"Mary's House" Virgin Mary House Tip by Willettsworld

Virgin Mary House, Ephesus: 20 reviews and 41 photos

Hmmmmm was how I went after visiting here. Here, is meant to be the last abode of the Virgin Mary who St John brought to nearby Ephesus towards the end of her life (AD 37-45). This small building has been reconstructed but is said to date back to the 6th - 7th centuries, with parts of the foundation and coal found on the site dated to the 1st century. It has since been turned into a chapel with the restored portion being distinguished from the original remains of the structure by a line painted in red.

The building was only 'discovered' in 1881 when a French priest, Abbé Julien Gouyet of Paris, discovered a small stone building on a mountain overlooking the Aegean Sea. He believed it was the house where the Virgin Mary had lived in the final years of her life on earth as described in the visions of a German nun named Anne Catherine Emmerich (1774-1824), but his discovery wasn't taken seriously. Ten years later, two Lazarist missionaries from Smyrna rediscovered the building and learned that the four-walled, roofless ruin had been venerated for a long time by the members of a distant mountain village who were descended from the Christians of Ephesus. They called it Panaya Kapulu ("Chapel of the Most Holy") and believed that the Virgin Mary had died there. Every year they made a pilgrimage to the site on August 15th, the date on which most of the Christian world celebrated Mary's Assumption.

Since then, the Roman Catholic Church has never pronounced on the authenticity of the house, for lack of scientifically acceptable evidence. However, three popes have visited the site with Pope Paul V1 'unofficially' confirming its authenticity in 1967. Pope John Paul II visited in 1979 and more recently Pope Benedict XVI in 2006. Whatever you believe, I was a little sceptical and just thought I had been had, given the high cost of entry. By the way, coming back down the hill offers some superb views of Selcuk and some of Ephesus.

Open: 8am-7pm. Admission: TL12.50.

Review Helpfulness: 3.5 out of 5 stars

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  • Written Mar 7, 2010
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