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Ephesus City walls and gates

Turkey Ephesus

Because of their fertile land and favorable location, the Ephesians feared attacks and sieges of their city from very early in their history. The greatest danger lurked to the east, where the harbor of Ephesus was viewed as the so-called gateway to the west. When Lysimachos, one of the generals of Alexander the Great, refounded the city in the third century BCE , he gave special attention to its defensive capabilities, and erected the massive city wall. Because of the excellent technique of their construction and masonry, these ruind are among the most beautiful examples from the Hellenistic age, although they have partially disappeared in the flatlands. The section running over the hills is still quite well preserved . The wall ,9 km long and 10 meters high, runs from Panayır Dağı and Bülbül Dağı down to the harbor ; for a city laid out on a Hippodromian grid, it seems a bit unsystematic. On Bülbül Dağı, the wall follows the natural features of the hill, and runs down toward the west, ending by the so-called Prison St.Paul . The tower, with its double-storied guard stations, played an important role in the defense of the city, the protection of the harbor, and general communications.

From the harbor, outside the walls, one entered the city through the two main gates in the wall. The Koressos Gate, in the northwest part of the city between the Vedius Gymnasium and the stadium, is still unexcavated, but the efforts of the Ephesus Museum on the stadium road continue present day.