Ephesus and Selçuk Turkey are well known for their importance throughout the history of Western civilization, from the days of the ancient Greeks through the 14th century Turkish invasion. A trip to modern day Kusadasi and Selçuk involve a variety of ancient sites including the Temple of Artemis, one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World, and the historic city of Ephesus. What many visitors may miss is the Basilica of St. John, the final resting place of John the Apostle.
According to Christian tradition, in the second half of the first century St. John took The Mother Mary and came to Ephesus where he wrote his Gospel. The Apostle died in the region around Ephesus in 100 AD and was buried in the southern slope of Ayosolug Hill. A small chapel was constructed over the grave in the 4th century and was expanded into a basilica in the 6th century under the reign of Emperor Justinian.
The basilica was converted into a mosque in the 14th century and later destroyed by invading Mongol armies. A massive earthquake later in the same century was the final ending for the once massive structure. Today the Turkish government has ongoing excavations at the site and allows access to tourists for a nominal fee.
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