Interesting places in Turkey

  Ancient city in Lydia  

  A bulwark against the persecution of Christians by the Romans  





The ruins of the Basilica of St. John from the 6th century AD




The ancient city of Philadelphia or Philadelpheia was located on the trade route between Sardes, Tripoli, Hierapolis, Laodikeia and Colossai on the site of the present Alaşehir.


The current successor settlement, the city Alaşehir is connected to İzmir by a 105 km long railway line. The Byzantine city walls that once surrounded the city have disappeared except for a few crumbling remains on the northern outskirts of the city. These wall fragments are, like three mighty pillars of the Basilica of St. John built in the 6th century and some remaining remains of an ancient theatre, the only witnesses of this once rich and widely known city.



Philadelphia was founded in the 2nd century B.C. by the Pergamenian king Attalos II Philadelphos. The name (Philadelphia = "brotherly love") goes back to the close relationship between Attalos and his brother Eumenes II.

The city was destroyed several times by earthquakes and was almost completely in ruins in Strabon's time (63 BC - 23 AD) but was rebuilt again and again.

In the 1st century A.D. an early Christian community gathered here, which is mentioned in the Revelation of John. It was the last Byzantine city in Asia Minor to defend itself against the Ottomans until 1390.
Like Ephesus, the early Christian congregation there was one of the seven churches in Asia Minor addressed in the Revelation. The letter of Revelation of John 3:7-13 was addressed to the church in Philadelphia.It emphasized their perseverance during the persecution of Christians.
When Philadelphia fell, the rest of Asia Minor had already been under Ottoman rule for about 50 years (except for the Empire of Trapezunt, which the Ottomans did not occupy until 1461). Under Ottoman rule the city was renamed Alaşehir.



  Sarcophagus on the site of the Johannes basilica  

  Remains of the Byzantine city wall  

Alaşehir is located on the national road D585 Salihli - Denizli. The way to St. John's Basilica is signposted in brown from the D585 and is easy to find.