It is a town which may be accessed by land, rail and even air. Selçuk is one of the historical, cultural and touristic capitals of our country. It receives most of the tourists from the cruise ships which berth in the neighbouring ports, i.e. from the sea.
It occupies a distinguished place in the world for the cultural assets it possesses, the ancient town of Ephesus being pre-eminent.
The inner fortress situated on the highest point of the hill to the north of the St John’s Church superposes the very first settlement of Ephesus as the recent research has revealed. The walls which are seen today belong to the Byzantine, Ottoman and Aydınoğulları periods. Built with stones, bricks and mortar, the walls are reinforced by 15 towers. Entrance to the fortress is through the gates in the east and the west. These gates directly open to the outside without any connections with the outer fortress. In the inner side of the walls are narrow staircases providing access to the bastions and crenellations. There are stone-paved streets, cisterns of various sizes, a mosque and ruins of a church on the highest point. The apse of this church was made into a cistern with some additions in the Aydınoğulları period. Further, the ruins of a building which might be a fortress bath is seen to the west of the mosque.
The Celsus Library, assuredly the most re-known monument in Ephesus, was built between AD 100 and 110 by Gaius Iulius Aquila for his father, Senator Tiberius Iulius Celsus Polemaeanus. The library can actually be interpreted as a heroon which was built over the burial chamber of the dead person.
Over the nine-stepped free stairs flanked by two statue bases a vestibule can be reached from which the main library room was entered. The aediculated architecture of the pompous façade contrasts with the brick-laid technique of the building’s interior although the floors and walls were revetted with marble. The library was destroyed during an earthquake around AD 270 and was not rebuilt. In the late antique period the remnants of the pompous façade served as the back wall to a street fountain. The re-erection was resumed during the years 1970–1978 with the financial help of A. Kallinger-Prskawetz.
The 500 m-long and 11 m-wide street was the most important connection between the harbour and the theatre. The appearance of the street goes back to a rebuilding during the reign of Emperor Arcadius (AD 395–408). An inscription referring to a regulation about the public lighting of the street is dated to the 6th century AD. In the Justinianic period (527–565), the so-called Four-Column Monument with sculptures representing members of the imperial family or dignitaries was erected.
The St. John Church
This church was built over the tomb of St. John. The presently-visible church is cruciform and roofed with six massive domes, and was donated by the Emperor Justinian and his wife Theodora. The capitals facing the nave (central aisle) bear their monograms. Persecution Gate forms the entrance to the walls of the Byzantine fortification, and is decorated with reliefs depicting scenes of pursuit from the life of the Greek hero Achilleus. It probably dates to the sixth or seventh century A. D.
The House Of Virgin Mary
This is situated at the peak of Bülbül Mountain, 9 kilometers from Selçuk. According to legend, St. John came to Ephesus with Virgin Mary four or six years after the crucifixion of Jesus. Following the visions of a German nun, Catherina Emmerich, a group of Lazarist priests discovered a house, which is believed to be the place where Virgin Mary spent her last days, in 1891. This discovery attracted the attention of the entire Christian world. The cruciform building topped with a dome was restored in modern times. The house received visits from Pope Paul VI. İn 1967 and Pope John Paul II in 1979, which strengthened the belief that Virgin Mary lived and died in Ephesus. This site has become a frequent destination for pilgrims, since the image of Virgin Mary is venerated not only by Christians but also by Muslims. A special mass is held each 15 August, which attracts numerous visitors.
The Seven Sleepers
During the reign of the emperor Decius, Christians Ephesus suffered persecution because of their faith. Seven young Christians escaping from the cruetly of Decius took shelter in this cave, which lies on the slopes of Panayır Mountain. Falling into a deep sleep that lasted 200 years, they awoke only in the reign of the emperor Theodosius II, and saw that the Christianity had become the official religion. Because of this miraculous event, the seven people were considered to be sacred, and were buried in the same cave after their natural lives had passed. A church was built to mark the site.
The Coast of Ephesus
The former name of the Coast of Ephesus is the Pamucak beach. It is 11 km long and takes its place among the longest beaches of Turkey. It is located 8 km to Selçuk and 6 km to the ancient town of Ephesus. The beach has fine sand, sun and clean and clear water. It possesses three blue flags. It is a beach which is eligible for any kinds of water sports and camping. There are camping sites, a water park as well as hotels in the Pamucak region and a resting place in the forest of Turkish pines (Pinus Brurtia) which is located 10 km to Selçuk. There are kiosks and drinking water in the camping site which could accommodate 100 people.
There are tracks where one may enjoy such exotic activities as horse riding and jeep safari.
The coast of Ephesus is a unique centre of entertainment and cultural tourism where any kinds of water sports and entertainment you can imagine and which is distinguished from the other Aegean coats with its magnificent sunsets.
The Ephesus Museum
In the museum which is kept open all year round are displayed works most of which have been unearthed in the course of the excavations carried out in Ephesus and some which have been excavated in such ancient towns as Claros in the near vicinity. The Ephesus Museum is the most significant local museum of Turkey with the works it contains, the visitor capacity and cultural activities. The Ephesus Museum is consisted of the following sections:
1- Hall of the Terrace Houses Findings
2- Hall of the Fountain Findings
3- Hall of the New and Small Findings
4- Great Courtyard
5- Hall of the Tomb Findings
6- Hall of Artemis Ephesia
7- Hall of the Imperial Cult
8- Small Courtyard
The museum is open 365 days a year.
8:00 AM to 7:00 PM in the Summer Term; 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM in the Winter Term
Phone: 0 232 892 6010
Facsimile: 0 232 892 7002