We also learned that Selçuk is more than just Ephesus.
Whatever your beliefs, historical facts point to John the Apostle bringing Mary here after escaping the persecution of Jerusalem. Likely she died here. There is a burial place called the House of the Virgin Mary on Mt Koressus, and it is believed that John was buried on the slopes of Ayasoluk Hill, where a basilica was built in the 6th century in his memory and is now another wonderful site to scramble through.
Selçuk is also home to one of the seven ancient wonders of the world – the Temple of Artemis. There is little left – some broken marble and a single column reconstructed to 80% of its initial height and now a stork’s nest.
We also explored the mountain village of Sirince, famous for its wine and handicrafts. It was in this area that the Greek and Turkish governments swapped populations around 1923 after the Turkish Independence War.
Selçuk is a delightful place. Apart from the romanticism of storks nesting on any tall construction (lamp posts and ruins alike), the town is small, well laid out, clean and with good food. My only beef was paying 15TL for a taxi to Ephesus, a five minute ride and a 3TL ride in a Dolmus (minibus).
We also explored the coast, that which had moved 5km due to alluvial build up from the Menderes River. Interesting! Just a beach with a couple of resorts where we couldn’t even get a cup of coffee without being booked in.
I was bothered by the camping ground, heavily planted with eucalypts. I wonder if branches fall off them in Turkey as easily as they do in Australia?
House of the Virgin Mary
Temple of Artemis
Basilica of the Apostle John