Kilise of Saint John
The Kilise of Saint John, also known as the Church of Saint John, is a historic church located in the city of Selçuk in the Izmir Province of Turkey. The church is believed to have been built in the 6th century AD and is dedicated to Saint John the Evangelist, one of the twelve apostles of Jesus Christ.
The church is situated on the site where Saint John is believed to have been buried after his death. According to tradition, Saint John was exiled to the island of Patmos by the Roman Emperor Domitian, where he wrote the Book of Revelation. After his release from exile, he returned to Ephesus, where he lived until his death. The church was built on the site of his tomb, which was discovered in the 4th century AD.
The Kilise of Saint John is an important pilgrimage site for Christians, who come from all over the world to visit the church and pay their respects to Saint John. The church is also a popular tourist attraction, attracting thousands of visitors every year.
The church is built in the shape of a cross and is made of stone. It has a large central dome and four smaller domes, which are supported by columns. The interior of the church is decorated with beautiful frescoes and mosaics, which depict scenes from the life of Saint John and other biblical figures.
One of the most impressive features of the church is the tomb of Saint John, which is located in a small room at the back of the church. The tomb is covered with a marble slab, which is inscribed with the words “Here lies John, who rested on the bosom of the Lord.”
The Kilise of Saint John has undergone several renovations and restorations over the years. In the 11th century, the church was converted into a mosque by the Seljuk Turks, who added a minaret to the building. In the 19th century, the church was restored by the Ottoman Empire, who removed the minaret and restored the building to its original form.
Today, the Kilise of Saint John is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is considered to be one of the most important Christian pilgrimage sites in the world. The church is open to visitors every day, and guided tours are available for those who wish to learn more about the history and significance of the building.
In conclusion, the Kilise of Saint John is a remarkable example of early Christian architecture and is an important symbol of the Christian faith. Its rich history and beautiful design make it a must-see destination for anyone visiting the city of Selçuk or the Izmir Province of Turkey.