I wrote about Selçuk the other days that this ancient city has a lot to see. There are many ruins all around dated back from The Greek and roman empire to the beginning of Ottoman period. The best thing of this city is that all the ruins are in a short distance walk.
You could visit The Temple of Artemis , Ephesus Museum , St John Basilica , İsa Bey Mosque , and Turkish baht ruin altogether in one day by your own foot or renting a bicycle.
But if you want to go to further to places like Virgin Mary house or The cave of seven sleeper. I have a trick to save your money from a taxi ( about 60 Lira ) by renting a motorbike.
Let’s see what you could get by your own foot , or by paying about 40 Lira for a bicycle , or 70 Lira by a motorbike including gasoline , to explore all around Selçuk.
Let’s start to explore this city from the train station which is like the heart of this city.
When you get off the train and walk out of the train station. You would see the long tall pillars lined along the city. As the new comer who had never been to a Greek or Roman city before. I thought it was a wall or something like that. But it turned out to be a Byzantine aqueduct. Thanks god! that I took a photo of description so just read it down below.
If you don’t follow the line of aqueduct’s pillars. But you walk through to some cafe in that area. You could find a Monument of road to independence which is very closed by. This monument was built by Mehmet Aksoy , who is one of the best sculpture , worked as lecturer in Istanbul Academy of Fine Arts between the year 1978-81.
If you decide to follow the line of aqueduct pillars until the main road. After you cross the street , if you want to rent a vehicle you have to turn left to Ugur Mumcu st.
There is a shop that I rented a motorbike named “Troy rent a car”. It is a good idea to rent a vehicle first then you could explore around easily. If you rent a motorbike. You could continue to Virgin Mary house or Cave of seven sleeper in one day.
When you cross the road. You could see the line of aqueduct pillars appear again along the road. There are some Greek pillars on the right hand side of aqueduct pillars. If you walk up the hill , you would arrive St.John Castle or Basilica of St. John.
In front of Basilica of St. John , there is a Gate of persecution or Byzantine gate. It was built in 600-700 AD. in Byzantine period.On top of the gate is a reliefsculpture of Achilleus the Greek’s hero.
Behind the gate , it is a museum area of Basilica of St. John. It was built by the emperor Justinian and his wife on St.John tomb. It was a big church with six domes dedicated to St.John. Nearby on Ayasuluk hill is 15 fortresses built by Aydin emirate.
The museum opening hour : 8.30-19.00 Fee : 8 Lira
Opening hour : 8.30-19.00 Fee : Free
If you continue on the road down the hill until the end of it. You would find a big huge nice mosque , İsabey Mosque.
The İsabey Mosque constructed in 1374–75, is one of the oldest and most impressive works of architectural art remaining from the Anatolian beyliks.
It was built by the architect Şamlı Dımışklıoğlu Ali in honor of the Aydinid İsa Bey. In the 19th century, it was also used as a caravanserai.
The mosque has two main entrances, to the east and to the west. The western wall has inscriptions and geometric shapes engraved. These walls are covered with marble, whereas the façades on the remaining sides are made of cut stone.
It is built asymmetrically on a 48-by-56-metre (157 by 184 ft) base. The rims of its domes, with diameters of 9.4 metres (31 ft) and 8.1 metres (27 ft), are decorated with Iznik (Nicaea) tiles. Twelve round columns stand inside its courtyard encircled with porches.
Its brick minaret is built on an octagonal base, and the upper part from the balcony is ruined. The mosque had another minaret on the west, which is totally destroyed now. The mihrab (niche or altar) was moved to another mosque, due to a door opened there. There is an octagonal Seljuk türbe made of stone and bricks, with a pyramid shaped roof, right next to the mosque.
Ps. I love this place the most compare with others.
Continue on the road of Prof. Anton Kallinger in less than five minutes. You would see İsabey Hamam which was a big turkish baht with many rooms built in 14th century. But it was turned to be a tomb after using for about 60-80 years.
You could just look at it from the outside as it is a spike fence prohibits it from visitors.
About ten minutes walk from hamam. There is an Ephesus museum which has one of the most popular piece of statue of Artemis retrieved from the temple of the goddess in Ephesus.
It was an ashamed that when I was there(Oct. 2013 ), the museum was closed due to the big reconstruction which it would open again in a year or two.
Temple of Artemis
Opening hour : all day all night.
If you look at the map and walk on the main road of Dr.Sabri about 10 minutes from the museum , the Temple of Artemis is on the right handside. There is a nice walkway shaded with big trees.
I was amazed by this place as it is a Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. But it looks like an abandoned place with two Greeks columns. What an ashamed on it. It made me realized of the baddish teaching that nothing is permanent. Every thing has its own expiring date.
There was only one group of tourists who visit this place at the same time I did. It couldn’t compare to the famous Ephesus which is about 15 minutes away on the same road that has more than a hundred buses come to visit every day.
In this area , there was a discovered of ancient tools from Mycenaean period ( 14th-13th BC. ). The temple was destroyed and rebuilt again for 7 times. This place was glorious and huge. But in 356BC., Herostratus set a fire to burn all of this area just because he wanted to be named in the history- well done dude.
Right now it is what you see in my pictures.