One of the attractions that you can see in the ancient city of Ephesus ruins is the Terrace houses. Its location is on a hill opposite the Temple of Hadrian. These houses are also considered as the "Houses of Rich". This certain fact gives an idea of what kind of a family life there is in the period of the Romans. These kinds of houses in Ephesus are also called Slope houses or hill houses because they are being built at the slope of a hill. The houses of rich were built by integrating the Hippodamian plan. This is the city’s plan wherein in right angles, the roads are being transacted. In the slopes lower end of the Bulbul Mountain, there are three terraces, consisting of six residential units. In 1st century BC, the first and the oldest building was established and continued as a residential house up until the 7th century AD.
Architecture of Ephesus Hill Houses
The streets narrow sides opening to the Street of Curetes have been terraced to give way for building the slope houses. Each part of the terrace, there are two erected houses. Side streets are very narrow, and there are beliefs that some of house owners have covered their houses with vaulted roofing. The houses are simple looking and somewhat plain when you see at the outside but then you will be astonished once you see its interior, equipped with dazzling decorations.
Here’s what comprises the beautiful architecture of the houses on the slopes of Ephesus:
- The Ephesus Terrace houses have strong protective roofing which represents what a Roman house should be.
- The floors of the house have fantastic mosaics as well as frescos.
- In the center, an interior courtyard is located with a style of peristyle with an open ceiling.
- The Slope houses are usually two-stories infrastructures and upper stores. On the first floor, there the dining and living rooms are found while upstairs, the guest rooms and the bedrooms are usually located.
- The houses have heating systems just like in baths. Under the floors, there are the clay pipes and the hot air is being carried behind the house’s walls.
- There are no windows in the rooms and only the light coming from the open hall is illuminated, this is why the rooms are so dim.
The Terrace Houses Ruins
The ruins of these houses are actually lying in Curetes Streets middle section. This hasn’t been yet restored and about thirty years ago, it was then excavated. In the year 1960, the excavation process was started. The excavated frescoes parts as well as the mosaics that were successfully uncovered were displayed into a museum to put all these under protection and for restoration reasons. In later years, it came to a point, the terraced houses were displayed for the public. Two of the houses found on a particular row, on the upper part of the terrace are chosen to be viewed just like a museum and are open for visitors up until today.
Why Visit the Terrace Houses ?
These houses should be part of your itineraries. To see Terrace Houses, you will have to book it separately for your Ephesus tour. You will be amazed of how the houses re built and you will be having an idea of what kind of living and family life there is in the Roman period. You will be having fun as well as learning something from the history of the ancient city.
"Terrace houses" section of the Ephesus in Selcuk - Izmir, is open every day from till . It requires additional entrance tickets.