Reconstructed and rebuilt after an earthquake – damaged library, it is considered one of the ancient main attractions. It is adorned with masterful ornaments and sculptures and has already been printed twice as a motif on Turkish lira banknotes. At that time more than 10,000 scrolls were kept in the library. Under the library room there is the burial chamber of the deceased Celsus Polemaeanus.
Rediscovered Celsus Library
The library is located south of the (Market Square) of Ephesus, a former Greek city in Asia Minor. The building was built on behalf of the consul Gaius Julius Aquila in honor of his father, the Roman senator Tiberius Julius Celsus Polemaeanus, known as Celsus, according to the plans of the architect Vitruoya.
It served as a library for the accommodation of more than 10,000 scrolls and also as a museum for Celsus. The library was the third largest of the ancient times in Alexandria and Pergamon.
The Building Is Now A Prime Example Of Roman Architecture
In front of the three entrances there are four pairs of ionic columns on pedestals. On the upper floor there are the same number of Corinthian columns. There are replica statues of the four virtues. From left to right these are: Sophia (Wisdom), Arete (Valor), imprisoning her (intelligence) and Episteme (knowledge). The originals can be seen in the Viennese Ephesusmuseum.
The building had a single hall with a large apse on the rear wall, where there was probably a statue of the goddess Athene. The walls and the floor of this room were completely clad in colored marble. The museum in the basement was built of white marble.