Theatre Gymnasium

Theatre Gymnasium
This was the building located at the beginning of the Harbour Street near the Theatre. The excavation is not completed. It had a palaestra (sports ground) on the street. At the point where the palaestra joined the main building there were rows of seats for those who watched the exercises. The Gymnasium had a great number of rooms which were used as classrooms, dormitories and libraries.

The Emperor’s Hall in which stood a bust of the emperor was at the northern end. The building faced more towards the Marble Street which continued after the Theatre. From the gymnasium onwards about a 150-metre long section of the street was excavated and part of the columns on either side were erected. A part of this section of the Sacred Road was repaired after the earthquakes of the 4th century and the rest was left as it was. In this section traces left by Roman chariots on the marble paving, reaching in places 10 centimetres in depth, were preserved.

The large marble cauldron (omphalos) left at the side of the street in a partly broken state belonged to the unexcavated building nearby. This building, a wall of which was in the form of an apse, is said to be a synagogue. From here a street led west. This not yet excavated street ran along the Church of the Virgin Mary (the Council Church) to reach unknown buildings below.

Situated just off the Arcadian Street near the theatre, the Theatre Gymnasium was a large bathing- exercise area. Ephesus. At the entrance of the port there were the Port Baths or the Harbour Baths. Built in the 2 AD the Baths are also called the Baths of Constantine, for they were restored by Constantine II (337-361). It was one of the largest buildings being 160 m (525 ft) wide, 170 m (558 ft) long and 28 m (92 ft) high. There was a gymnasium in the middle part of the bath-gymnasium complex. There were rooms varying size and furnishings and served, in Roman times, for cultural and spiritual edification. There was a large sports field in the middle of the gymnasium.

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