One of the activities we had during our stay in Cesme was a trip to Ephesus, an ancient port city, and Sirince, Turkey’s one the most aesthetic mountain village. We left Cesme in the morning after breakfast to Ephesus where we arrived after about 2 hours. For the visit to Ephesus, it is important to go as early as possible in the morning, to dress properly in as cool clothes as possible, to cover your head with a hat, to have enough water with you, all this because among the ancient ruins and under the scorching sun is extremely hot, there is no possibility to take shelter in the shade …
Ephesus lies roughly 80 kilometers south of Izmir, Turkey, on the western coasts of the Aegean Sea, where it meets the old estuary of the River Kaystros. Ephesus was a historic port city in modern-day Turkey, with well-preserved ruins. The city was previously regarded as the most important Greek metropolis and the Mediterranean region’s most important commerce center. Ephesus has been attacked numerous times throughout history and has changed hands countless times between conquerors.
It was also a center of early Christian evangelism and is still a significant archaeological site and Christian pilgrimage destination today. Much of Ephesus’s antiquated history is unrecorded and scrappy. What is known is that within the seventh century B.C., Ephesus fell beneath the run the show of the Lydian Lords and got to be a flourishing city where men and ladies delighted in break even with openings. It was to the origin of the famous rationalist Heraclitus.
The Lydian King Croesus, who ruled from 560 B.C. to 547 B.C., turned into maximum well-known for funding the rebuilding of the Temple of Artemis in Ephesus. Artemis changed into the goddess of the quest, chastity, childbirth, wild animals, and the desolate tract. She changed into also one of the most respected Greek deities. cutting-edge-day excavations have discovered that 3 smaller Artemis temples preceded the Croesus temple. In 356 B.C., a crazed man named Herostratus burned down the Temple of Artemis.
The Ephesians rebuilt the temple even larger. It became anticipated to be four instances larger than the Parthenon and has become referred to as one of the Seven Wonders of the arena. The temple was later destroyed and by no means rebuilt. Little stays of it nowadays, even though a number of its remnants are living inside the British Museum, such as a column with Croesus’s signature.
After loading ourselves with the history portion of the ancient civilizations, we continued our itinerary to the next destination: The House of the Virgin Mary – a Catholic shrine located on Mt. Koressos in the vicinity of Ephesus, 7 kilometers (4.3 mi) from Selçuk.
The shrine of the Virgin Mary enjoys a marvelous atmosphere hidden in the green. It is the place where Mary may have spent her last days. Indeed, she may have come to the area together with Saint John, who spent several years in the area to spread Christianity. Mary preferred this remote place rather than living in a crowded place.
On the way to the shrine, visitors pass a keyhole-shaped baptismal pool, larger than the one located at the basilica in Ephesus. It is thought that an early community of Christians may have lived or were baptized here in seclusion to escape the nearby Romans. The shrine itself is not extensively large, but may rather be described as a modest chapel. The preserved stones and construction date back into the Apostolic Age, as consistent with other preserved buildings from that time, but with minor additions such as garden landscapes and devotional additions outside the shrine. Upon entrance to the chapel, a pilgrim is met by one single large room where an altar along with a large statue of the Blessed Virgin Mary is prominently displayed in the center.
On the right side, a smaller room lies—-traditionally associated with the actual room where the Virgin Mary is believed to have slept. Marian tradition holds that some form of running water used to flow like a canal in the smaller room where the Virgin Mary slept and rested, leading to the present drinking fountain outside the building structure. Outside the shrine is a particular “wishing wall” that pilgrims have used by tying their personal intentions on paper or fabric. Various types of florals and fruits are grown nearby, and additional lighting has been installed within the vicinity of the shrine for further monitoring of the site. A water fountain or well is also located nearby, believed by some pilgrims to have miraculous powers of healing or fertility.
We then continued our way to the last destination of the day: Sirince – a quaint little village in the Izmir region. Since, which is one of the loveliest Aegean villages in Turkey, literally means cute. Set on a hillside above Selcuk town, the village retains most of its lovely old wooden houses with their red-tiled roofs. Up here the air feels fresh and the restaurants, which you meet on the winding road even before entering the village, serve fruit-flavored wines and great food.
Sirince is a mesmerizing village and very different from others in the vicinity. Originally, the village was built by Greeks, but after the population exchange between Turkey and Greece in 1923, the Greeks who had to leave Anatolia were replaced by Turks from Thessalonica. Today the village prospers through agriculture (olive oil, wine, peach, apple, fig, walnut) and tourism. It is well protected and a rare and attractive example of Ottoman Turkish architecture.
Since, with its locally made wine, traditional cuisine, and true way of life, is a nostalgic village. You will feel as if you have stepped into the nineteenth century when roaming about the village. Sirince is without a doubt one of Turkey’s most beautiful mountain villages. Sirince’s houses are unique in the region since they are two-story stone and brick residences with several windows and balconies according to the size of the windows. Their basements serve as a kitchen and storage area. The window frames and eaves are embellished with paintings and bird motifs. Nowadays, the lovely homes are utilized as boutique hotels.
The little village of Sirince is great for shopping. The local women sell handmade lace, tablecloths, beads, muslin cloths, and dresses. Also, there is a single remaining woodcarver who still makes beautiful wooden spoons or you can buy from the Ram-Koc Leatherium store leather products made by hand by a skilled craftsman: belts, bracelets, bags, shoes …
One of the things that make Sirince stand out among the touristic destinations is its homemade wines. Sirince’s name is associated with the grapes that are produced around here and used to make delicious fruit wines. There are only two wine producers in the village. The olive oil produced locally is also incredibly tasty.
Your time spent in the picturesque village of Sirince may look like this:
· Go for a walk in the streets of Sirince freely.
· Taste delicious local wines in the cellars.
· Try homemade tasty pancakes.
· Buy incredibly tasty olive oils.
· Visit the churches of Saint John the Baptist and Saint Dimitrios.
· Drink traditional Turkish coffee or elderberry syrup.
· Visit Theater School and Mathematics Institute.
· Enjoy the Vintage Culture and Art.
We enjoyed every minute spent here and left this place with a soul full of joy and delight.