Spiritual Pilgrimage to Selçuk

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About an hour train ride from the city of Izmir, Turkey is a place called Selçuk (cel-chick), which holds multiple sites of spiritual and religious importance. If you’re ever in Turkey, make sure to take a mecca to this divine place.


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Ephesus:

Ephesus holds the ancient ruins of the 4th largest city in the Roman Empire. The ruins include the Great Theatre, Library of Celsus, and multiple fountains. You may know this city from the New Testament of the Bible, when Paul visits the Ephesians. This place is an all day affair, so pack a snack and some sunscreen.


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Basilica of St. John:

Constructed in the 6th century by Justinian I, this church is in absolute ruins. However it remains important because it is believed that the Apostle John traveled from Jerusalem to the city of Ephesus, where he stayed for the rest of his life. The basilica is believed to be built on top of his burial site.


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Temple of Artemis:

One of the 7 wonders of the ancient world. Built in honor of Artemis, the Roman goddess of the wilderness and nature. The statues found inside, which are elaborate and symbolic depiction of her, are located at a local museum and not on site. Though completely in ruins, it is worth a visit.


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Şirince:

A 20 minute drive away from Selçuk, through hills covered in olive trees, is a tiny town with Greek influence. Here you can buy handmade soap, drink the local fruit wine and relax with a cup of Turkish coffee made right in front of you. This place is the “good for the soul” kind of spiritual.


Other sites:

Isa Bey Mosque

House of Virgin Mary

Seven Sleepers

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