The House of Virgin Mary

The belief that the Virgin Mary spent her last days in the vicinity of Ephesus and that she died there focused attention on a nun named Anna Katherina Emmerich, who lived in the late 18th century. The efforts to find the house where she lived were greatly influenced by her detailed description of the Virgin Mary’s coming to Ephesus, her life, and the characteristics of the city. It is believed by many that the Virgin Mary may have come to the area together with St. John, who spent several years in the area to spread Christianity.

Located on the top of Bulbul mountain, 9 km from Ephesus, the House of the Virgin Mary enjoys an amazing atmosphere hidden within the green foliage. Visited by thousands of tourists each year, this place of pilgrimage remains a holy place for Muslims and Christians alike. People who believe in the godly qualities of the Virgin Mary come here and drink from the water believed to be sacred, and make wishes in the mystic atmosphere of the area.

Paul VI was the first pope to visit this place, in the 1960s. Later, in the 1980s during his visit, Pope John-Paul II declared the Shrine of the Virgin Mary as a place of pilgrimage for Christians. The site is also visited by Muslims who recognize the Virgin Mary as the mother of one of their prophets, Jesus. Each year on August 15th, a ceremony is organized in the area to commemorate Mary’s Assumption.

The House of the Virgin Mary is a typical example of Roman architecture, made entirely of stones. In the 4th century AD, a church combining her house and her grave, was built. Today, the building looks more like a church than a house. At the exit of the church area, you can see a fountain called the ‘Water of Mary’, whose water is believed to have curative effect.