It is the ruins of an old city, which is at 3 km west of Selçuk town, center of Akıncılar subdistrict under Kuşadası district. Its founding date goes back to 5th century B.C. Today, it is a touristic location famous for the remains of historical artifacts left from Aegean and Greek civilizations
Şirince was settled when Ephesus was abandoned in the 15th century but most of what one sees today dates from the 19th century. There is a story that the village was settled by freed Greek slaves who named the village Çirkince (meaning "Ugly" in Turkish) to deter others from following them. The village's name was changed to Şirince (meaning "Pleasant") in 1926 by the governor of Izmir Province.
Şirince acquired world-wide fame when tourists flocked to the village in December 2012 to witness the Mayan Apocalypse, as New Age mystics believed its "positive energy" would aid in weathering the catastrophe, during the 2012 phenomenon.
2000 years ago, Söke Plain was completely sea and Bafa lake was a cove. Along this seacoast were the most beautiful cities of antique age, Miletus, Priene and Didim. With the alluviums it carried over time, Büyük Menderes River (Maiandros) first filled the sea in front of Priene, and then the whole area which covered Miletus and Lade Island shown in the below picture. At the same period, Ephesus was also near the sea coast, but in time its front side filled up and took the shape which is seen today.
Priene is, one of the most beautiful historical places of the Aegean and was one of the 12 cities of the ancient Ionic League. Around 450 BC the city was destroyed by the Persians. In 350 BC it was rebuilt in its present location with the help of Athens. Priene never regained its old magnificence but is the best example of an ancient city which escaped the effects of Romanization and still reflects the architectural culture of Greece and Anatolia. Priene is the first city in the Western world to have been built on a grid structure and is one of the world’s first examples of rational city planning. You can still see the water network passing underneath the perpendicular streets. It also contains the first known system of purification reservoirs for drinking water. On the walls of the gymnasium at the lower part of the city you can see the incised names of various students, which proves that graffiti is not by any means a modern invention!