Ayasoluk Castle
Ayasoluk Castle
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4.0
4.0 of 5 bubbles201 reviews
Excellent
72
Very good
89
Average
33
Poor
5
Terrible
2

Nakhati Jon
New York25 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Oct 2022
The castle hill of Seljuk, Turkey, known as Ayasoluk, presents the remains of a 5th-century Byzantine church in the middle of a fortified Ottoman lookout fort. The foundation of the older buildings source to Byzantine times.

I recently visited there and searched beyond the signage, "the eastern (apse) section of a basilica." Finding a few stones that bear witness to the former church.

A great place to meditate like St. John, where tradition states he did. Also, a great view toward the West, where we can see a sliver of the Aegean Sea.

On a hot day, unbearable, but if one has time to take in the view, could be an enjoyable visit.
Written October 12, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Alex
Hong Kong, China458 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Jan 2020
Ordinary Citadel with spectacular view.
1. It is not the Citadel that is spectacular, but the view. You can overlook 360 of the city of Selcuk.
2. There are places nearby that is worthy to visit, the Basilica of Saint John, Isa Bey Mosque and the Aqueduct. Be sure to visit them before you go up to the citadel or after you visit the Citadel.
3. You can walk up to the Citadel so as to do exercise too :)
4. Anyway, enjoy
Written February 8, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Carol A S
Marietta, GA4,202 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Apr 2019
Ayasoluk Hill dominates the landscape around Selçuk, and has been used by people for millennia. The oldest traces of human settlements on Ayasoluk date back to the early Bronze Age (3000-2000 BC). In 565 the Basilica of Saint John was completed and became an popular pilgrimage site for Christians. In 655 the Arabs conquered Ephesus, the city declined in importance, and urban life shifted to Ayasoluk Hill. A castle was built at the top, and St. John's basilica was surrounded by thick protective walls against Arab raids. Pilgrims continued to visit, but in 1304, Seljuk Turks invaded the area and transformed the basilica into a mosque. In 1402, Tamerlane's Mongol army invaded the area; during the fighting, the basilica was destroyed. The damaged castle gradually fell into ruins, until archaeological excavations in the mid 20th century revived interest in restoration. Castle remains date from Byzantine, Seljuk and Ottoman times. The fortress has 15 towers and two gates: eastern and western. Within the walls are remains of houses, a mosque, cisterns, and baths. The castle mosque has walls of alternating brick and stone, and a recognizable mihrab (prayer niche facing toward Mecca). One of the cisterns, covered with a barrel vault, was originally a Byzantine church. Since 2010, more than 100m of the western walls and towers have been restored using original materials. Recent excavations of the castle palace have uncovered the remains of three houses (Southern Terrace Houses, south of the mosque) with 15 bedrooms. Views from the top of the castle are expansive in all directions. Some interpretive signs are available. The ruins are popular, so visiting early or late in the day helps avoid crowds. Sturdy shoes, water and a hat are recommended, as walking surfaces are uneven, and there is little shade. The castle is open (Apr-Oct) 8am-7pm and (Nov-Mar) 8.30am-5.30pm. The ₺15 entry fee to St. John's Basilica includes access to the castle.
Written November 26, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

linanauli21
Jakarta, Indonesia405 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Dec 2020
A trip to Ayasoluk Castle allows the visitors to also enjoy the city view of Selcuk. A walk here is relaxing. It is close to the city center.
Written January 8, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

