Basilica of Saint John (Epesus)

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The Basilica of Saint John (Greek: Βασιλική του Αγίου Ιωάννη του Θεολόγου) was a basilica-church in the historic city of Ephesus. It was constructed by emperor Justinian I in the 6th century CE. It stands over the believed burial site of John the Apostle. It was modeled after the now lost Church of the Holy Apostles in Constantinople. The basilica is on the slopes of Ayasuluk Hill just below the fortress near the center of Selçuk, İzmir Province, Turkey and about 3.5 kilometers (2.2 miles) from modern day Ephesus.

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The basilica was built almost entirely of brick and stones (ashlar), while the columns would have been made of marble or have been marble plated, to withstand the weight of the domes above. The use of timber-roofed towers that were placed over the bay preceding the chancel and the altar had been adopted as well since the course of the 5th century CE.

Much like the Church of the Holy Apostles, the Basilica of St. John was based on the concept of multiplying the standard element, using short barrel-vaults to expand the square, domed bay into a cross shape.


With its resemblance to the Church of the Holy Apostles, the Basilica of St. John also took on the cruciform in its design. The basilica was a domed cruciform-structure, where the domes were placed over the central crossing, choir, transepts and the nave.



Tomb of Saint John


Mosaic and Fresco Decorations
The interior of the vault within the church was covered in mosaic while the walls and pillars were covered in marble plates and decorated in different colors. The floors were also covered in mosaics.


Octagonal Baptistery

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