Trajan Fountain

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The Fountain of Trajan was built to the north end of Curetes Street on the east side next to the Hadrian Temple. An inscription on the fountain says it was built in the 2nd century AD and erected in honor of the Emperor Trajan.

This fountain is considered to be one of the three most magnificent fountains of Ephesus. It had two ornamental pools, one in the front and one at the rear. The upper level pool was surrounded with Corinthian style columns. Water flowed from a pillar on which rested a colossal statue of Emperor Trajan. This pillar was at the very center of the largest ornamental pool. An inscription at the base stated that the world rested at the emperor’s feet. This was symbolized by a round stone placed under the foot of the emperor’s statue. Today only the pedestal and one of the feet belonging to this statue of Trajan have survived.

A lower, narrower pool surrounded with Composite style columns was located directly beneath the pool that held the emperor’s statue. After water filled the top pool, it would flow from the channel into the front pool where the people of Ephesus would have pulled it from the fountain. This pool housed a statue of Aphrodite, one of Dionysos nude and one of the god clothed, and a young hunter symbolizing the founder of the city, Androklos. A statue of Emperor Nerva and his family, and a statue of a Satyr were also found during the excavation of the fountain. The recently renovated fountain no longer holds any of these statues. They have all been relocated to the Hall of Fountain Findings in the Archaeological Museum of Ephesus.

The original pool was 20 meters long and 10 meters wide. It has been recreated on a smaller scale and the restoration of the fountain is ongoing.

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