Destination Guides Turkey.

Selcuk

Selcuk is the central town of Selcuk district, İzmir Province in Turkey, 18 km (11 mi) northeast of Kusadasi, 3 km (2 mi) northeast of Ephesus. Its name comes from the Seljuk Turks who settled in the region by the 12th century. Selcuk is one of the most visited touristic destinations within Turkey, known for its closeness to the ancient city of Ephesus, House of the Virgin Mary and Seljukian works of art. The 6th century basilica of St. John the Apostle, which, some claim, is built on the site of the Apostles tomb, is also inside the town. However with the vast majority of tourists only using Selcuk as a stopping point for Ephesus and not visiting the town itself, the old quarter of Selcuk remains generally undisturbed and undeveloped, retaining traditional Turkish culture and locality. Ayasoluk Hill dominates the surrounding area, with several historical buildings on its slopes, including the Isa Bey Mosque built by the Seljuk Turks in 1375, and the Grand Fortress. The Ephesus Airport and Selcuk Training Center of the Turkish Aeronautical Association is only 3 kilometers away from Selçuk, offering piloting, parachuting, and microlight training. The annual camel wrestling championship takes place in Selcuk in the Winter, near Ephesus.

Ephesus

Ephesus (Hittite Apasa; Ancient Greek Ἔφεσος; Turkish Efes) was a city of ancient Anatolia. During the period known as Classical Greece it was located in Ionia, where the Cayster River (Kucuk Menderes) flows into the Aegean Sea. It belonged to the Ionian League. Ephesus hosted one of the seven churches of Asia, addressed in the Book of Revelation of The Bible), and the Gospel of John might have been written here. It is also the site of a large gladiator graveyard. The city was famed for the Temple of Artemis (completed around 550 BC), and both were destroyed by the Goths in 263. The emperor Constantine rebuilt much of the city and erected a new public bath. The town was again partially destroyed by an earthquake in 614. The importance of the city as a commercial centre declined as the harbour slowly filled with silt from the river. Todays archaeological site lies 3 kilometers south of the Selcuk district of Izmir Province, Turkey. The ruins of Ephesus are a favorite international and local tourist attraction, partly owing to their easy accessibility from Adnan Menderes Airport and via the port of Kusadasi.

Virgin Marys House

The House of the Virgin Mary (Turkish: Meryemana or Meryem Ana Evi, "Mother Marys House") is a Christian and Muslim shrine located on Mt. Koressos (Turkish: Bulbuldagi, "Mount Nightingale") in the vicinity of Ephesus, in modern-day Turkey (7 km from Selcuk). It is believed by many Christians and Muslims that Mary, the mother of Jesus, was taken to this stone house by Saint John and lived there until her Assumption into Heaven according to Catholics or Dormition according to the Orthodox.

Seven Sleepers

Ephesus is believed to be the city of the Seven Sleepers. The story of the Seven Sleepers, who are considered saints by Catholics and Muslims, tells that they were persecuted because of their belief in God and that they slept in a cave near Ephesus for centuries. The Roman Martyrology mentions the Seven Sleepers of Ephesus under the date of 27 July, as follows: Commemoration of the seven Holy Sleeper of Ephesus, who, it is recounted, after undergoing martyrdom, rest in peace, awaiting the day of resurrection. The Byzantine Calendar commemorates them with feasts on 4 August and 22 October. Some Muslims also venerate them as saints. A legend about them tells of the falling asleep of seven young men in a cave, who wake up after a great deal of time has passed. The basic outline of the tale appears in Gregory of Tours (b. 538 - d. 594), and in Paul the Deacons (b. 720 - d. 799) History of the Lombards. The best-known version of the story appears in Jacobus de Voragines Golden Legend. Their story also appears in the Quran (Surah 18, verse 9-26) [1], which also includes a dog among the seven. The outline of the story is that during the persecutions of the Roman emperor Decius, around 250, seven young men were accused of Christianity. They were given some time to recant their faith. Instead they gave their worldly goods to the poor, and retired to a mountain to pray, where they fell asleep. The emperor, seeing that their attitude towards paganism had not improved, ordered the mouth of the cave to be sealed. Decades passed. At some later time — usually, during the reign of Theodosius (379 - 395) — the landowner decided to open up the sealed mouth of the cave, to use it as a cattle pen. He opened it and found the sleepers inside. They awoke, imagining that they had slept but one day. One of their number returned to Ephesus. He was astounded to find buildings with crosses attached; the townspeople were astounded to find a man trying to spend old coins from the reign of Decius. The bishop was summoned to interview the sleepers; they told him their miracle story, and died praising God.

Temple of Artemis

The Temple of Artemis was located near the ancient city of Ephesus, about 50 km south from the modern port city of İzmir, in Turkey. Today the site lies on the edge of the modern town of Selcuk. The Temple of Artemis (Greek: Ἀρτεμίσιον Artemision, Latin: Artemisium), also known less precisely as Temple of Diana, was a temple dedicated to Artemis completed in its most famous phase, around 550 BC at Ephesus (in present-day Turkey) under the Achaemenid dynasty of the Persian Empire. Nothing remains of the temple, which was one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. The Temple of Artemis was not the first on its site, where evidence of a sanctuary dates as early as the Bronze Age. The temple was a 120-year project started by Croesus of Lydia. It was described by Antipater of Sidon, who compiled the list of the Seven Wonders: I have set eyes on the wall of lofty Babylon on which is a road for chariots, and the statue of Zeus by the Alpheus, and the hanging gardens, and the colossus of the Sun, and the huge labour of the high pyramids, and the vast tomb of Mausolus; but when I saw the house of Artemis that mounted to the clouds, those other marvels lost their brilliancy, and I said, -Lo, apart from Olympus, the Sun never looked on aught [anything] so grand-.