The Fountain of Trajan in Ephesus also known as Trajan’s Nymphaeum is a monumental fountain built in honor of the Roman emperor Trajan. It’s one of the highlights of our Kusadasi Shore Excursions and Ephesus Tours from Kusadasi Port. The fountain was built to supply the city with fresh water and also served as a monumental ornament. The construction of the fountain began in 109 AD and was completed by 113 AD when Emperor Trajan enlarged the harbor at Ephesus. It is one of the largest and most well-preserved monuments from antiquity and it has been called “the greatest monument to a Roman Emperor.”
The Architecture of Trajan’s Fountain
The water for the fountain was brought by an aqueduct from nearby mountains and then stored in two large tanks underground level, then flows out again to be used for irrigation or drinking water. Around the pool of the fountain was decorated with statues of Aphrodite, Dionysus, Satyr, and the Emperor’s family. It was also surrounded by corinthian order columns.
A colossal statue of Trajan was placed in the middle above the pool. Trajan’s statue was twice the size of other statues around him. Water was flowing into the fountain from the pedestal of the Trajan statue. Today, only the feet of this statue and a part of its facade decorated with columns in the Corinthian order have survived. There was also a water plug in the pool. Because the water waiting for a long time will start to collect algae. In order to prevent this, the water was drained by opening the water tap from time to time, and at the same time, the streets were cleaned.
Life of Roman Emperor Trajan
Emperor Trajan was the second of the “Five Good Emperors” of Rome. He ruled Roman Empire between 98 and 117. Trajan was born in Italica, Hispania Baetica, from a well-established family which had originated in Picenum which made him the only emperor who was born outside of Italy.
He was the son of Marcia, who was probably African-originated and said to have been a descendant of King Masinissa (a Numidian). Trajan served with distinction as a military commander under Emperor Nerva during his father’s invasion of Armenia in 95, and his subsequent campaign against Parthia. He was famous for his successful military conquests. So that the Roman Empire reached its greatest land size during the reign of Emperor Trajan.
Trajan died at the age of 64 at Selinus (present-day Selindi), on the southern coast of Asia Minor of the Roman Empire. His ashes were returned to Rome for a state funeral and buried at the base of his column. Just before his death was made public, it was announced that Trajan had adopted Hadrian. With this adoption, the reign of Hadrian began.
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