of the province of Asia.
After passing through a marble-paved courtyard twenty-one meters wide one reaches the main reading-room by nine wide marble steps. There are four bases for statues at the top of the staircase The floor of the main reading room is built on arched vaults and the inner and outer walls are separated by a corridor, thus protecting the library from damp. The walls and floor of the room were completely faced with coloured marble.
Across the main reading room there was an exactly placed niche for offerings: to the right and left of the round niche and on the sidewalls were square niches containing cupboards to hold the rolled manuscripts. On the front of the library there was a two-storied gallery.
A section sixteen meters high was decorated very richly with a raised column, door ornaments and sculptural architectural monuments, carving and decoration. These carvings can now be seen in the Vienna Museum.
In a burial chamber in the lower part of the library can be seen a decorated white marble tomb in which Gaius Julius Celsus Polemaeanus was buried. The life of Celsus is related in Greek and Latin on the bases of the statues on each side of the library staircase.