Basilica of St. John

One of the 12 apostles, the youngest of the most beloved… Hz. St. John to whom Jesus entrusted his mother, also known as St. John Theologos lived here, wrote the Gospel here, and even died here. St John, who was known to have come to Ephesus in 37-38, made an effort to spread Christianity in Ephesus and added new believers to his community. Saint Paulus also stayed in Ephesus for a while and then left. St John, who began preaching the Bible with St.Pertus in 67, was asked to be killed twice by the then emperor Domitianus, and miraculously survived both.

St John, who was exiled to Patmos Island in 81, returned to Ephesus in 95. St. John, who spent his last years in Ephesus (Ayasuluk Hill), wrote the Bible and his letters here. He died here at the age of about 100 and was buried in Ayasuluk Hill upon his will.

In the 300 years when Christianity started to spread, a Martyrion (Memorial Tomb) was built on his tomb. Fifty years later, this mausoleum was enclosed in a wooden-roofed basilica (350 years) but became unusable due to earthquakes at the beginning of the 6th century. Between the years 527-565, a new church with a cruciform plan and domes was built by Emperor Justinian and his wife Theodora instead of this basilica. After the people of Ephesus moved to Ayasuluk after the 7th century, St. Jean Church was accepted as a pilgrimage church, replacing the old Episcopal Church in Ephesus.

In St John’s Church, which has been regarded as a very important pilgrimage center for the Orthodox community since then, rituals are held here in the spiritual presence of St John according to the Christian faith every year on May 8 (on the Day of the Saints).