Şirince, 8 km to Selçuk/İzmir is a village with 700 inhabitants at an altitude of 375m.
With examples of civil architecture and monumental buildings from the Ottoman era interpreted with Christian culture, Şirince reflects a different historical sequence. Its resident area is considered as "protected urban area" and near surroundings as "protected natural area".
The definition "Ephesus in the Mountain" indicates that it used to be the rural area of Ephesus, one of the biggest cities of the archaic era.
Traces of a strong Christian identity are well preserved in Şirince, thus it is still mentioned as an ancient Greek village. Archeological heritage dates Şirince's history back to the Roman Empire; however, documentary history indicates the 14th century. The Christian population in the Byzantine Empire named the village "Kyrkindje", after passing into the hands of Aydınoğulları, the village was registered as "Çirkince". The Christian identity of Şirince was maintained even after the area had been militarily and politically conquered by Turks. The village grew out to a district center by the end of 1500's, got its share of Greek migration to Anatolia in late 1700's, and reached its maximum extent in 1800's. In the Balkan War in 1912, Şirince started to brisk because of its Christian identity and the village was occupied by the Greek army in 1919, and in September 1922 when the occupation was removed as a part of the national independence war, the village was fully deserted and became an uninhabited village. In 1924 life started again upon settlement of Turkish families forced to migrate from Greece. In 1928 the village became a municipality named Şirince; however, the population rapidly declined and Şirince was turned again into a village in 1943.
Today's Şirince with around 100 traditional buildings and 700 inhabitants is not nearly as grandiose as it was in the 19th century, but nevertheless a miniature historical copy thereof.
Advanced land, sea, air and rail routes of the province Izmir are utilized as means of access to Şirince. International Adnan Menderes Airport (70km), Pamucak Airport (10 km) as well as International Port of Izmir (80 km) and International Port of Kuşadası (20 km) facilitates international access. The 8 km Şirince-Selçuk land route is the only link to the geographical area around the village.
Proximity to the Antique City of Ephesus, a momentous cultural centre of world history, makes Selçuk one of the most important tourism centers in the world. Ephesus is not only connotative for the city, but also for the Temple of Artemis, St. John Church, the House of virgin Mary and many other antique artifacts.
Besides its impressive history and fascinating nature, home made wine contributes considerably to Şirince's importance as an indispensable alternative holiday destination for tourists. Wine is produced from fruits and plants like grape, peach, quince, melon, wild strawberry, pomegranate, blueberry, and blackberry.
Establishment of the antique city of Ephesus located in Selçuk-Izmir dates back to the Neolithic Era, 6000 BC. Recent studies and archeological excavations revealed ancient layouts from the Bronze Era and Hittite Empire in mounds (prehistorical hill layouts) around Ephesus and on the Ayasuluk Hill, where the castle is. The city was known with the name Apasas in the Hittite Era. The harbour city Ephsesus inhabited by immigrants from Greece in 1050 BC was moved to the area around the Temple of Artemis in 560 BC. Ephesus visited today was established around 300 BC by Lysimakhos, one of the Generals of Alexander the Great. Ephesus experienced its most glorious times in the Hellenistic and Roman Era as the capital of the Province of Asia and the biggest harbour city with a population of 200,000 citizens. Ephesus was relocated again in the Byzantine Empire and was moved to Ayasuluk Hill in Selçuk where it was initially built. Beginning from the 16th century, Ayasuluk, centrum of Aydınoğulları taken over by Turks in 1330, gradually declined. Following the founding of our Republic in 1923, the city was named Selçuk and developed into a touristic city with 30,000 inhabitants.
Güllü Konakları - Ephesus 10 km
Objects and artifacts exhibited in the museum are from the Mycenaean, Hellenistic, Roman, Byzantine and Turkish Era found at the excavations in the Ephesus Ruins, St. John Church, and Belevi Mausoleum. It is the second biggest museum after the Topkapı Museum. Currently 8352 archeological objects, 1092 ethnographical objects and 17143 coins, a total of 26587 objects are exhibited at the Ephesus Museum.
Güllü Konakları - Ephesus Museum 10 km
At early times of Christianity, Roman emperors were drastically oppressing people who chose to believe in the new religion. According to the legend, "Seven Sleepers" slept 200 years (according to another legend, they slept 309 years) in this cave where they had escaped from the tyranny of Emperor Decius. When they woke up, beliefs and costumes were changed. This cave, a remainder of resurrection after death was continuously visited during the Middle age.
Güllü Konakları - Seven Sleepers 10 km
Virgin Mary is believed to spend her last days in the House of Virgin Mary, a place sanctified by Vatican. In the 19th century Catherine Emmerich, a German nun who had never been to Ephesus before gave astonishingly detailed descriptions of the House of Virgin Mary. Excavations based on these descriptions revealed a 4th century building with groundwork anticipated to date back to the 1st century.
Güllü Konakları - Virgin Mary 18 km
Artemis Temple, the first temple of marble of the antique world, is one of the seven wonders of the world. Artemis was the main goddess of Ephesus and made considerable contributions to the fame of the city. The respect of the antique-pagan world for Artemis may be explained by traces of rituals of Eastern religions, addressing the people of Anatolia, and displaying more than one goddess feature. Artemis is considered as the continuation of the Hittites' Kubaba and the Phrygians' Kybele.
