street in the southwestern corner of
the agora leads to the Temple to
Serapis. The cult of Serapis was
originally Egyptian but passed into
Greek and Roman religious life found
fertile ground for growth in
Ephesus, where this temple was
built. Upon first investigation it
was thought that this gorgeous
monumental work was built for
Emperor Claudius (41-54 AD).
considerations and the presence of
certain statues and inscriptions led
to the conclusion that it was in
fact constructed in the 2nd century
for the Egyptian cult of Serapis.
The temple sat on a terrace above
the courtyard. Built along prostyle
lines, the column capitals found
were 1.5 m in diameter, meaning that
the columns were as much as 57 tons
on weight. The entrance was
extremely wide and had a double
door. Since the door was metal, it
had wheels on the bottom, which a
readily visible track in the floor.
Without a doubt the most attractive
part of the temple was the façade.
It was 15 m. high with 57-ton
columns supporting it on either side
and had galleries surrounding a
entryway courtyard. It is still
possible to see the columns and
upper parts in front of the temple.
The structure was later used as a
church. It is easy to see that
earthquakes in ancient times did a
lot of damage to the temple.
Section of Ephesus,
Istanbul Castles, Istanbul Bazaars