The Fairy Village of the Aegean Region.
Hidden under the olive and fig trees, Sirince is a “cute” village, as its name suggests (‘sirin’ means cute in Turkish) with its stone houses lying on two slopes, its fruitful vineyards and its homemade delicious wines.
Sirince is well worth visiting; an old greek settlement which has protected its traditional architecture until today and is undoubtedly the most beautiful village of the Aegean region.
At an altitude of 350 metres, the village is full of olive trees, vineyards, pear orchards and Judas trees. The village, with its narrow streets holds a different appeal with its architecture that reflects the characteristic texture of the region extending from Northern Greece to the South of Bulgaria, to Bursa, Balikesir, Bartin, Inebolu and Safranbolu – all regions in Turkey.
Under the shadow of olive and fig trees, Sirince really resembles those fairy villages told in tales with its courtyards full of historical memories and its tiny houses arm-in-arm. There are reminiscences of history that keep their silence as this place is one of those settlements that lived the period of ‘population exchange’ with grief, a sorrowful place that did not break its silence for about a century.
As the cherries redden and the tourists arrive – Sirince has lots of stories to tell…
It is told that the first settlement took place in 1900 years ago and the history of the village dates back to the 5th century AD. According to another point of view, the establishment of the village dates back to the period of Principalities.
The villagers who were working under a feudal lor done day wished to be set free. The Lord asked ‘Is the place you wish to go beautiful?’ The response was ‘cirkince’ (meaning ‘quite ugly’ in Turkish and having similarity with the present name of the village Sirince). The Lord then says ‘the name of your village is Cirkince then.’ The name of the village which is Kirkinca, according to some sources, was transformed to Sirince later.
Under Ottoman rule in the 19th Century, the village was a 180 household one. When Greeks invaded Sirince after the invasion of Izmir, the Greek army recruited volunteers from here. The village, evacuated by the liberation of Izmir was inhabited by Turkish families coming from Thessalonki, Provusta and Kavala in 1924. Those who could not repair houses due to a prohibition and those who were bored with the silence in the village, migrated to Selcuk for better living conditions. You cannot help thinking how one could leave this paradise as you walk through the narrow streets and bazaar square where you can browse and enjoy the many products ranging from handicrafts to curiosities, from olive oil to herbal cures and from coloured weavings to spices.
Located at the entrance of the village is Artemis Restaurant and is known for its regional olive oil dishes with mountain herbs and some homemade wines. In fact, when you walk around you will come across a wine boutique or wine house at every step.
Wine making has lived up to our day through immigrants who settled in Sirince. Although these ecological plants are small, wine production is still continuing with classical techniques. Taste and purchase pear, quince, melon, wild strawberry, blackberry and many more including grape wines. A must to try is the cranberry which is cultivated and picked from the mountains with great difficulty. You can try up to 16 different wines.
Climb up the steps to the upper church which is the Church of St Jean the Bapiste and was constructed in 1805. The exacavation and restoration Works in the Church were executed by the Turkish Ministry of Culture and Geroge B Outmen Foundation. The village house in the garden and partly restored church will attract the interest of photographers.
Far side of Sirince there is an opening to three valleys where there is no settlement. A medieval monastery and an undiscovered roman vault may be of interest to you.
Sirince is a visit strongly recommended!
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