Selçuk (Ayasuluk) Castle - The St. Jean Monument

Selçuk / İzmir

Selçuk (Ayasuluk) Castle - The St. Jean Monument

Ayasuluk Hill was known as Apasas during the period of Arzawa-Mira Kingdom and later as Ephesos. Until the Lydian King Croesus conquered Ephesus (560 BC), it was the main city. After the people of Ephesus moved to Ayasuluk after the 7th century AD, St. Jean Basilica replaced the old Episcopal Church in Ephesus. It continued to be an important city and center of pilgrimage during the Byzantine Period, and it was captured by the Turks in 1304. The city, which was named 'Ayasuluk' after that, became the capital of the Aydınoğulları Principality after 1350. It is one of the port cities of Western Anatolia in the Early Ottoman Period. Ayasuluk / Selçuk Castle was built on the highest place of Ayasuluk Hill and the inner castle city walls belong to the Seljuk-Ottoman periods. Inside the castle, there are five cisterns near the gates, a single domed mosque (Kale Mosque) in the south of the central part with a partially intact minaret, and a Turkish-era Bey Mansion and a bath and another cistern on the upper, in the west. The Basilica of St. Jean, on the southern part of Ayasuluk Hill, was built in the name of St. Jean, the young apostle of Jesus, and a wooden-roofed basilica was built on it in the 5th century AD. A new basilica with a cross plan, three naves and six domes was built by Emperor Iustinianus and his wife Theodora (AD 527-565) instead of the basilica, which became unusable during earthquakes at the beginning of the 6th century AD. Since 2020, Ayasuluk Hill and St. Jean Monument excavation and repair works run by Sinan Mimaroglu who is instructor in Hatay Mustafa Kemal University, Faculty of Arts and Sciences, Department of Art History.


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