Located in Ephesus, Anatolia (now part of Selçuk, Turkey), the library of Celsus is a dazzling remnant of an ancient Roman city. The library was completed in 135 AD in honour of Roman senator Tiberius Julius Celsus Polemaeanus by his son.
The library was constructed to store upwards of 12,000 scrolls while also serving as an impressive tomb for Celsus himself, who is buried in a crypt beneath the library's main entrance.
Library of Celsus facade
All of the library's books, along with much of its interior, were devastated by fire when an earthquake shook Ephesus in 262 AD, leaving on the skilfully crafted façade remaining.
Restoration of the façade took place in the 1960s and 1970s, with restorers taking every effort to be as true as possible to the historic building, so that the library now serves as a crucial example by which to model the restoration of other, less well persevered, Roman public architecture and libraries.
Brick, mortared rubble, and concrete used to construct the library façade demonstrate new materials which came into use throughout the Roman Empire in the second century BCE, and the ornate, well-planned style of the library beautifully reflect a Greek influence on Roman architecture which was paramount at the time of construction.