believed that the evangelist St. John had spent his last years in the region around
Ephesus and buried in the southern slope of Ayosolug Hill. Three hundred years after the
death of Saint Paul, a small chapel was constructed over the grave in the 4th
century. The church was changed into a marvelous basilica during the region of Emperor
Justinian (527 -565 AD).
monumental basilica was in the shape of a cross and was covered with six domes. Its
construction, being of stone and brick, is an extremely rare find amongst the architecture
of its time. Raised by two steps and covered with marble, the tomb of St John was under
the central dome, that was once carried by the four columns at the corners. The columns in
the courtyard reveals the monograms of Emperor Justinian and his wife Theodora.
Constructed in the 5th century AD, the baptistery is north of the nave, with
its key hole shape. Rampart walls around the church were constructed for protection from
the Arabian attracts in the 7th - 8th centuries AD. The impressive
10th century AD frescoes representing St John, Jesus and a Saint, ornament the
chapel. With the invasion of Turks, the chapel was used as a mosque in the 14th
century; unfortunately Basilica of Saint John
became unusable due
to the serious earthquake in the same century.
The excavations around the Basilica of Saint
John has been continuing under the supervision of Ekrem Akurgal since 1973, with the
financial supports of George B. Quatman.
How to Go ?
The Basilica is
18 km north of Kusadasi- in the
entrance of Selcuk. It is located on the left side of
the city entrance and can be reached by Kusadasi
- Selcuk minibuses departing every 15 min. from Kusadasi.