Don’t miss the Terraced Houses!
Set on the hillside of Bülbül Daǧı above the shops are five multichambered peristyle
houses that have been uncovered in ongoing excavations. The houses were inhabited from the 1st to the 7th centuries by the richest mem -bers of society and frequently remodeled. All of the houses had running water, sophis -ticated heating systems, large colonnaded inner courtyards, and rich decor. One had a private basilica.
Overwhelmingly they reveal the best craftsmanship the city had to
offer, in monumental arched colonnades, well-preserved mosaics, and layer upon
layer of frescoes. The course of tourist visits is sure to change in the coming months;
but on your way through the marked passage, keep an eye out for the spectacular
collection of in situ 2nd-century frescoes and mosaics.
Shortly after excavation, the
houses were covered with temporary roofing
designed to protect the remains from the
weather without obscuring the complex.
These terraced, urban apartments contain
wall paintings and mosaic floors left in situ, which, together with the
many objects recovered, provide a vivid picture of the everyday life of
wealthy Ephesians. The houses were excavated over a twenty-five-year
period (1960-85) and protected with temporary roofing until the construction of a permanent shelter began in 1979.
The shelter attempts to reconstruct the space of the original rooms through use of intersecting gabled roofs that make reference to the ground plan. Reinforced concrete pillars support concrete girders and a
ring beam, which defines the perimeter of the complex and supports a wooden roofing truss with red tiles. The houses have only periodically been opened to the public-primarily because the mechanism and
resources to keep them open have been lacking.
Note to visitors with physical limitations: As terraced housing, access is via large exterior or interior stairways, making a visit to this exhibit somewhat challenging.