Güllü Konakları - Artemis Temple 9 km
ST JOHN CHURCH
This church on the South outskirt of Ayasuluk Hill is often confused with the Castle of Selçuk. St. John Church, the most magnificent Byzantine building around Ephesus is entered through a gate named the Trailing Gate.
Güllü Konakları - St John Church 9 km
ISA BEY MOSQUE
Interesting that the İsabey Mosque was constructed in between other Christian sanctuaries and pagan temples. Many of the architectural pieces and particularly the columns were brought from the ruins of Ephesus. The Mosque was built in 1375.
Güllü Konakları - İsabey Mosque 9 km
ÇAMLIK TRAIN MUSEUM
Going from Selçuk to Aydın, you will see the Railway Museum at Çamlık. On one side the German-Schwartzkopf locomotive built in 1910 which was used between Erzurum and Kars, on the other side another locomotive with a speed of 65 km/h built in 1912 at the English-Humboldt factory. Several trains from various countries in the world are exhibited in the museum. About 30 locomotives are waiting for their visitors from all over the world.
Güllü Konakları - Çamlık Train Museum 18 km
Great Delta of Menderes National Park is the one and only botanical garden in the world reaching from the Mediterranean to Caucasus where you can see almost all plants naturally together. With an average altitude of 650 m, Mykale, namely Dilek Tepe is the highest spot of the peninsula with an altitude of 1237 m. The peninsula offers also interesting coastal patterns including sandy, clayey, slant and high beaches.
Güllü Konakları - Dilek Peninsula 46 km
Priene, located just beside the Güllübahçe village after Söke on the Izmir-Bodrum road is an Ionian city providing the best view to the Hippodamos grid plan. Archeological findings indicate that Priene was established by Carians. The most ancient buildings revealed at excavations date back to 6th century BC
Güllü Konakları - Priene 75 km
Milet, the most ancient and most important layout of Ionia was a costal city with four harbours. Agora, Stadium, Faustina Bath, İlyas Bey Mosque and the Theater with a capacity of 15000 spectators are places worth of visiting.
Güllü Konakları - Miletus 73 km
Didyma (Didim) within the borders of Yeni Hisar village in Söke-Aydın is famous for its Apollon Temple.
First excavations in Didyma were performed in 1858 by English teams under the leadership of Newton. Excavations started in 1905 under the leadership of Th. Weigand continued until 1937. The major part of the temple could be revealed by that time. German experts still continue with the excavations.
Didymaion is known as the residence and sanctuary of a prophet of Miletus. Recent excavations revealed that Didyma is not only the residence of a prophet, but also a crowded layout. The construction of the archaic temple is believed to be started in the 6th century BC and finished by the end of the same century.
Güllü Konakları - Didyma 73 km
Tire with only limited visitors today hosted important guests like Şeyh Bedreddin and Kanunî in the past. Ignored because of being outside the range of main means of access, Tire awaits you with its rich history, green nature, craftsmen, authentic civil and religious architectural works, Tuesday's markets, meatballs and black mulberry dessert.
Güllü Konakları - Tire 48 km
Birgi on the green slopes of Bozdağ is a jewel under centurial trees, not only with its protected Ottoman and Turkish cottages, but also with its historical structure and values. Birgi is a small village with around 1000 domiciles close to İzmir-Ödemiş. The history of this peaceful, silent village dates back to the 7th century BC. Lydians called this place "Dios Hieroon" meaning "holy place of Zeus". Persians took the place over in the 6th century BC and called it "the green place".
Güllü Konakları - Birgi 100 km
Aphrodisias is the most famous antique city occupying an area about 520 hectare in the outskirts of Babadağ in the Menderes valley in Caria region, today's Geyre village in Aydın-Karacasu. So far none of the Greco-Roman cities known or still under excavation yielded the artistic abundance and antique work diversity provided by Aphrodisias. Many of the sculptures, relieves, and pedestals in Italy, Greece and other places bear the signature of artists from Aphrodisias. Aphrosidisias is proven to be not only a place where some models were copied, but a centrum for authentic sculpture work.
Monograms of Emperor Justinian and his wife Empress Theodora are still visible on the capitals of this grandiose church built on two stores. St. John's grave was located under the main dome. Christians believing in the curing power of the dust of the Saint's grave turned this place into a venue of pilgrimage.
Güllü Konakları - Aphrodisyas 154 km
For the ample amount of temples and other religious buildings, the antique city of Hierapolis, located 18 km north of Denizli, is known as the Holy City in the archeological literature. Thermal waters of Pamukkale containing aluminum and sulphate form the white layers and travertines, and are also important for health and well-being. Antique sources indicate that the Roman Emperor Hadiranu had visited Hierapolis in 129, Caracalla in 215 and Valens in 370 hoping to find cure for their health problems. In ancient times, patients were treated for coronary diseases, hypertension, and arteriosclerosis with this water just like Pergamon treated his insane patients with inspiration in Asclepion.
Güllü Konakları - Pamukkale 196 km