Ayasoluk Hill was called Apasas during the period of the Kingdom of Arzawa-Mira and it was named Ephesus later on. It was a metropolis until it was conquered by King Croesus of Lydia (560 BC). The Basilica of St. Jean replaced the old Episcopal Church in Ephesus after the city was moved to Ayasoluk after the 7th century AD. It maintained its position as an important city and a pilgrimage site during the Byzantine period, and then it was conquered by Turks in 1304. The city, which was then named as Ayasoluk, became the capital of Aydinids Beylik for a while after 1350. It was one of the port cities of Western Anatolia during the Early Ottoman Period.
Basilica of St. Jean
The Basilica of St. Jean in the southern part of the Ayasoluk Hill was first built as a simple monumental tomb in the name of St. Jean, the young apostle of Jesus and a bible author, and then a basilica with a wooden roof 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 Justinian (r. 527-565 AD) and his wife Theodora instead of the old basilica which was completely destroyed by earthquakes in the early 6th century AD.
Ayasuluk / Selçuk Castle
The inner fortification walls were built on the highest point of Ayasoluk Hill date back to Seljuk and Ottoman periods. The inner castle has two entrances, one in the west and the other in the east. Inside the castle, there are five cisterns near the gates and a single-domed mosque (Mosque of the Castle), the minaret of which have remained partially intact. Furthermore, the castle includes the Bey Mansion, a Turkish Bath and another cistern in the west from the Turkish period.