Selcuk Things to Do

  • Selcuk - Pillar of Artemis
    Selcuk - Pillar of Artemis
    by Kuznetsov_Sergey
  • Byzantine aqueduct
    Byzantine aqueduct
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  • The stadium
    The stadium
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Best Rated Things to Do in Selcuk

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    St John's Basilica

    by Kuznetsov_Sergey Written Feb 2, 2009

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    Selcuk - St John's Basilica

    The Basilica of St. John is located at the Ayasuluk Hill slopes. It was built by Emperor Justinian in the 6th century over the traditional tomb of John the Evangelist. The site became a major pilgrimage destination in the Early Middle Ages.

    In the middle of the basilica, under the dome and at the eastern side of the grave of St. Jean which is lower than the ground level, there are the places of the priests. These structures are separated from the church with their half squares.

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    Byzantine Citadel

    by Kuznetsov_Sergey Updated Feb 2, 2009

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    Selcuk - Byzantine Citadel
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    The strategic location of Selcuk has provided to be a popular place to settle down during the centuries. The grand fortress on Ayasoluk Hill is well seen from everywhere in an excellent state of preservation.

    It was built in Byzantine times and extended by the Seljuks. The mighty enclosure wall had fifteen towers, mostly rectangular. Within the walls are several cisterns, a small Seljuk mosque and a Byzantine church.

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    Isa Bey Mosque

    by Kuznetsov_Sergey Written Feb 2, 2009

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    Selcuk - Isa Bey Mosque

    The mosque is located close to the Ayasuluk hill at west slope of the St. Jean Bassilica. It is a Seljukian piece of art. It was constructed in 1375 by Aydýnoglu Isa Bey.
    In the 19th century it was also used as a caravanserai.

    The Isa bey Mosque was built in 1375 at the direction of the Emir of Aydin. It incorporates columns and stones recycled from the ruins of Ephesus and the Temple of Artemis.

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    Temple of Artemis

    by Kuznetsov_Sergey Updated Feb 18, 2009

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    Selcuk - Temple of Artemis
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    The Temple of Artemis is famous because it is among greatest wonders in the list of the Seven Wonders. It is also wellknown because of the story of Herostratus and his motivation of fame at any cost, thus the term herostratic fame.
    The temple was rediscovered in 1869 by an expedition sponsored by the British Museum led by John Turtle Wood after six years of searching. Excavations continued until 1879. A few further fragments of sculpture were found during the 1904-06 excavations directed by D.G. Hogarth.
    Only the foundation part and some columns are enough to prove its former magnificence now.
    Plans are currently in motion to have the temple rebuilt. May be one day we’ll see it as it is considered looks like my second pic, haha!

    You can watch my 1 min 05 sec Video clip Selcuk Temple of Artemis with Chopin – Etude 3.

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    Selcuk Archaelologic Museum - Terrace House Finds

    by nicolaitan Updated Nov 4, 2008

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    Bes ( Priapus )
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    Ephesus was first re-discovered and explored by British archaeologists between 1867-1905 followed by Austrians for the following twenty years. Both teams removed to their home countries most of the valuable artifacts discovered by their explorations. In 1923, the Turkish government basically put a stop to what was essentially looting of the Ephesus ruins and kept discovered remnants in a warehouse. Beginning in the 1960's, these holdings were put on display in a museum in Selcuk which was gradually expanded over 20 years to its current status.
    The Ephesus museum is small but filled with remarkable ancient objects and well worth a detailed visit after touring the original ruins. The museum has only 5 or 6 rooms which are not arranged chronologically but rather based on the source of the contained works. So the rooms are named after the fountains, the hillside houses, the temples, etc. This organization makes for a more cohesive presentation. Sadly, some of the signage is quiet limited and it is easy to pass some of the most famous pieces without realizing where they are as we did.

    The entrance fee is nominal. Parking is immediately available, clean rest rooms are on the premises, and several cafes and souvenir stands are right across the street.
    On a tour of Ephesus, this museum is a very high priority site and we highly recommend it.

    Several pieces from the Terrace Houses can be found in the first room, including on IMAGE 1 the world famous 2nd Century statue of Bes (Priapus), from whose name the penile disorder priapism derives. The imaged figure was recovered from the men's bathroom and features prominently his most noteworthy anatomic feature. The first references are from Cyprus, then Egypt, before more widespread acceptance. Bes was the god of motherhood and protector of newborns.

    IMAGE 2 depicts a collection of surgical and cosmetic instruments recovered from the hospital and medical school of Ephesus, a prized collection. On IMAGE 3, a nearly intact mosaic recovered from one of the hillside houses.
    IMAGE 4 depicts the Emperor Augustus and his wife Livia recovered from a hillside house. Unusual for a Roman wife in a partriarchal society, Livia exerted considerable influence over her husband and both were eventually deified. Their long intimate relationship ( a second marriage for each ) was filled with the political maneuvering, internecine warfares, and the occasional murder for power and prestige. Some theorize that Livia eventually murdered Augustus with poisoned figs to advance the imperial hopes of her son for the first marriage, the emperor Tiberius.

