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  • Pilgrimage to Mary's Shrine

    Selçuk - İzmir

    Shrine of the Virgin Mary – St. John’s Basilica – Temple of Artemis, Ephesos – Şirince Village

    The Council of Ephesos (AD 431) decreed that the Virgin Mary spent her last years in the vicinity of Ephesos. From Ephesos, St. John the Apostle traveled throughout Asia Minor. Going back in time, the earliest pilgrims arrived to worship the Anatolian goddess known as Kybele. Later, this deity merged with the Greek goddess Artemis and was venerated at the great Artemision as Ephesian Artemis, attracting pilgrims from all across the Mediterranean region. These ancient cults of female deities were later echoed in the worship of Mary, mother of Jesus, who is believed to have spent the last years of her life in Ephesos. St. John the Apostle was buried on Ayasuluk Hill in the town of Selcuk, where an impressive basilica was built by Byzantine Emperor Justinian in the 6th century.

    According to this tradition, Mary arrived in Ephesos together with St. John and they spent the last years of their lives here. When Lazarist priests discovered the house following a vision of Anne Catherine Emmerich they discovered that the locals of the nearby village of Şirince had been celebrating the “Dormition of Virgin Mary” at this spot for centuries. Today, the House of the Virgin Mary (Meryem Ana Evi in Turkish) can be visited along with the Holy Spring in the vicinity and the historic Wall of Wishes.

    • House of the Virgin Mary
    • Holy Spring
    • Temple of Artemis
    • St. John's Basilica
    • Isa Bey Mosque
    • Çöp şiş (lamb shish kebab)
    • Cold vegetable dishes cooked in olive oil
    • Gevrek (local sesame bagels)
    • Aegean herbs
    • Olive trees
    • The old stones of the ancient city of Ephesos
    • The legends of Şirince village