When it comes to go to Turkey for spending the holidays, we have a lot of excitement in our hearts. Turkey has numerous attractions, the library of Celsus being one of them.

It is an ancient Roman building in Ephesus, Anatolia. Nowadays, the library is a part of Selçuk, Turkey. This beautiful library was constructed to honor the Roman Senator Tiberius Julius Celsus Polemaeanus, and its foundation was laid in 135 AD by Celsus’ son, Gaius Julius Aquila. The purpose of building this library was to store 12,000 scrolls, and it had been serving as a mausoleum for Celsus, buried in a crypt beneath the library.

The library, no doubt, is beautifully constructed. Its interiors were destroyed due to an earthquake in 262 A.D. The library’s façade was re-founded between 1970 and 1978.

Library of Celsus

Celsus was a consul in 92 AD, governor of Asia in 115 AD, and a rich citizen. He was honored both as a Roman and Greek. The construction of library of Celsus was initiated in 117 AD and it got completed in 120. Its building is an important remaining of ancient Roman times, and leaves an influence on the hearts of the people.

Unfortunately, the whole library, with its collection of books, was destructed due to an earthquake that arrived in the city. In 400 AD, the library was transformed into a Nymphaeum.

During 1978, a German archaeologist Volker Michael Strocka, started the campaign of reconstruction of this library. He analysed the fragments of Austrian archaeologists between 1903 and 1904, and decided to replace them with newer and better ones.

Architecture of Library of Celsus

The edifice is a single hall, facing the east for giving benefits to early risers. The library of celsus has been founded on a platform of nine steps with the full width leading to its three front entrances, out of which the central entrance is largest and most prominent. A set of Corinthian columns is standing to add height to this building.

The main entrance is both a crypt, and it contains Celsus’s sarcophagus. As told already, the library was completely destroyed, so its interior has been renovated with a central apse framed by a large arch at the far wall. A statue of Celsus is standing in the apse, and Celsus’ tomb is lying beneath the vaulted chamber.

The upper floors of the library can be reached via its stairs, present into the walls for adding support to the building. Its ceiling used to be flat, and there used to be a square oculus for providing more light within the library.

The library looks very stunning and beautifully styled, having ornate, balanced, well-planned façade which is reflecting the influences of Greek on Roman architectures. The building is made up of bricks, concrete, and mortared rubble.

An Ideal Point for International Tourists

Without any doubt, this library is a perfect tourist attraction of Turkey. It has been home to marvelous collections of books, which remind us the old-age times of Greek and Roman eras. This has been the place where history lovers and international tourists visit whenever they get a chance. If you are in Turkey, don’t forget to explore the beauty of this library.


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