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August 2, 2015

Ancient Libraries: Library of Celsus

As a booklover, I adore libraries, and I spend many happy hours working and researching in my local library.

Libraries have been around since ancient times, and today I thought I’d highlight the Library of Celsus at Ephesus in Turkey. This is one of the best preserved ancient libraries, and it was built to commemorate Tiberius Julius Celsus Polemaeanus.

Over the centuries the library was damaged by earthquakes and locals plundered the materials to build their homes and other buildings. While some of the facade has been rebuilt, the Library is still very impressive. The first glimpse a visitor receives is down a long avenue.

Ephesus, Turkey 

This is the avenue leading down to the Library of Celsus. This is a very popular tourist attraction and it’s very busy with people year around.

Library of Celsus

Library of Celsus

Close up views of the Library of Celsus. (Click on photos to see a larger view) The facade is decorated with reliefs – the same fashions in use in Rome at the time. The building was both a library and a mausoleum for Celsus who is buried in a stone sarcophagus below the library.

A bit different from my local library but definitely fascinating.


  1. Mary Kirkland

    Wow, those pictures are amazing.

    • Shelley Munro

      Thanks, Mary. It’s a really interesting place. When it was at its peak, the sea came right up to Ephesus, but it has now receded.

  2. Nancy Henderson

    Great pictures, but I wonder how the wifi connection is. ha ha!

    • Shelley Munro

      LOL – nope, no wi-fi there!

  3. Sandra Cox (@Sandra_Cox)

    Those pictures are amazing. Can you imagine what it was like when it was first built?

    • Shelley Munro

      Very impressive, I’d say. It’s still impressive in its ruined state.

    • Shelley Munro

      LOL – our library isn’t quite as impressive either!