History of The Church of St. John: Ephesus
If you want to read a travel blog, which contains my own experiences, about Ephesus ancient city and other attractions related to it , here the first part and here is the second part.
The Emperor Justinian I built The Church of St. John in the 6th century AD. Some believes that the apostle John’s grave, the author of the Book of Revelation,is here. According to legend, St. John came to Ephesus with the Virgin Mary and lived there until his death. They discovered his tomb and a small chapel dating back to the 4th century AD.
The church underwent several renovations and additions over the years. It includes the addition of a large baptismal font, a courtyard, and a fountain. In the 12th century, the Byzantine Emperor Manuel I Comnenus converted the church into a fortress. He used it to defend the region against the invading Seljuk Turks.
Architecture and Features of The Church of St. John
The Church of St. John is an impressive example of Byzantine architecture, with a mixture of Romanesque and Gothic elements. The church is built in the shape of a cross. It has a large central dome and four smaller domes at the corners. The walls of the church are full with beautiful frescoes, some of which date back to the 6th century AD.
One of the most impressive features of the church is its baptistery. It is one of the largest in the world. The baptistery is circular and has a diameter of 26 meters. The dome of the baptistery is supported by eight marble columns, which has intricate carvings on it.
Another notable feature of the church is the tomb of St. John. It is in a small chapel at the eastern end of the building. The chapel has beautiful mosaics and frescoes, depicting scenes from the life of St. John and the Book of Revelation. Thus, the church is something you can’t miss seeing in the ancient city.