Selcuk is the modern day community closest to Ephesus which is an ancient ruin from the Roman world that is probably the hottest tourism site in Turkey. When I visited in 2014 we stayed in a little bed and breakfast in the town on a hill. As you walk from there to the town center you pass by the entrance to the St. John Basilica and Aysuluk Hill. This is like a 2 for 1 tourist site in this area which you can hardly throw a stone without hitting a UNESCO world heritage site or an ancient wonder of the world.
This hill overlooks one of the 7 ancient wonders of the ancient world the Temple of Artemis. The Basilica of Saint John is where John the Apostle one of Jesus' Apostles tomb is and where he was laid to rest. This was constructed by the Romans in the 6th Century AD. The construction was started in 568 by Emperor Julius to replace a smaller church there that was in ruins.
The site is largely a ruin now and a footprint of the massive structure on site. It is on a lower shoulder of a large hill that has a fortress at the top of it. There are some columns and walls still left in place.
The foot print was like a large cross laid on the ground. Here you can see a model of the structure on the site.
What was once one of the holiest churches during its time on earth it lost its zeal by the 9th century and was rarely mentioned again in history.
There are still a number of doorways and walls standing you can begin to piece what it might look like as you walk around the large site.
It was a beautiful day with a crisp blue sky the sun was out enough to make it warm enough to go down to short sleeves even being that it was November.
Some of the floor tiles and mosaics can still be made out on the site.
The actual Tome of St. John who made his way to Ephesus from Jerusalem and then was exiled from Ephesus for some time when he wrote Revelations, and then he was able to return and live out the rest of his life here.
There are massive views of the area all around the hill, the town below, the mountains and even out to where the modern day coast line.
Some wide angle shots that show the scale of the place.
The surviving baptismal where people were baptized by walking into the stone cutout filled with holy water.
Above the basilica is a massive fortress that was believed to be build sometime in the 7th century after the invasion of the Muslims to protect the Basilica.
From the top of the hill you can see the in the distance the far shore line. This silting up of the valley and the movement of the shore line further from Ephesus is what probably caused the decline in its importance after the 6th century. Malaria also became a problem with the marshy area. This is why the modern day town is where it is now around the hill.
In the 1300s the area was capture and the basilica was turned into a mosque. There is also a mosque at the top of the hill which is surrounded by the fortress.
There is not much to see at the fortress currently but there was some restoration work ongoing and perhaps there will be more to see in the future.
I really enjoyed the views of the surrounding areas with the beautiful blue sky.
Thanks for taking another journey with me and seeing some interesting places around the world.
Shot with a Canon Eos Rebel by myself.