Didem Doğan

The House of the Virgin Mary in Ephesus

As you climb towards the Bulbul Mountain (aprox. 4 kms) from the archeological site of Ephesus you reach to the House of The Virgin Mary where Jesus’ mother Mary spent the last years of her life. Today it is accepted as a sacred site by both Muslims and Christians and is open to public visit.

There are a couple of indications that show Holy Mary died in Ephesus. The first remains found on this site are from the first century. The expulsion of the apostles in Jerusalem who were being tortured after Jesus’ death led to their journey with the mission to spread the religion. One of them, St John, was sent to Little Asia, came here to Ephesus with Mary before the year 48- Jesus had left his mother to the care of St John. St John’s tomb is found at this region, there’s also a Basilica of St John down in Selcuk close to Ephesus Museum.

The Ecumenic Council was held in fourth century as well in Ephesus. Another strong indication is that the people of a closely village (today’s Sirince) who are the descendants of the first Christians have a tradition of visiting the place of Panaya Kapulu which is today accepted as the house of Virgin Mary.

Later in eighteenth century a German nun, Catherine Emmerich saw in her dream the place where Mary lived and she described it in details. The scientific searches made in the region also confirmed these descriptions. Today it is accepted as the house of our Lady and cited as a sacred shrine. As you walk down towards Selçuk you may also visit the legendary site of the Seven Sleepers’ Cave.

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