Do you know that Virgin Mary , mother of Jesus , used to live and died here in Selçuk? I have to confess that I just knew this fact not long ago before I came to Turkey.
As Ephesus was a huge and prosperous city in the past. It attracted people from all around the world , including St.John and Virgin Mary. They came here and decided to live nearby. Now the ancient city is a part of Selçuk.
Even I am a Baddish. But here I am in a place where the mother of jesus used to live until the end of her life. I have to experience this place.
The only problem to go to Virgin Mary house is that there is no public transportation (Oct. 2013)
I did ask many local people. All of answers were the same , you need to take a Taxi(Taksi). It would cost you about 60 Lira for returned trip as it is about 9 kilometers from the city and taxi have to wait to get you back.
Another option that I did take was to rent a motorbike which cost me 40 Lira and the gas cost 10 Lira. It was a lot better option that you could travel on your own. And in my case I could visit more places.
Noted that it seems to be impossible to rent a bicycle( 20 Lira ) to go there. As the way was very steep and a lot of tourist buses running on the narrow road.
It was an easy ride about 9 kilometers from the city to Virgin Mary house. It is the same route of Epesus ‘ back entrance and you could stop by The cave of Seven Sleeper if you are interested in it.
Ride for a while , you would see a big statue of Virgin Mary. This is not the place yet. But you could stop by to take some photos.
Opening hour : 9.00-18.00 Fee : 15 Lira Parking : Car 8 Lira , Motorbike Free!
Ride until the end of the road. After you pay for an admission , you still have to ride down until you see this above picture. This is the entrance of Virgin Mary House. There is a post office where you could exchange foreigner currency with Turkish Lira here and the toilet here is clean and free!
Not far from the entrance , it is a big hole believing it could be a tomb of Virgin Mary. There are many visitors , many of them are pilgrimages.
There are signs written in different language for visitors from different countries.
Another spot near the tomb. There is a popular spot of Statue of the Blessed Virgin Mary in her house exterior. Many people stopped by for a photograph.
At the end of the walkway about 20 minutes walk from the entrance. Here it is the highlight “House of the Virgin Mary”. You have to queue up and wait for other visitors to finish their pray inside first. Then you could get it and no photograph inside.
The house was discovered in the 19th century by following the descriptions in the reported visions of Blessed Anne Catherine Emmerich (1774–1824), a Roman Catholic nun and visionary, which were published as a book by Clemens Brentano after her death. The Catholic Church has never pronounced in favour or against the authenticity of the house, but nevertheless maintains a steady flow of pilgrimage since its discovery. Anne Catherine Emmerich was Beatified by Pope John Paul II on October 3, 2004.
Catholic pilgrims visit the house based on the belief that Mary, the mother of Jesus, was taken to this stone house by Saint John and lived there until her Assumption (according to Catholic doctrine) or Dormition (according to Orthodox belief).
Outside the shrine down the stairs is a particular “wishing wall” which pilgrims have used by tying their personal intentions on paper or fabric. Various types of florals and fruits are grown nearby, and additional lighting has been installed within the vicinity of the shrine for further monitoring of the site.
A water fountain or well is also located nearby, believed by some pilgrims to have miraculous powers of healing or fertility. Don’t for get to bring enough empty bottles as you could fill it for free! It might be a valuable gift to someone with no cost to pay.