Basilica of St John
İsa Bey Camii
At the southern base of Ayasuluk Hill, this imposing mosque was built in a post-Seljuk/pre-Ottoman transitional style, when Selçuk was...
Based at the Hotel Bella in Selçuk this outfit offers full-day tours of Ephesus as well as Mary's House, the temple of Artemis, Basilica...
No Frills Ephesus Tours
Noticing how carpet-selling tactics were irritating time-poor independent travellers, Mehmet Esenkaya and his Australian wife Christine...
Odeon Bistro Cafe
Under a tent roof opposite the İsa Bey Camii, this friendly watering hole decorated with hanging lanterns has a fridge full of mezes and...
Sişçi Yaşar'ın Yeri
Under vines next to a 14th-century mosque, 'Yaşar's Place' is good for a simple lunch of izgara (grills): köfte (meatballs) and çöp...
St Jean Caddesi · interesting places nearby
Basilica of St John information
Despite a century of restoration, the once-great basilica built by Byzantine Emperor Justinian (r 527–65) remains a skeleton of its former self. Nonetheless, it is an atmospheric site with excellent hilltop views, and the best place in the area for a sunset photo. The information panels and scale model highlight the building's original grandeur, as do the marble steps and monumental gate.
Over time, earthquakes and attackers ruined Justinian's splendid church dedicated to the Apostle John, who reportedly visited Ephesus twice. His first visit (AD 37 to 48) was with the Virgin Mary; the second (AD 95) was when he is thought to have written his gospel on this very hill. These legends, and the existence of a 4th-century tomb supposedly containing the saint's relics, inspired Justinian to build the basilica here and it drew thousands of pilgrims until the late Byzantine period. The tomb of St John , marked by a marble slab in the sanctuary, is surrounded by the cruciform outlines of Justinian's basilica. Note the 12 pillars that supported the dome with Christian symbols etched onto them and a full-immersion baptistery which dates from the 4th-century.