Conservation and restoration of the ›Fountain of Domitian‹ in Ephesos

During the extensive examination of the so-called Fountain of Domitian in 2015 the alarming degree of existing damages were studied and evaluated. In the course of a conservation project structural problems should primarily be remedied and a further loss of substance should be avoided. 

Starting point 

During an inventory and condition analysis of the ›Fountain of Domitian‹ the original elements as well as a partial reconstruction of the facade added in the 1960s were evaluated regarding their current situation. Here the poor state of the masonry of the apse, above all the situation of the arch and the concrete pillars turned out to be problematic; the masonry of the apse had been structurally damaged and the mortar had weathered away. Due to spallings along the concrete pillars the corrosion of the steel reinforcement was easily visible and open joints in the area of the marble blocks of the arch were a considerable danger to the structure of the entire construction. Accordingly, the primary objectives of the conservation and restoration included securing the reinforcing steel, closing the joints for ideal load bearing as well as consolidating the masonry structure.

Conservation and restoration 2015 

In order to aid in a detailed assessment as well as the future conservation interventions, a scaffolding was set up. In addition to acquiring a structural evaluation a plethora of detailed investigations were carried out as a basis for the development of a conservation concept. Apart from extracting mortar and marble samples for later analyses, measuring the carbonation depth and the water absorption of the cement, an important aspect was the localization of the non-visible iron reinforcements in the cement.

Conservation and restoration 2016

In the second year the emphasis was placed on the structural consolidation of the wall of the apse and the beginning of the measures on the marble and cement elements. The aim of the structural consolidation was to retain as much of the original mortar as possible and supplement it if necessary. The practical work began by dry cleaning the masonry in the apse in order to free it from earth and dirt as well as higher plants. The consolidation of the damaged areas of the original mortar was carried out depending on its state with the appropriate consolidation material or by back filling with injection mortar. The structural consolidation of the masonry with mortar was then begun in the upper area of the apse. The restoration mortar was fitted to the color, technical, and structural properties of the respective original mortar. While completing the mortar additions, particular attention was taken to ensure that rain water will be diverted as effectively as possible.


The aim of the planned second phase is the conservation and restoration of various marble and cement elements. Here the building elements will be consolidated with the appropriate methods and the steel reinforcements will be protected from further corrosion processes. Furthermore, based on the structural evaluation various measures were carried out in order to secure the building structure.