Alexandria's founded by Alexander

Alexandria's founded by Alexander the Great (by year BC): 334 Alexandria in Troia (Turkey) - 333 Alexandria at Issus/Alexandrette (Iskenderun, Turkey) - 332 Alexandria of Caria/by the Latmos (Alinda, Turkey) - 331 Alexandria Mygdoniae - 331 Alexandria (Egypt) - 330 Alexandria in Areia (Herat, Afghanistan) - 330 Alexandria of the Prophthasia/in Dragiana/Phrada (Farah, Afghanistan) - 330 Alexandria in Arachosia (Kandahar, Afghanistan) - 330 Alexandria in Caucasus (Begram, Afghanistan) - 329 Alexandria of the Paropanisades (Ghazni, Afghanistan) - 329 Alexandria Eschate or Ultima (Khodjend, Tajikistan) - 329 Alexandria on the Oxus (Ai-Khanoum OR Termez, Afghanistan) - 328 Alexandria in Margiana (Merv, Turkmenistan) - 326 Alexandria Nicaea (on the Hydaspes, India) - 326 Alexandria Bucephala (on the Hydaspes, India) - 325 Alexandria Sogdia - 325 Alexandria Oreitide - 325 Alexandria in Opiene / Alexandria on the Indus (confluence of Indus & Acesines, India) - 325 Alexandria Rambacia (Bela, Pakistan) - 325 Alexandria Xylinepolis (Patala, India) - 325 Alexandria in Carminia (Gulashkird, Iran) - 324 Alexandria-on-the-Tigris/Antiochia-in-Susiana/Charax (Spasinou Charax on the Tigris, Iraq) - ?Alexandria of Carmahle? (Kahnu)

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Ephesus and its “terrace houses”

In recent years, the highlight of a visit to famous Ephesus has shifted from the theater and the Library of Celsus to the so-called “Terrace Houses”.

It took archeologists years and years to excavate and restore these private houses, occupied by wealthy families between the first and third century AD. After being covered and protected under a huge hangar, they were finally opened up to the general public in 2007. I can assure you that I felt terribly privileged to visit these residences at that time. We generally think that only places like Pompeii and Herculaneum have grand wall-paintings to show, but don’t underestimate those of Ephesus. They are so light and bright, so pleasant to the eye, so spacious and so modern … One could easily imagine living in such a residence!

These past two years serious restorations have been carried out and have now reached completion, according to this article in the Hurriyet Daily News. Two of the seven Terrace Houses have been thoroughly restored and the work is said to be quite significant, certainly considering that there were 78 rooms in all and that all the paintings were quite different. Besides, at times the walls had been painted on top of previous layers, always using natural paint.

Unfortunately, like everything else the project is a costly one as we are told that a budget of 40,000 Euros is required for the restoration of one single room.  But then I read that in 2011 Ephesus alone drew over two million visitors, a serious source of income I would say.

I can highly recommend to enter the protected area of these houses. The course is extremely well laid out and through its glass floors and steps one discovers the many rooms from many different angles – a treat for the eyes!

[Click here to see all the pictures of the Terrace Houses]

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