Selçuk is one of the most visited tourist destinations in Türkiye due to its proximity to the ancient city Ephesus, Isa Bey Mosque, the House of the Virgin Mary and St John's Basilica. Since the town is used as a stopping point for further travel, the actual town remains relatively undisturbed and undeveloped, retaining Turkish tradition and culture. The name originates from the Turkish tribes that settled in the area in the 12th century.
Selçuk hosts many festivals annually, the most famous being Camel Wrestling, Oil Wrestling and the Efes Festival. The beach of “Pamucak” is also of interest, 9km from the town. Also, Aqua fantasy and Adaland are two of Europe’s biggest water parks and are well worth a visit.
Ephesus is probably the best-preserved city in the eastern Mediterranean, with only an estimated 15% being excavated. The city hosted one of the seven churches of Asia as addressed in the Bible, and it is thought that the Gospel of John was written here. It is also a graveyard of a large number of gladiators.
St John's Basilica was built in the 6th century AD under the orders of Emperor Justinian I. It is thought that the Basilica was built over the burial site of St John, also known as the apostle, evangelist and prophet.
The Isa Bey Mosque was constructed in 1375 and is one of the oldest and most impressive works of architecture remaining from the Anatolian times. It sits at the foot of the Ayasuluk Hill between the Saint-Jean Church and the remains of the Temple of Artemis.
The Grotto of the Seven Sleepers is located on Mount Pion, near Ephesus and is the site of many different religious myths.
The house of the Virgin Mary, known in Turkish as Meryemana, is believed to be the place she was brought to by St John at the end of her life. It is located on top of Bulbul Mountain and also offers excellent views of the town.
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