ultramarinus – beyond the sea

Posts tagged “Selcuk

PERFECT SUNSET, Selcuk, Turkey

2006.05.05

Sleepy town of Selcuk welcomes one of Turkey’s biggest concentrations of tourists.  Home to the mighty Ephesus, as well as the ruined Basilica of St John (where some believed was the final resting place of St John the Apostle) and House of the Virgin Mary (a stone house where some said was the final home of the Virgin Mary), Selcuk has its unique power to attract visitors from around the world while maintaining the tranquility as a small town in the Aegean Region.  After visiting Ephesus, we strolled around the town for a short while and completed the day by enjoying a glass of wine and a moment of perfect sunset on the rooftop of Homeros Pension.

streetscape 2Away from the Classical ruins, Selcuk is still dotted with historical buildings from the Middle Ages.

06ME14-06Alpaslan Mesciti is a 14th century building.  Today, the building continues to serve as a mosque.

man in selcukThe Turkish way to chill out: to smoke Turkish tobacco with a water pipe or nargile in the front porch of their home or shop and watch the world goes by.  The tradition started 500 years ago in the Ottoman Empire. Its popularity declined as cigarettes entered the Turkish market after World War II.  In recent two decades, water pipes have made a solid comeback for the younger generations.

06ME14-02Other than smoking nargiles, some locals we met chose to play music to celebrate the last hour of sunlight.

06ME14-08Many of the elder generation preferred to socialize at the outdoor area of a cafe.

streetscape 3Near Homeros Pension, the beautiful sunset made everything to appear under a tint of orange.

streetscape 4Walking under the last bit of sunlight on the hill was a sublime experience.

06ME14-13For our short stay in Selcuk, we picked Homeros Pension, a family run guesthouse full of character.

06ME14-14The common areas of Homeros Pension are richly decorated.

06ME14-15Local handicrafts fit perfectly well with the interior.

homeros pension 4Apart from local handicrafts, we could also find gifts left by previous travelers, such as these koalas from an Australian traveler.

06ME12-08The delicious food at Homeros was prepared by the experienced hands of the elderly staff.

06ME14-22The rooftop patio was a fantastic spot to enjoy the sunset.  We were invited by the friendly staff to have a glass of wine during sunset.

homeros' roof patio 2With the clean air and relatively low buildings, we had no trouble watching the sun setting below the far horizon.

06ME14-27Watching the marvelous sunset and mingling with the other guests at the guesthouse on the rooftop patio was the perfect way to end our day.

 

 

 

 


RUINS OF EPHESUS, Selcuk, Turkey

2006.05.05

After breakfast, a staff of Homeros Pension drove us to a bank for money exchange before dropping us at the world renowned archaeological ruins of Ephesus (Efes).  Ephesus is one of the most popular tourist attractions in Turkey, thanks to its close proximity to the cruise port and airport in the resort town of Kusadasi.  The magnificent facade of Ephesus’ Library of Celsus is the signature image of Classical ruins in Turkey.  Two thousand years ago, Ephesus was one of the greatest Greek and Roman cities in Asia Minor.  Founded in the 10th century BC by Attic and Ionian Greeks, Ephesus reached its peak after the Roman takeover in 129 BC.  From 52-54 AD, Paul the Apostle stayed in Ephesus and probably wrote his Gospel in the city.  Ephesus was named as one of the seven churches of Asia in the Book Revelation, indicating Christianity was quite popular back then.  In the Byzantine era, major earthquakes, shifting of trade routes, and sacking by the Arabs all contributed to the downfall of Ephesus.  Its glorious past was eventually forgotten, and Ephesus was eventually abandoned in the 15th century.  Temple of Artemis, one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World, the magnificent Library of Celsus and the 25,000 seat theatre exemplify the former grandeur of the city.  Already in ruins since 401 AD, the Temple of Artemis has little remained except a restored column.  The restored facade of Library of Celsus remains as the biggest draw for visitors.

06ME12-10Seats for up to 24,000 spectators, the splendid great theatre of Ephesus was the first impressive building that we encountered in the site.

ephesus 1It was the time in the year where poppies flourished.

06ME12-21Right by Celsus Library, the Gate of Mazeus and Mithridates was a arch of triumph built in 40 AD during the reign of Augustus, the first Roman emperor and the great nephew of Julius Caesar.

06ME12-24Popular with tourist advertisements, the facade of the Library of Celsus is the most famous image of Ephesus.  Named after Celsus, a Roman consul in Rome and later the provincial governor of Asia, the library was built by Celsus’ son Aquila and filled with over 12,000 scrolls of reading materials acquired by the money of Celsus left behind.

ephesus 3From 117 to 262 AD, the Library of Celsus served as an important public space in Ephesus for 145 years, where people came to read the rare scrolls under natural light at the main floor.  In 262 AD, the library was destroyed by fire caused by earthquake or Gothic invasion.

ephesus 2The statues at the library facade symbolize wisdom, knowledge, intelligence and valor.

ephesus 5Episteme, the Greek philosophical term of “knowledge”, was depicted as one of the statues at Library of Celsus.

06ME13-11The imposing Library of Celsus is the most popular photo spot in Ephesus.

06ME13-07After the destruction in 262 AD, the facade survived for another 800 years or so until the tenth or eleventh century.  Lying in ruins for about a thousand years, the facade of Library of Celsus was restored in the 1970s.

06ME13-10As an important Roman city, Latin inscriptions can be found all over Ephesus.

06ME13-04Beyond Mazeus & Mithridates Gate, a Corinthian colonnade marks the Agora, the former commercial heart of the ancient city.

06ME13-20Paved with marble stone and flanked by colonnade, Curetes Street was one of the main treets in Ephesus.

06ME13-30Along the street, there are lots of interesting architectural details for all visitors to discover.

06ME13-25The Odeon was used for political meetings, concerts and theatrical performances.

06ME13-26Roman relief of the Memmius Monument

06ME13-28Nike, the goddess of victory, was depicted on a marble relief.

06ME13-16Arch with relief sculpture at the Temple of Hadrian.

06ME13-18Headless Roman statue at Curetes Street.

06ME13-22The Hercules Gate at Curetes Street marked the separation between uptown and downtown.

06ME13-32Beautiful frieze at Hadrian Temple revealed the high craftsmanship of the Roman  builders.