The house of the Virgin Mary is in Selcuk, near the resort of Kusadasi. Situated on the Aegean coast of Turkey, many people visit the nearby ruins of Ephesus and do not go to the house which is a big shame. I always combine it with my trips to Ephesus, because it is close by. Most excursion shops in Kusadasi will sell Ephesus with a visit to the house of Virgin Mary included or you can make your own way by doing what I did and hiring a car.
Note : Do not try to walk to the house of the Virgin Mary from Ephesus because it is in the mountains and you will reach there 24 hours later! If you are staying in the resort of Kusadasi, it is only a short distance to travel from there to the house and ruins.
The House of the Virgin Mary
It is believed to be the last resting place of Mary and if you are, a devout catholic you will be delighted to know that they also hold mass and regular services there. Several of the popes from Rome have visited the house as well.
We drove to the Virgin Mary’s house in a car, and there was no need to worry about parking spaces, as there was plenty although many tour coaches had parked up. From there it is easy to find your way around. First, you will come to the house. We entered and there was a nun praying so out of respect maintained silence.
When you walk in, there are rows of candles to your left and right. You can light a candle and kneel to pray if you wish to. You come out of the house and then enter the gardens.
Gardens and Water Fountains at the House of the Virgin Mary
The gardens contain fountains of mountain spring water and we were told several stories about the spring water. The most popular story was that each tap resembled an aspect of life. One tap meant wealth would come your way; another tap meant health would come your way and the last one resembled fertility!
You will also see a wishing wall where people have tied napkins or scarves. The idea behind is to make a wish while tying your object. Finally is the baptism pool which you will see on your way out.
The house of the Virgin Mary is a quiet serene place and it lends weight to the story that Mary spent part of her life in the ancient city of Ephesus. If you stay in the resort of Kusadasi, I strongly recommend visiting as it will only take half a day.
If you are catholic or Christian and looking for a church in a Muslim country, then the House of the virgin Mary near Kusadasi is a good place to start. Be aware though, that if you are attending the mass, to dress appropriately. They do not take too kindly to tourists dressed in bikini shorts and tops.
Many thanks to my friend Pat for the pictures.