Ephesus is located between two hills with the silted ancient port and about three kms from Selcuk town. It belongs to greater Izmir province and 10 kms to Kusadasi, 65 kms to Izmir. The ancient town used to be the home of historical Greek and Roman ages so it grabs millions of visitors each year. There is a good connection to Ephesus from all over Turkey and it is only 40 minutes drive from the third biggest airport called as Izmir to Ephesus.The name comes from Hittite Word “ Apasas” due to Greek could not do the correct pronouncation so they converted it as Ephesus. It means “the bee “ so Ephesus was the city of the bee. The bee was minted on the coins dated 11th BC in Hittite period.
Isa bey mosque is one of the best and important example which reflects the end of the Seljuk Empire period in late 14 C A.D. In addition, this mosque bears the imprint of Umayyad mosque in Damascus in which is one of the Islamic centers for scientists and scholars. The marble and tiles here make almost a harmonial visiual feast those who want to visit. The ruler , Aydinoglu Isa bey, conducted to the architect in order to reflect the splendeur and strength of the empire so the architect made a great effort to create such a beauty. Isa bey mosque is an announcement against to the power of Ephesus and the creativity of Artemis as if saying I am also here centuries after.
One of the seven wonders of the ancient world called Artemis temple is about 1km away from Selçuk down town on the way to Kusadasi. It situates on the right hand side of the bottom gate of Ephesus which is near Selcuk town’s museum in ruins.
It is about 9kms/ 7miles far way on the top of the mount Nightingale and takes half an hour drive from Selçuk town. The house is over 1200 feet / 300 meters from the sea level among the pine woods. It is belived that Blessed mary has spent hin her last say in this house and the house was noted for vatikan as one of the final resting places of Holy Mary. Three popes from Vatican, pope Paul VI in 1967, pope John Paull 2nd in 1995 and pope Bebedictus in 2008, have been to the house so far.
It was built on the former tomb of St. John the evangelist, one of Bible authors, during the Byzantine period according to cross plan by emperor Justinien I between 532-537 AD. The church building has served as the church of Ephesus till the Selçuk town was seiged by the Arabic troops in 10th C AD.Today it is one of the most visited places in the area of Kusadasi for both cruise clients and holiday makers. Three popes from Vatican city had been and prayed in the ruins of the church so far. Excavations are still going on under the supervisor of Turkish government. It is the most beautiful Byzantine monument in this area.
If there is a place called heaven on earth, Sirince must be a part of paradise. Dido Sotiroyo, one of the famous Greek writer who was born in this village but had to leave at the age of seven after the exchange agreement in 1925, says these words about Sirince. Road to the village through olive and tangerine trees decorated with old Greek houses at the end of winding road and delicious scent of home made wine of grapes welcomes you as a surprise in the beginning of your journey.The village of Sirince is a good example of the tolerance and cultural heritage in the west of Turkey which reflects Turkish and Greek ways of life together. When you pay a visit to the village, you cannot stop yourself admiring the harmony of two cultures, Greek style houses and Turkish type of living.You also will feel like yourself as if walking in a movie studio. This is the only willage in the Aegean region which has both a Greek Orthodox church and a Moslem mosque side by side. It is in the list of World Heritage Sites of United Nations and it has only 700 inhabitants.