Terrace Houses

Terrace Houses - Ancient City of Ephesus

Terrace Houses

These houses were the luxury apartment building of people who were propertied class in Ephesus, established on terraces on the slopes of Mount Bulbul. The houses were built in peristyle, adjacent to each other, each consisting of two flats. Some of these houses dates to the 1st century B.C. from the finds made during excavations. After restorations and repairs the some houses were built after the earthquakes in 2nd century and 3th century A.D., the houses were two-storey, were inhabited until the end of 4th century A.D. and some continued to be inhabited until 7th century A.D.

The entrances to these houses were from narrow paths with stairs. The first residence we enter for visiting is the residence No.6 and it is the biggest one which was found. There was an inner court in the middle of the houses, which was surrounded by coloumns in a peristyle and this court constituded the center of these house. There was a covered gallery area with mosaic floors around this court and all rooms were lined around this area, with the doors opened onto this gallery. The rooms were dining room, the bedroom, the guestroom, the bath, the toilet, the kitchen and the room for servants. Many rooms were centerally heated by he hypocaust system ( underfloor heating ) and heating system was also installed on the second floors. Inside the walls or under the ground were the baked clay pipes heating the air inside the houses. The residents owned both cold and hot water, separate, which proves the fact that they had amazing facilities. We can not see the second floors now as they were collapsed.

Dionysus and Medusa Mosaics at Ephesus Terrace Houses

Dionysus and Medusa Mosaics

As the rooms had no windows, it was only open air courtyard to get the light. They also gain the water from these open air court yard. Each court has a wellhole to collect the rain water. There is still water in the wellhole of sixth Terrace House. Also the sewage pipes under the stairs were connected to the main pipes in Crutes Street.

Of the most important room No1. is the theater room, with its walls decorated with the depictions from the tragedies of Euripides. There is a mythological scene ( the fight between Hercules and Achilles ) in front of an architectural adornment on the upper side of the northern wall. The main of dwelling No.2 is the Rhodian nine column peristyle court. In one of the room of this residence, there is a beautiful glass mosaic which depicts Dionysus and Medusa.  The pedestial mosaic in this residence is a mythologcal sea creatures which depict a Nereid mounting a seahorse of Triton as a mythological sea figure.

Terrace Houses Picture Gallery