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The Terrace Houses

The Terrace Houses of Ephesus are located in front of the hill, opposite to the Temple of Hadrian. Also known as the “houses of the rich”, they were built according to the Hippodamian Plan (by Hippodamius of Miletus) of the city, where the roads were sectioned at straight angles to each other.

In the three terraces of the lower part of the Bulbul mountain side are six residential units, the oldest building dates back to the first century B.C. and continue as residences until VII A.D.

The famous terrace houses of Ephesus were covered with protective roofs similar to those of Roman houses. The floor mosaics and the frescoes have been restored and two of the houses have been open to the public as a museum.

They had outdoors courtyards (peristyle). They were mostly two-story, but these have collapsed over time. On the ground floor were the living and dining rooms, while upstairs were the bedrooms and guest rooms.

The heating system of the terrace houses was the same as in the Roman baths. Clay pipes were employed underground carrying warm air behind the walls throughout the house. But they also had cold water. The rooms had no windows, were lit only by the natural light of the open rooms, so most were very tenuous. Excavations of the terrace houses began in 1960 and two of them can be visited today.

 

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