Ephesus was a major Roman port town in Asia Minor (what is now Turkey). Ephesus, today, is a major tourist attraction for its vast Roman ruins. But the centerpiece of the ruins is a building that is called the Library of Celsus. Built in the early 2nd Century AD, the library is remarkable for the state of preservation of its facade (the pieces weren’t standing always so archaeologists had to piece them back together- but the fact that they even survived is amazing!).
This library was built by Tiberius Julius Aquila Polemaenus, Consul, in memory of his father who was better known than his son. The inscription reads that Aquila left the equivalent of more than $400,000 in today’s money for the maintenance of the library.
The library was certainly not the biggest in the ancient world nor the most celebrated but what it lost in size it gained in style. The facade of the building is built in two levels adorned with columns and statues. There are three statues in the base to Wisdom, Knowledge and Virtue.
The library chamber also survives to a basic extent.
(Due to an unfortunate error on that day, I had my camera set on anti-shock mode which meant that the photos were clicked two seconds after I pressed the button which meant that most of my photos were pretty awful. Thankfully I noticed this on day 2).