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Curetes Street, Ephesus

Photo © Helen Betts. View all images in our Curetes Street Photo Gallery.
Photo © Carmen.
Photo © Adam Franco.
Photo © Andrys Basten.
Photo © Cliff Lusk.
Photo © Andrys Basten.

Curetes Street (known as the Embolos in Late Antiquity) is the diagonal street in Ephesus that runs from the State Agora, past the Slope Houses, to the Library of Celsus. Once lined with shops, workshops and inns, Curetes Street was both a main city street and an important processional route in the cult of Artemis.


Curetes Street originates in Hellenistic times, yet dramatically departs from the Hippodamian city grid plan that was popular at the time. Instead of running perpendicular to other streets, it cuts diagonally across the grid system.

This unusual angle is due partly to the topographic limitations of the area (i.e. Mount Pion), but it also follows the archaic Processional Way, an important sacred route leading to the Temple of Artemis.

In Byzantine times, the road was known as the Embolos, meaning "beak" or "wedge." Archaeologists named it Curetes Street for an inscription that was found here naming the Curetes, or priests of Artemis.

After an earthquake in the 4th century, many of the columns lining the street were replaced with those from other buildings in the city.

What to See

In ancient times, Curetes Street would have been partially lined with shops, trade offices, inns and artisans' workshops. Remains of such structures are preserved on the south (left) side of the Octagon (or Heroon of Arsinoe IV) at the top of Curetes Street.

Quick Facts on Curetes Street

Site Information
Names:Curetes Street; Curetes Street, Ephesus
Categories:Ancient Cities
Visitor and Contact Information
Location:Ephesus, Turkey
Coordinates:37.938063° N, 27.342031° E  (view on Google Maps)
Lodging:View hotels near this location
Note: This information was accurate when first published and we do our best to keep it updated, but details such as opening hours can change without notice. To avoid disappointment, please check with the site directly before making a special trip.

Map of Curetes Street

Below is a location map and aerial view of Curetes Street. Using the buttons on the left (or the wheel on your mouse), you can zoom in for a closer look, or zoom out to get your bearings. To move around, click and drag the map with your mouse.


  1. Hilke Thür, "The Processional Way in Ephesos as a Place of Cult and Burial." Helmut Koester, ed., Ephesos: Metropolis of Asia (Harvard University Press, 1995), 158-59.
  2. Clive Foss, Ephesus After Antiquity (1979), 65-69.

More Information

Article Info

Title:Curetes Street, Ephesus
Author:Holly Hayes
Last updated:
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