- Izmir - Selcuk ( Ephesus
Ephesus proudly houses one of the seven ancient wonders of
the world; the Temple of Artemis. The city is dedicated to
her and has many fascinating buildings. The precise date of
the city's foundation is not known but legend said that the
first Efes was founded by Women Warriors of the Amazon in
the 14th century BC and later inhabited by lonians in the
11th century BC after the first settlement of the Anatolian's
natives, the Lelegians. In a short time the city became very
important. After 133 BC it became a Roman province and during
the reign of Augustus it became the trade center of Asia.
With all these civilizations passing through Ephesus, the
remains take one or two days to visit fully. The city still
retains its importance, but this time as the most important
archaeological and historical city in Turkey. One of the very
amazing ruins in Efes is the huge amphitheatre with a 24,000
seat capacity and superb acoustic effects. Seljuk is close
to Efes and is crowned with a Byzantine citadel and the basilica
of St. John. Next to the basilica is the Seljuk Isa Bey Mosque.
The Seven Sleepers' Cave is another historical place near
Efes. The archaeological museum is significant with its striking
collection of items gathered from the excavations in Ephesus.
Every May there is an International Festival in Efes.
On Bulbuldagi (Mt. Nightingale) one can find the small house
built for the Virgin Mary (9 kms from Seljuk) when St. John
brought her to Ephesus after Christ's death. She spent her
last days in that house. Today it is a place of Pilgrimage
for Christians and also visited by Muslims, and is officially
sanctioned by the Vatican. Every year on August the 15th,
a commemoration ceremony is held there.