The first establishment of the antique City of Ephesus within the boundaries of Selçuk district of Izmir province dates back to 6000 BC, to the Neolithic age. During the researches and excavations, settlements from the Bronze Age and Hittite period were found in the tumuluses around Ephesus (pre-historic tumulus settlements) and on the Ayasuluk Hillwhere the castle stands. During the Hittite period the city was named as ‘Aphasas’. The harbour city Ephesus where also immigrants from Greece settled moved to the neighbourhood of the Artemis Temple in 560 BC. Ephesus which is being visited by many tourists today was founded by Lysimakhos, one of the generals of Alexander the Great in the year 300 BC.
Ephesus which experienced its most glorious days during the Hellenisticand Roman Ages had a population of 200.000 as the capital and the biggest harbour city of the Asian province. Ephesus changed place during the Byzantine period again and moved to the Ayasuluk Hill in Selçuk where the antique city was originally found. Ayasuluk which was invaded by Turks in 1330 and became the centrum of Aydınoğulları started to get smaller and was given the name Selçuk after the foundation of the Turkish Republic in 1923.
Today it is a touristic place with a population of 30.000 people. The remains of Ephesus are situated in a large area since the city changed many places throughout its history. Many excavations, restorations and reorganizations have been carried out within the remains spread over an area of about 8 km², and it is open to tourist visit.