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St. John Church

Posted by Ephesus Tours at 08:47, February 12 2013.

There was a St. John identified with Ephesus, Selcuk as early as the 1st century. St. John is believed to be John the apostle, the youngest of the twelve disciples of Jesus and recognized as the author of the Gospel of John, the Epistles of John and the Book of Revelation.

In the 6th century, Emperor Justinian built the Basilica over the believed 4th century burial site of St. John on the slope of the Ayasoluk Hill in Ephesus, Selcuk.

During Justinian's rule, building projects included aqueducts, bridges, monasteries, orphanages, hostels, and the magnificent Hagia Sophia, which still stands in Constantinople/Istanbul today.

The Basilica was constructed in the shape of a cross using for the most part, stone and red bricks. The design and construction was a statement that proved to be a popular attraction for the area. The tomb of St John was positioned under the central dome where only the four columns remain now. Inside the grounds there are the remains of multi-colored marble floors, frescoed walls, mosaics and monograms of Justinian and his Empress, Theodora.

Over the centuries, the Basilica withstood a series of invasions and in the 14th century served as a mosque until an earthquake struck reducing the Basilica to ruble.

The ruins of the Basilica of St John are near the center of Selcuk, and about 3.5 km (2 miles) from Ephesus.Nearby, down the hill from the Basilica is the 13th century Isabey Mosque which is supposedly built from some of the Basilica remains and also worth visiting. Additionally, southwest along the Isabey road the Temple of Artemis can be found.

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