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    Turkish Rugs - Delta Hali

    by nicolaitan Updated Nov 9, 2008

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    Delta Hali
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    Delta Hali Turkish Rugs is a relatively large commercial operation named after the delta of the Meander River where it is sited and on the main Selcuk - Kusadasi Highway. It seemed a likely place for an education on the famed craft combined with lunch - a full lunch menu is offered in a garden with gazebo behind the main building.

    We were fascinated by some of our new found knowledge. The company is over 20 years old and uses all traditional methods of manufacture. The unravelling of the silk from the cocoons was particularly interesting - the cocoons are stroked with a brush and the threads which gather on the bristles are then are attached to a spindle and slowly unwound, creating a thicker thread for weaving. The Turkish style of carpet is double-knotted and the female weavers are remarkable dextrous in selecting the appropriate thread for the design and knotting it twice at exactly the correct distance one knot to the other. A standard carpet, with asking price of $3000US, can take up to a year to create. The more expensive silk carpets are far more intricate - we were shown an example of the Last Supper in exquisite detail which is a 3 year investment of time and at an asking price of $15000US (sadly no picture, it was gorgeous).

    Our travels through Turkey confirm the legendary aggressiveness of rug salespersons particularly in the bazaars of Istanbul and the necessity for considerable knowledge of both quality and haggling. Nonetheless this was an enjoyable and educational visit, very much to our surprise, and for those with enough time a worthwhile diversion while visiting Turkey.

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    Selcuk

    by MalenaN Written Apr 7, 2004

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    Selcuk is a small, quiet town close to Ephesus. There are many cheap pensions in town, making this a good place to stay in when you are going to visit Ephesus. Besides Ephesus there are a few more places i Selcuk worth a visit, the Ephesus Museum and the Temple of Artemis. The Basilica of St John and the mosque Isa Bey Camii might also be interesting to visit, but I didn't.
    At the square, in the end of Namik Kemal Caddesi, there is a Byzantine Aqueduct. On top of the aqueduct storks have a nesting place (see the picture).

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    Ephesus Museum

    by MalenaN Updated Apr 7, 2004

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    In Selcuk you can visit the Ephesus Museum with a great collection of artefacts from Ephesus and the suroundings.
    The picture is taken in the museum on one of the two marble statues of Artemis.
    Take your time and change room if one (or several) big tour group is comming and go back when the room is not so crowded.

    Entance fee is 4 000 000 TL.

    Opposite the museum there is a cafe selling fresh orange juice, pressed from oranges while you are waiting. Delisious!

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    The Temple of Artemis

    by MalenaN Written Apr 7, 2004

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    In the Ancient time this was one of the seven wonders of the world. Now only one column is standing (it is put together by archaeologists and said not to be as high as the original one). From the beginning the temple had 127 columns and is said to have been much bigger than the Parthenon in Athen.
    At the site there are some souvenire stalls and a women showing a model of how the temple looked like.

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    Sirince

    by MalenaN Written Apr 7, 2004

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    Sirince is a small picturesque village in the hills east of Selcuk. Before the exchange in 1924 the village were mostly populated by Ottoman Greeks.
    You can easily spend some hours here, wondering around the small narrow streets, visit the ruined Church of St John the Babtist, have something to eat and go shopping for lace or local wine. In Sirince there are many small wine-shops selling different sorts of fruitwine. Some are too sweet for my taste but I found a nice white dry grape wine. And it was very cheap,
    3 500 000 TL (I paid only 3 100 000 TL as the shopkeeper didn't have change for bigger notes).
    The bus from Selcuk leaves about every half an hour during summertime. The last bus from Sirince returns to Selcuk at eight in the evening. The price is 1 500 000 TL for a ticket.

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    Pillar of Artemis

    by Kuznetsov_Sergey Written Feb 2, 2009

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    Selcuk - Pillar of Artemis

    Pliny described the temple as 115 meters long and 55 meters wide, made almost entirely of marble, making its area about three times as large as the Parthenon. The main part of the Artemision Temple is displaying in the British Museum of London today. Unfortunately today the site of the temple is marked by a single column constructed of dissociated fragments discovered on the site.

    You can watch my 1 min 39 sec Video clip Selcuk Temple of Artemis Slide show with Khachaturian – Suite from “Lancy Ball”.

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    House of Mary ( Maryema Ana )

    by nicolaitan Updated Dec 3, 2008

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    A small reconstructed stone house set high on Mt Nightingale 5 miles from Selcuk is believed by many to represent the place where the Virgin Mary spent her last years and died at age 64. Surrounded by gardens and tall pines in a nature preserve, the bulding currently serves as a church and a Moslem prayer room. Well-signed access from Selcuk is via an excellent but steep and winding road past the upper entrance to Ephesus. Along the roadway, a large golden likeness graces the highway.

    Prior to the Crucifixion, Jesus entrusted the care of his mother to his favorite and youngest apostle, John. He selected Ephesus for his preaching, a large and relatively tolerant city, and built a house for Mary on this secluded mountaintop according to tradition. Until the Islamic control of Turkey, the ruins of the building were worshipped by local Christians. Further circumstantial evidence for the authenticity of the site comes from two local churches named for John and Mary as in early Christianity churches were only named for those who had lived nearby. After the Turkish takeover, memories of this site were lost in the foggy ruins of time.

