Selcuk, original Greek name Agios Theologos refers to John the Theologian, is a small town of Selcuk district in Turkey. In the 14th century, it was the capital of the Emirate of Aydin and was renamed Selcuk just in 1914.
The historic city is one of the top must-visit tourist attractions in Turkey, best known for its closeness to the ancient Roman city of Ephesus. It is also notable for hosting the House of The Virgin Mary, also known as Meryemana, as well for its unique works of art. Meryemana is an ancient Catholique and Muslim shrine discovered in the 19th century. According to the legend, the Virgin Mary, the mother of Jesus Christ, has lived in this house until she died at the age of 64.
Selcuk is also the location of Basilica of St. John the Apostle, which dates from the 6th century and is claimed to be constructed over the Apostle’s tomb. The basilica, which was based on the now lost Church of the Holy Apostles in Constantinople, today lies in ruins; however, it still remains one of the most visited attractions in Selcuk and gives a great sense of its enormous size during its golden ages. Today the old town of charming Selcuk retains much traditional Turkish culture.
Other points of interest include the Museum of Ephesus, the Aqueduct and the Temple of Artemis. Ephesus Museum is an archaeological museum holding findings from the nearby Ephesus excavation site. Selcuk Aqueduct is a well-preserved Roman monument which top parts are dominated by storks’ nests. The Temple of Artemis, also known as the temple of Diana, is one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World, lying on the edge of the modern town of Selcuk. The temple was destroyed in 401, and today only foundations and sculptural fragments of the ancient temples at the historic site remain.
The ancient Turkish city also features an Ayasoluk Hill, which dominates the surrounding area, and is home to several historical buildings, including the İsa Bey Mosque tracing its origins back as far as 1375, and the Grand Fortress dating from the Byzantine era. Within the walls of Byzantium-era fortress, there are some remnants of original houses and a small mosque. The hill provides spectacular views of the Selcuk and its charming surroundings. It’s also a great place to enjoy sunrises and sunsets.
Besides being a historical and cultural treasure, boasting some well-preserved ancient monuments and landmarks, Selcuk also contains a number of fine-dining restaurants, bars, accommodation facilities and shops selling various local souvenirs.
When it comes to holidays in Turkey, there are plenty of choices of tours, with a stop in Selcuk; during this stop, visitors are more than welcome to explore and discover the hidden treasures of this culturally and historically significant town.
There are choices from 9 to 22 days bus tours, combined with standard Turkish gulet cruise (a traditional Turkish vessel), that are the perfect choice for couples, families or friends. All tours can be tailored to you including the amount of days spent in any one location including Selcuk. You don’t have anything to worry about, as everything is planned just for you.
So let’s enjoy every minute of this unique and unforgettable trip!