Curetes Street

Curetes Street is one of three main arteries in the ancient city of Ephesus, its marble paving running from the Celsus Library up to the Hercules Gate. This was truly the heart of ancient Ephesus, lined with fountains, temples, shops under long porticoes, and the large houses of the city’s most elite citizens. Just as in ancient times, many of the cities main attractions can still be found here today.

Named after the priests who guarded the flame of Prythaneion, Curetes Street played host to religious festivals depicting the birth of Artemis, that culminated in a procession to the Temple of Artemis. The smooth marble streets also hide a surprising utility of the Roman world: underground drainage, sewage, and water pipes, water and waste flowing into and out of the city through clay pipes.

The facades and sidewalks of Curetes Street are filled with beautiful works of marble and mosaic tiles. The Hadrian Temple, with its depiction of Medusa, stands across the street from still intact marble columns which once held the roof of a portico, covering an incredible mosaic sidewalk. These marvelous constructions were often rebuilt using repurposed stonework from other buildings following damage from earthquakes that are common in the region.

Though the buildings lining the streets have been damaged over the centuries by earthquakes and silt, Curetes street still remains as a relic of the ancient world. Take time on your guided tour of Ephesus to stroll along the marble street and look around to see the small things, such as stone backgammon boards, statues, and pedestals, that were a part of everyday life in ancient Ephesus. Curetes Street, and the attractions that line it, is one of the defining sites of the city, literally putting you in the footsteps of the ancient citizens of Ephesus.

Also, nearby sites include Hercules Gate, the Domitian Temple and the Library of Celsus.


Related Destinations

East Gymnasium Hercules Gate Hadrian Temple Ephesus in the Bible Memmius Monument State Agora Library of Celsus Latrines Terrace Houses Curetes Street Odeion