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Ephesus Byzantine fountain of androklos

Ephesus Byzantine fountain of androklos

This structure is located between the octagon and the Gate of Hadrian, on the lower extent of Kouretes Street.

Initial soundings in 1904 revealed a heroon. Since it was later restructured into a fountain, it is known today as the Byzantine fountain.
The two-storied complex stands on a rectangular foundation. The façade is U- shaped, pointing toward the Street. Initial excavations uncovered countless frieze blocks and reliefs which portrayed battle scenes, clearly indicating a heroon.

These reliefs suggest the date of construction and the person to whom this structure was dedicated. Ancient historical sources and research into the archaeological and epigraphic finds lead us to believe that this is the heroon of the mythological founder of the city, Androklos. The architecture and the reliefs, as well as the absence of a grave chamber, confirm this. Its location on the edge of the ancient sacred way is an ideal site for such an important structure.

The capitals and other architectural features of this building date it anywhere from the second century BCE to 50 BCE.

This was a very crucial time; the last Pergamene king had just willed western Anatolia to Rome (133 BCE), and many cities, among them Ephesus, desired their freedom. This may be the reason that the Ephesians remembered the mythological founder of their city, and erected this heroon in his honor.