The House of the Virgin Mary (Turkish: Meryem Ana Evi, “Mother Mary’s House”)
Staying in Kusadasi gives you an opportunity that you can not miss – to visit Ephesus Ruins and Artemis Temple, one of the seven wonders of the ancient world. Though it can be quite an exhausting tour, especially in hot summer months, it might still be your best choice to go on a full day excursion (9am-17am) because most agencies in that case include a visit to The House of the Virgin Mary (7 km from Selçuk).
Prices of such excursions range up to 40 € but with a little bargaining you can get it for 30 € (bus, entrance fees, and lunch included). Some of the local agencies have great English speaking guides who will give you a lot of information about the places as well as about Selçuk, Turkish culture, education and daily life. If you decide to visit the house on your own, the entrance fee is 11 YTL.
It is believed that St. John had brought Mary, the mother of Jesus, to Ephesus 4-5 years after the death of Christ and that she lived there until her “Assumption into Heaven”. This house which was prepared by St. John beforehand is on Mt. Koressos (Bülbül Daği) and 420 meters high from the sea level. The place of the house where Virgin Mary had spent her last days was found in 1891, by Lazarian priests who used, as a guide, a book written by a German nun Anna Katherina Emmerich who had supposedly established a spiritual communication with Virgin Mary in a trance. It is assumed that the grave of Virgin Mary is also nearby.
The stone building was restored some time later and the statue of Virgin Mary in the apse was placed there about a hundred years ago.
Today, only the central part and a room on the right of the altar are open to visitors which makes the building look more like a church than a house.
Don’t be surprised if the nuns in the church decide you are not “covered enough” and give you a scarf to wear while you pass through the house.
Even if you are not a religious person, you will be amazed with the house that is in the same time a Christian and Muslim shrine. There is a spring as an addition to the peaceful feeling that the entire place gives as they say that the water from it has healing powers… Next to the spring, there is a board where you can attach a paper or a cloth with your wishes which are burnt from time to time so that the wishes can go into heavens and come true …
Every year, on August 15th, rites in commemoration of Virgin Mary are carried out in the house.
Virgin Mary House Location Map