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   Ephesus church is one of the seven churches , which appears in Holybible. In the first century it was respected widely.Christians call Ephesus "Expected". Later than it lost value.Because of this, it also called "First love that was downfall". It is supposed; Ephesus Church can be at St.John Bazilica's place. So we will explain the St John Church which was on Ayasuluk Hillock.

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According to one Christian tradition, during the last part of his life St John withdrew from Ephesus to the hill of Ayasuluk ( A tradition has it that after he ascended to heaven the earth on the grave of St John kept moving as if stirred by his breathing. The word derives from the GreekAyios Theologos thought to mean Holy Breath' or Aya Soluk' in Turkish.) near the Temple of Artemis; building a small hut, he lived here. The hill had no fresh water and was uninhabited until late antiquity. The story claims that he wrote the Fourth Gospel and died at the age of hundred and twenty and was buried here. When he was told by Christ that his end was near, he dug his grave in the form of a cross and lay down in ii. The disciples who stood by were blinded by a great light and when their sight was restored they were astonished to find St Johns body no longer there, and that a sweet odour arose from manna in the tomb.

    Another tradition holds that he slept here in his tomb waiting for the Second Coming, and showed signs of life by scattering the dust, called manna, which healed the sick.
    The oldest of the stories attributing the existence of St John's tomb here, date to the second century at which time the hill served as a Roman cemetery. The fragments of a second century sarcophagus found here reputedly belonged to St John. The hill continued to be used as a necropolis during the later Christian period.

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Persecution Gate: Now;museum entrance gate

    The first monument erected on the tomb was probably a small square martyrium.

    In the fourth century this was replaced by a three-aisled cruciform church with arms radiating from the tomb. Its architecture imitated that of the Church of the Holy Apostles built by Constantine the Great in Constantinople. It is also claimed that the shape of the building was inspired by the tradition that St John dug his own grave in the form of a cross and lay down in it.

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Left; Queen Teodora's monogram. Right; King Justinyen's monogram.
By the sixth century the building was in disrepair and a new and larger church was erected by Justinian the Great. This church was the largest project undertaken in Anatolia outside the capital. Its plan followed that of the previous church in its general lines but it was larger and more elaborate.

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It was entered from a courtyard surrounded by a colonnoded portico built partly on the terrace partly obtained by vaulting over the sloping hill. Access to the nave was by a long and narrow narthex topped by five small domes. The plan of the actual building was in the Icon of St John the Theologian from the Monastery of St Barnabas in North Cyprus. Nineteenth century. The inscription in Greek, reads in the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things came to be through him, and without him nothing came to be. What come to be through him was life, and this life was the light of the human race; the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it (in 1:1-5).form of a cross. Its nave consisted of four bays covered with domes which rested on marble columns and brick buttresses faced with marble. The building probably had galleries.

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St. John Church Reconstruction

The capitals of the columns bore the monograms of Justinian and Theodora. Under the third dome was the Tomb of St John, reached by a flight of steps; over the tomb was the altar.

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St. John Church East Fortress

    Most of the building material came from the ruins of the basilica which stood in the upper agora of Ephesus (destroyed probably by an earthquake around 500) and from the ruins of the Temple of Artemis lust below the hill. The floor was covered with geometric mosaics, the walls and domes had mosaics and frescoes depicting subjects from the Old and New Testaments.
    On the north side was a large octagonal baptistry with stairs for total immersion, bringing to mind that of the Double Church. The rectangular room next to it was the secrefon' where the bishop presided as judge. An aqueduct was built to supply fresh water from the spring in the eastern heights some ten kilometres away.

    During the Arab raids in the seventh and eighth centuries the Hill was surrounded by a wall and became a part of the castle built on the summit. It was probably during this insecure period that the people of the town began to settle on the hill. Nevertheless, the hill and its monuments were sacked during the invasions. The buildings which stood on the hilltop were restored afterwards. The exonarthex is thought to have been added during this period. In the tenth century a chapel decorated with frescoes was built to the north of the church. In the fourteenth century, until the construction of Isa Bey Mosque, the former church served as the principal mosque of the city.

   The remains of the apsed structure at the top of the hill date from the sixth century and were used as a cistern during the Turkish period. The ruin is claimed to be the oratory of St John where he wrote the Fourth Gospel. Tradition has it that the event was initiated by Sts Peter and Paul who visited St John here and pursuaded him to write his Gospel, which it is said that he did in on hour. Neither ancient tradition nor modern research agree whether the Fourth Gospel and the book of Revelation and the Letters attributed to Si John were written by the same or different people and whether St John the Theologian, or the Divine' or St John the Apostle and St John the Evangelist are the same or different persons. However, popular Christian tradition accepted that the church which stood here was erected on the Tomb of St John the Theologian who is known as the Evangelist and the Apostle.

On July 26, 1967, Pope Paul VI offered supplication here.

Anabatours - There Are Too Many Place To See

These informations was referenced from; 19th. period lecture trip for Turkish National guiding, Fatih Cimok's book (a guide to Seven Churches) and - sites.

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