    In December 1812, a bedridden German nun named Anne Catherine Emmerich emerged from a fevered comatose state bearing the stigmata of Crucifixion and described in great detail visions of John and Mary coming to Ephesus and offered a detailed architectural description of her house including the layout and remarkably a spring of water running through the house, most unusual on a mountaintop. It would be more than 50 years before missionaries discovered ruins with these features, exactly as described. Analysis indicates that most of the ruins dated from the 6th Century but that the base was much older and probably from the 1st Century AD correlating with the religious legends.

    The reconstructed building today contains an anteroom where candles are lighted, a small Catholic chapel, and a side room believed to be the bedroom with a fireplace used as a Moslem shrine. Since 1896, five popes have visited this site, most recently Benedict XVI in November 2006. There is no scientific proof of the authenticity of the house so the Vatican has not accepted the site officially, but it has been "unofficially" authenticated by Popes Paul VI and John Paul II. Secular visitors have ranged from Bill Clinton to James Brown.

    The site is remarkably crowded receiving over 4000 visitors per day, most disgorged from tour busses clogging the woefully inadequate carpark but many pilgrims must be included in these numbers. The setting is a mountain top garden with a pedestrianized access road offering a small restaurant (with excellent apple tea), typical souvenir shops, and clean bathrooms. The small admission fee is for the village of Selcuk for mainentance as the chapel is cared for by a group of resident priests and nuns. There is an early morning mass daily with a large celebration of the Assumption each August 15th. Photography with the church is forbidden, the proscription strictly enforced. The entire site is pretty much wheelchair accessible.

    We sometimes wonder if the cruise ship - tour bus crowd really understand in a deep and personal way the significance of the checklist stops on their itineraries. The House of Mary is venerated by Christians and Moslems and even we, as members of another faith, felt a certain difficult-to describe awe in walking in the footsteps of the Virgin Mary.

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    Selcuk Museum - Fountain Room and Courtyard

    by nicolaitan Updated Nov 6, 2008

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    Several adjacent rooms in the Selcuk museum features discoveries from fountains, temples, and other buildings as well as the most recent finds. Much of this material is poorly labelled and featured exhibits are easy to miss - we passed right by the bust of Socrates, the reclining warrior, and most famously the boy on a dolphin and never knew they were on display. there is no map or audio guide offered, a pity.

    IMAGES 1 and 2 are segments of the friezes removed from the Temple of Hadrian. The original temple built in 118AD was more a monument to one of Rome's more reasonable emperors. The famed friezes were not added until the 4th Century. They depict the founding of Ephesus with depictions of the Amazons, the slaying of the boar by Androklos, and an assortment of gods including Artemis, Apollo, and Athena as well as the Christian emperor Theodosius who outlawed paganism and is therefore surrounded with a host of gods.

    One striking feature is the placement of fragments of statues with renderings by line drawings of what the original piece is supposed to have appeared. In IMAGE 3, small fragments from the Pollio fountain are placed against a hand-drawn background. The statues were added to the original fountain in approximately 93 AD, embellishing a memorial to Sextillius Pollio who constructed the aqueduct supplying Ephesus with fresh water. The grouping presents Odysseus and Polyphemus. According to mythology, Polyphemus, which means famous, was a cannibalistic Cyclops, the son of the sea god Poseidon. Odysseus blinded him by driving a stake into his one good eye. Boasting of his triumph to his victim infuriated Poseidon who sent down the storms and diversions which led to the long travails for Odysseus, hence the term odyssey.
    IMAGE 4 features remnants of statues of Muses and Emperors discovered near the fountain of G. Laeconius Bassus, a governor of Ephesus. The building was a gaudy two level fountain constructed in 80-82 AD by the governor himself, richly decorated througout.

    IMAGE 5 is set in the little-visited courtyard which contains a few fragments, some sarcophagi, and most famous the pediment from the Pollio fountain which had been removed from the Isis temple when worship of that god tapered and the temple fell into disrepair.

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    The Library of Celsus, Ephesus

    by MalenaN Updated May 1, 2004

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    The Library

    The most phothografed structure in Ephesus must be the library with its impressive front.
    The library was built between 114 - 117 by the consul Gaius Julius Aquila in memory of his dead father the Roman governor Celsus Polemaeanus.
    Once 12 000 scrolls were held in the library. In niches of the facade you can see statues of the four virtues: goodness, thought, knowledge and visdom.

    There are two entrances to Ephesus and many people start at one of them and finish at the other.
    The entrance fee is 15 000 000 TL.

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    Ephesus

    by Kuznetsov_Sergey Written Feb 2, 2009

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    Ephesus - Celsus Library

    The ruins of Ephesus are a favorite international and local tourist attraction in 9 km from Selcuk. In fact Ephesus contains the largest collection of Roman ruins East of the Mediterranean.

    You can visit my separate Ephesus VT-page.

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