TOP

logo
Turkey
  • icon
    Search for Air Ticket
    Search
    icon
  • icon
    Search for Hotels
    Search
    icon
  • icon
    Search for Tour Packages
    Search
    icon
  • icon
    Search for Sightseeing
    Search
    icon
  • icon
    Search for Travel Activity
    Search
    icon
icon Worldwideicon
Contact

Destination Details

Ephesus, Turkey

 

The House of the Virgin (Meryemana in Turkish), located in a nature park between Ephesus and Seljuk, is believed to be the last residence of the Virgin Mary, mother of Jesus. The peaceful site is sacred to both Christians and Muslims, and is visited by many tourists and pilgrims.
 
According to predominant Christian tradition, Mary was brought to Ephesus by the Apostle John after the Resurrection of Christ and lived out her days there. This is based mainly on the traditional belief that John came to Ephesus (see St. John's Basilica) combined with the biblical statement that Jesus consigned her to John's care (John 19:26-27).
 
 
Archaeologists who have examined the building identified as the House of the Virgin believe most of the building dates from the 6th or 7th century. But its foundations are much older and may well date from the 1st century AD, the time of Mary. This site had long been a place of pilgrimage for local Orthodox Christians.
 
The modern history of the Virgin Mary's House is unusual. It was "discovered" in 1812 by a German nun, Sister Anne Catherine Emmerich, who never traveled away from her home.
 
Sister Emmerich, an invalid confined to bed, awoke in a trance with the stigmata and visions that included the Virgin Mary and Apostle John traveling from Jerusalem to Ephesus. She described Mary's house in detail, which was recorded at her bedside by a writer named Brentano.
 
Emmerich described a rectangular stone house, which John had built for Mary. It had a fireplace and an apse and a round back wall. The room next to the apse was Mary's bedroom, which had a spring running into it.
 
The House of the Virgin is a sacred site for both Christians and Muslims (Muslims also believe in the virgin birth and honor Mary as the mother of the Prophet Jesus).
 
The shrine is still in the care of the Lazarist Fathers, who celebrate Mass here every day. Two resident nuns also recite the Divine Office daily.
 
The small, T-shaped stone building consists of a bedroom (on the right) and a kitchen (on the left). The interior is kept simple and austere, fitted only with an altar, images of Mary and candles.
 
 
The spring that runs under the Virgin's House is believed to have healing properties, and many miracles have been reported. Inside the house are crutches and canes said to be left behind by those who were healed by the sacred spring.
 
The site is wheelchair accessible and provides clean public restrooms.
 
On August 15 (the Feast of the Assumption of Mary) each year, Catholic, Orthodox and Muslim clergy conduct a service together at the shrine, one of the rare occasions this happens anywhere.

Check out more destinations