Hercules Gate in Ephesus Ancient City

Hercules Gate in Ephesus
Hercules Gate in Ephesus

The Hercules Gate in Ephesus Ancient City is located at the end of famous Curetes Street, which extends upwards from the Celsus Library. It is also a great spot for our Private Ephesus Tours guests to take photos. You can consider Hercules Gate as a gate that divides the Ephesus into two parts as a political and a commercial part. So that the Hercules Gate in Ephesus, due to its architecture, also prevents the entrance of the vehicles like horse-drawn carriages to the political section of Ephesus by narrowing the gate. Also, the Hercules reliefs on both sides of the gate intimidate those who will enter the political part due to its importance.

Curetes Street in ephesus ancient city
Curetes Street Between The Hercules Gate to the Celsus Library.

The reason why this gate is called Hercules Gate is the reliefs of Hercules on both sides. The reliefs of Hercules on the gate are dated to the 2nd century but were moved to their current location in the 4th century. Only two columns of the Hercules Gate have been unearthed. In ancient times, there were six columns on each floor of the two-story building.

Hercules Gate in Ephesus Ancient City Turkey
Closer Look at the Hercules Gate

Today, visitors to Ephesus Ancient City will only be able to see the two side columns. Other parts of the gate have not been found yet. In addition, the famous Winged Nike Relief in Domitian Square is thought to belong to the Gate of Hercules.

Hercules’ First Labor: The Nemean Lion

Hercules and the Nemean Lion from an Attic Black-Figure amphora
Hercules and the Nemean Lion from an Attic Black-Figure amphora ca. 525 B.C.

On the reliefs of the Hercules Gate, Hercules is depicted as decapitating the Nemean lion in mythology. Killing the Nemean lion was one of the 12 labours of Hercules. The frightening Nemean lion was terrorizing the village around Nemea, and its skin was so thick that it was almost impossible to kill it. Hercules finally knocked the lion down and decapitated it. So in mythology, Heracles was the god of power and strength.

The Hercules Gate in Ephesus

If you would like to explore Ephesus Ancient City with Best Ephesus Tours, you can reach us at the links below.

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Ephesus Shore Excursions from Izmir Port

Ephesus Day Trip From Istanbul

Daily Combined Ephesus and Pamukkale Tour

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