Remnant of Ayasuluk Hill

The First and the Last Ephesus

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Aysuluk (Selçuk) began to appear as a settlement after the construction of Church of St. John in the 5th century A.D. A castle was built on Aysuluk Hill by Byzantine after Ephesus losing its importance. Current name Selçuk, it was taken over by Seljuks from Byzantine at the end of the 11th century and came under the sovereignty of Aidians after the dispersion of Seljuks in the 14th century, and became a land of Ottoman Empire in definite in 1426.

There are important remains also in Ayasuluk Hill and its slopes. Temple of Artemis (Artemision), one of the world’s seven wonders, was located in here, even nothing but only base ruins can be seen today. This first monumental structure, which was entirely built of marble in ancient times, was built by Chersiphron from Knossos, his son Metagenes and Theodors from Samos in years between 560 and 550 B.C. Lydia King Kroisos supported the construction of the temple financially. Temple in size of 115 meters to 55 meters had 127 columns each 18 meters high. The temple was set on fire in 356 B.C. by a mentally ill person named Herostratus who wanted his name to make a history. Even Ephesians announced to forget Herostratus’ name, it reached through our day by Strabon noting it. The main difference of the structure which was rebuilt by Ephesians according to its previous plan was the change of the base by getting higher from 2,68 meters to a 13 steps podium for it being on a swamp. It hasn’t been repaired after being destroyed by the  attack of the Goths in 262 A.D.

Isa Bey Mosque located in the north of the temple ruins, was built by Isa Bey of Aidian, one of the Turkish principalities, in 1374-1375. 12 columns seen in the courtyard riwaqs were brought from ancient structures.

Gospel writer John was buried in Ayasuluk Hill in 100s A.D. A church with wooden roof was built where the grave was located in the 4th century. Justinian (527-565) built the Church of St. John, which are remains can still be seen, instead of this structure. Cross planned church was covered by six domes arranged as a cross. Burial chamber is in front of the abscissa at the end of the nave.

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İsa Bey mahallesi, 35920 Selçuk/İzmir

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