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Magnesia Gate and Baths of Varius, Ephesus: 8 reviews and 15 photos
The southeastern corner of Ephesus faced the road to Magnesia and Miletus, with entrance through the large Magnesia Gate. Today only an outline of marble blocks has been excavated. The gate was first constructed by Lysimachus, one of Alexander the Great's generals, in the 3rd C BC. The current ruins date from the 1st C BC when towers and an inner courtyard were added. The courtyard was a defensive feature - if the outer entrance were breached by attackers, they were caught in a closed space surrounded by high walls where defenders had advantage. At this time the Roman emperor Vespasianus renamed the gate the " Gate of Honor ". The gate would be reconstructed several more times during the Roman era but retained its general layout.
Immediately inside the Magnesia Gate was the largest of the public baths in Ephesus, the Varius Baths. The original baths on this site were of Greek origin, but today's ruins date from the 2nd C AD. The building was made of marble and limestone in a setting of natural rock formations and included different rooms for different preferences - hot (caldarium) lukewarm (tepidarium) and cold (frigidarium). Later, a gymnasium and latrine would be added and in the 4th and 5th C private dwellings were also appended. The bath was in a typical location, just inside a major gate, for newly arrived travellers and also functioned a socialization site for Ephesians. Today only a few arches supported by columns have been excavated.
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