Harbour Street

The approximately 500 metres long street running between the Theatre and the harbour was called the Harbour Street or the Arcadiana. The street constructed in the 1st century BC was repaired and widened by the Eastern Roman Emperor Arcadius (395-408) and made into a true ceremonial street. It took its ultimate form after the repairs made in this period. It is a meeting point of roads coming from the inner parts of Anatolia and from overseas countries. Many a celebrity came to the harbour from Rome or other cities and walked to the city in ceremony along this road.

At both ends of the street on the Theatre and the harbour side there were three passaged gates in the form of an arch of triumph. Of these gates particularly the one near the Theatre was destroyed down to its foundations.

The street was 1 1 metres wide and had a portico on either side of which Corinthian columns supported the roof. Behind the portico was a row of shops and stores. The lower parts of the northern side were allocated entirely to sports areas. The thick rubble wall on the south side was the Byzantine city wall of Ephesus. In the Byzantine period the street was left outside the city. In the middle of the street on four tall columns different from the others stood the statues of the four writers of the Bible. Today only one of the columns stands, of the others only the bases have remained.

According to an inscription found during excavations the Harbour Street of Ephesus was illuminated by fifty lamps at night. In the Roman period illuminated cities were quite rare.

Leave a Reply