Location / Place To Visit / Selcuk
It is in the south of Izmir on the south Aegean, Selcuk has been transformed since the 1990s into a major tourist destination, mainly as a base to visit the famous ruins of Ephesus a few kilometres away. The ancient classical city is one of the best preserved in the eastern Mediterranean and is a great example of Roman architecture. Selcuk has many historical remains of early Christianity, including a house which many believe to have been visited by the Virgin Mary, and Ayasoluk Hill where St John write his Gospel. There are many small hotels and guest-houses, restaurants and shops which makes the town a good base to explore the area. The town gets busy during the famous annual camel wrestling festival, held in Ephesus around February.
Where to Visit
Selçuk Ephesus Archeology Museum
With a fine collection of statues, mosaics and artefacts, the museum in the centre of Selcuk helps shed a little more light on the Ephesus ruins. Many found before World War I were taken to the Vienna Museum, but wherever possible, most were returned after World War II. The museum shows around 50,000 exhibits, in chronological order, from the Miken, Archaic, Roman, Byzantine and Turk periods, and is split into Archaeological and Ethnographic sections. The most interesting items include the Myken vases found at Ayasuluk Hill, pieces from temple of Artemis, a tomb from the Belevi Mausoleum, two statues of Artemis, an embossed image of Theodosius from Hadrian Temple, and many more statues and portraits from early Christianity. The ethnographic section is set up in an arasta (row of shops) with examples of Turkish and Ottoman daily life.
This huge site, one of the best preserved ancient cities in the Mediterranean, will take most of the day to see every part in detail. It is easily approached by road from Selçuk, or by public transport from Kuşadası.