kuletgin
Kusadasi, Türkiye363 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Nov 2014 • Family
Ayasuluk, the old name of present Selçuk town in the province of Izmir, is housing a lot of historical sights which are visited by millions of people each year. The Ayasuluk was known as the most important city in the west for Seljuk Turks and then it became the capital of Aydinogulları Emirates in 1304 AD adorned & expanded by them till 1426 AD and finally added to Ottoman empire. The name Ayasuluk was converted to Seljuk in 1960s by the government reminding the old empire before Ottomans. Seljuk town is well-known all over the world with famous tourist destinations such as Ephesus, house of Virgin Mary and St.John Basilica grabbing millions of visitors ever year. Ephesus is only 2kms far away from Seljuk downtown takes about 15 minutes by coach and house of Mary is about 10 kms far away. The Basilica of St. John and Seljuk-Ephesus museum are in the center. Seljuk has also a lot of Seljuk, Aydıogulları Emirates and Ottoman monuments reflecting their periods with Ayasuluk Castle, İsabey Mosque, Turkish baths and Madrasahs as well. One of the main sight is Ayasuluk castle which was built on the hill in 6th century AD first Byzantine period orginally to keep the town away from enemy attacks. It is located just behind the Isabey Mosque on the west of St. John's Basilica known as inner castle and it is reached through the pathway at the back top of the basilica. The walls of the Ayasuluk castle have been restored in Byzantine, Aydınogulları Emirate and Ottoman periods several times with three main gates. These gates open direclty to Seljuk town without any connection to the castle. Narrow steps & stairs take the visitors to the 15 different watch-towers inside to look at a nice scenery overlooking Seljuk. Stone paved paths, cisterns as water supply, a mosque, the ruins of the palace for castle commender and a church can be sen in the castle. The apsis of the church in Turkish period was converted to store the water from rain with some additions. Seljuk town is a " must " place to visit & to see historical & cultural sights at least spending a full day and those who have time more than a day are recommended to visit Ayasuluk Castle without any payment. When someone pays the fee for the basilica of John, the price is included as well. Camera, walking boots and casual dresses are recommended during the visit of Ayasuluk castle.
Written April 11, 2015
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Dave K
Arcy-sur-Cure, France252 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Feb 2015 • Friends
This is a bit of a climb, and if you are hoping to visit a gift shop or bathroom at the top forget about it!

But if you love history, and you love fortresses, and you want to see the commanding view from the top, it is worth the climb. I cannot imagine how anyone could have conquered this fortress. Very impressive!

You will want to look at weather reports to make sure you go on a clear day. And if it is hot season, pack a water bottle.
Written February 22, 2015
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

chris a
San Francisco, CA11 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Oct 2019
If staying in Selcuk, a quick walk up the hill. The Basilica of St. John provides the gateway to the ruins of the Byzantine citadel. Views are spectacular.
Written November 12, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

starlightShanghai
Victoria, Canada3,673 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Jul 2019 • Solo
As other reviewers have already pointed out, the 15 TL admission ticket to the basilica also includes a visit to Ayasuluk Castle.

In searing temperatures, the walk up from the basilica to the castle is a challenge, to say the least. The very few people I encountered along the way all looked as if they were on their last legs and drowning in their own sweat.

However, the walking surface is good and the route has a lot of colourful vegetation.

The castle actually looks better from a distance than it does up close. The ‘innards’ of the castle look like they need a bit of TLC.

At the very top of the hill, there’s the castle’s old cistern. There’s also a panoramic view of Selçuk’s agricultural fields. No shade anywhere, so flick open the umbrella or pull down the brim of the hat!

Halfway back down (towards the basilica) there’s a great little cafe with a lovely shaded terrace - the ideal place for a cool drink and a WC stop, if needed.

Overall, a beautiful area.
Written July 11, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Robbin C
Toronto96 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jun 2018
It is a short walk up the hill from the city centre, and then you pass through the interesting ruins of St. John's Basilica to get to the castle proper. The walls have been lovingly restored, and it is a nice landmark above the city. There's not much to see in the castle itself (some ruins, cisterns, etc) but the views are excellent.
Written July 9, 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Dirk W
Alexandra Headland, Australia6,464 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Jun 2018 • Couples
From Artemis Temple it is a short distance to the Church of St John and then an easy walk to Ayasoluk Castle. I don't know about other people, but I'm always drawn to castles and I love walking in and around them. There's always a great story attached to them ; power, battles, intrigue and defeat . . . who can resist to find out what the story is behind these thick, powerful walls ? These walls are in great condition, there's a small mosque onsite and the panoramic view from the castle are breath taking. Get up there and let your guide lift the shroud of history !
Written June 10, 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

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