Historically, St. John the Evangelist is said to have spent his last years in Ephesus and been buried on Ayasuluk Hill. A little chapel was built over his burial three hundred years after Saint John’s death during the fourth century as a result of this belief. Under Justinian I, (circa 527 -565 AD), the magnificent basilica above his grave was built.

When Jesus was with his brother at the Lake Galilee, John began to follow him. He became one of Jesus’ closest followers and many important happenings were observed by both him and Jesus, including the Transfiguration, Crucifixion, and other events. The Apostle John wrote the Fourth Gospel as well as The Book of Revelation. When Christ was on his cross,’ he called his mother and beloved disciple “this is my mother/ this is your son.” (John 19:26-27) According to the scholars, St John is believed to be the beloved disciple.

Many Christians had been slain in the first century. Apostle James and Stephen, both martyrs, were killed in Jerusalem at the end of that century. Paul was sent to Rome and put to death there. It is said that John took Mary The Mother (Mary) and fled with her to Ephesus, where he wrote his Gospel and Revelation.

The entrance fee for the Basilica of St. John is 30 Turkish Lira per person until April 2022. It is open throughout the year.

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