Trajan Fountain

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In the ancient world, imposing fountains had a great deal of significance.

Especially during the Roman Imperial period, fountains were a common sight in warm climates like Anatolia and offered an essential public function. These fountains, with their columns and lavish sculptures, are typically found in the busiest locations and are among the most beautiful buildings from antiquity. 


The Fountain of Trajan was constructed in the second century AD in memory of Emperor Trajan on the east side of Curetes Street. Today, all left of this Trajan statue is its pedestal and one of its feet. The fountain's front was adorned with sculptures, many of which are on display in the hall of fountains at the Ephesus Museum.

Things to do at Trajan Fountain:

  • Examine the infrastructural arrangements from centuries ago:

This magnificent two-teared fountain, which demonstrates how pre-existing aqueducts were included when the construction was first erected, is located at the intersection of Ephesus's water canals. The front façade had one of them, while the back side had the other. Columns in the Corinthian style formerly ringed the pool on the top level.

The Pollio Aqueduct, one of Ephesus's numerous waterways, traveled 42 kilometers to reach the city from a distance of 17 kilometers. Housed the emperor's monument was a smaller, more constrained pool encircled by Composite style columns. Water would flow from the canal into the front pool, where Ephesians would have drawn it from the fountain after filling the top pool. 

  • Interpret the design for thoughtfulness and utility:

The fountain has two levels of columns and two beautiful ponds in the front and back. The first pool received a flood of water from the large waterway in the middle. 

A statue of the emperor in human form could be found above the waterway. The statue's foot and base are both in their original locations. The pool in front of the first pool was filled with water while it was being filled. The needy would take advantage of it. 

  • Investigate the history of the people and place from the treasures uncovered: 

During the fountain's excavation, statues of Emperor Nerva, his family, and a Satyr were also discovered. All of them have been relocated to the Hall of Fountain Findings in the Ephesus Archaeological Museum.

If you look closely, you may see a globe and a piece of a foot where a life-size marble statue of Trajan once stood in the middle of the fountain.

 The world at the emperor's feet represented his sovereignty over the planet.

  • As you proceed down the route toward the Celsus Library, another magnificent ruin:

Keep an eye out for the world's first advertising in the middle of this marble street as you explore the Library of Celsus and the adjoining gates leading to the Harbor Agora. 

The Terrace Houses are near the library, from where you can take overhead pictures of the marshes extending to the Aegean Sea and half of the old city.

  • imageDuration Required
    30 minutes

Address of Trajan Fountain

Efes Selcuk Merkez, Selcuk, Izmir Turkey

Opening & Closing time of Trajan Fountain

  • Monday
  • Tuesday
  • Wednesday
  • Thursday
  • Friday
  • Saturday
  • Sunday

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