This is Bruce’s phrase, but how true it is of Ephesus. A magnificent ancient city set in the valley between two hills, running down to a port, that is now just a marsh as the river silts and pushes the sea further out.
Apart from the normal wars and abandonment, many ruins here were damaged by earthquakes. Turkey is of course on a major fault line.
So, as the ruins of Ephesus are unearthed, they are in the form of broken columns, arches and pediments.
And as you wander through these magnificent bits of antiquity, there is nothing to stop you climbing over a bit of a frieze or standing on a broken capital to get a better picture.
Most would agree that the Library of Celcus is the most magnificent building to view. But look at the old baths, the public latrines, the monumental fountains, the senate building and the lower Agora (meeting place) and imagine the marble unbroken and richly coloured. It must have been a truly amazing place for its 250,000 inhabitants.