Stuff I Know

Just stuff by me about me and my life, such as it is.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008


The Turkish countryside is very picturesque. In many ways it is reminiscent of parts of the American Midwest. As you watch out the bus window, fields and farms fly past, and the hills turn to mountains far off in the distance. You round a corner, and a small town appears, and above the town rises ... not a church steeple like you might expect in the US, but rather the minaret of the local mosque. Yes, things are familiar, but not quite the same.

The town of Selcuk. The town of Selcuk.

Selcuk (Selçuk) is a nice town in a rather historic area. It is know for the basilica of St. John the Apostle, the Temple of Artemis, the nearby House of the Virgin Mary, and camel wrestling. But it may be more well know as a stopping point on the way to the ancient city of Ephesus.

The town itself, though, is pretty nice. It definitely is setup to cater to the tourist market, but not so much so that it loses all it's charm. The museum has some rather "impressive" items.

A statuette of the god Priapus. A statuette of the god Priapus.

If your erectile dysfunction "medication" malfunctions, you may end up with the condition named after this guy. He is a representation of the god Priapus.

Another statue of Priapus. Another representation of Priapus.

I wonder if the original head of this statue had a smile on the face.

The opposite sex should not feel left out though. There are also two versions of this fine specimen of a woman.

Statute of goddess of fertility. A statute of a goddess (Artemis?) of fertility.

She is a representation of a goddess of fertility. There are other nice things in the museum, but let's move on to the rest of the town.

There is not much left now but apparently at one time the Temple of Artemis was very impressive. So much so that in 356 BC Herostratus burned it down just so he could become famous. I guess he got his wish.

The Temple of Artemis.All that is left of the Temple of Artemis.

The ruins of the basilica of St. John the Apostle are rather interesting and provide a nice view of the grand fortress up on the hill. The fortress has been closed for a while. Apparently a few tourists were hurt when part of the fortress fell on them.

The Grand Fortress in Selcuk. A view of the Grand Fortress in Selcuk.

A rather long walk away from the town is the House of Mary. Apparently John and Mary came to Turkey together. They lived in the city until threats from the populous became too much, so they went up into the mountains to live. There is really not much to see there. A small chapel has been built over the foundation of the house. I guess it is more a religious tourism location than a destination for sightseers.

The chapel at the House of Mary. The chapel over the ruins of the House of Mary.

The story about how the house was located is more interesting than the site itself. Apparently a German nun who had never been to Selcuk/Ephesus saw the location in visions. Sometime later, a French priest found the location described in the nun's visions. Whether you believe the stories or not, the site is located in a very nice location in the mountains. Visiting it made for a nice, but long, walk with some great views of the area.

The ancient city of Ephesus. Looking down on the ancient city of Ephesus.

As mentioned before, Ephesus is the real attraction in the area around Selcuk. I'll get to that next post. But for now, enjoy my photos of Selcuk and vicinity.

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At 5:38 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ummmm WOW...that is all I can really say about the picture of Priapus. nice pics as always!


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