About Izmir, St Johns Basilica


This Basilica was built in the 6th century AD, under the orders of emperor Justinian I.  It is thought that the Basilica is built over the burial site of St John, also known as the apostle, evangelist and prophet.  This fact made the site sacred and was the place for many pilgrimages.  The Basilica fell into ruins after Arab raids, only to be converted into a mosque in the 1330’s.  In 1402 the building was completely destroyed by the Mongolian Army; however restoration still enables visitors to understand the size and visualise its former brilliance. 

The current way of entering the site is through the southern side.  Both the brick foundations and the marble walls have been partially reconstructed, if fully restored the Basilica would be the seventh largest in the world.  There are constantly new excavations underway, with the most recent revealing a baptistery, with an attached chapel depicting the saints.

An Ottoman Castle located right besides St. John's Basilica, overlooks Selcuk town.

Other places to visit in the area include Isabey Mosque, Ephesus and Virgin Mary's House.