The House of Virgin Mary located on “Bulbul” (songbird) Mountain just 9 kilometres away from Selçuk, is accepted as a sacred place by Christians. The stone cottage is also known as Virgin Mary Church. The area is called “Panaya Kapulu” (Doorway to the Virgin
According to the records, Saint John has brought Virgin Mary to the house he had prepared there. Clement Brentano researched the stone cottage as part of his studies about Virgin Mary in 1878. Meanwhile, the Principle of İzmir College named Lazarist and reverend Eugene Poulin have researched the accuracy of Brentano’s writings. For this they searched the mountains on the South of the Ancient City of Ephesus for a long time and could locate the stone cottage, known today as Virgin Mary’s House in Panaya Kapulu.
The house exactly matched with what Katharina Emmerick and Clement Brentano had recorded centuries before. Subsequently, the Assembled Church adopted the opinion that Virgin Mary spent her last days in Panaya Kapulu after the death of her beloved son Jesus Christ. Monsignor Timoni permitted a religious ceremony here in 1892. The Catholic Church abstained from voting on this matter at first, however Pope John XXIII put an end to these discussions and announced Virgin Mary’s House as a pilgrimage location in 1961.
The House of Virgin Mary and The Church History
The church was built by using rubbles and bricks in the 7th – 8th centuries. After the announcement of Virgin Mary’s House as a pilgrimage location, a small chapel was built on the ruins of the stone cottage. A line with a red coloured paint between the walls of the old structure and the new chapel separates the two constructions.
A vaulted platform after the arched entrance with niches on both sides can be seen. There is the sculpture of Virgin Mary in the apsis. It is assumed that this sculpture has been placed there in the 19th century. It is found that the section separated by grey coloured base marbles is a furnace. The ruins of the cottage’s foundation and coal pieces being dated as early as the 1st century A.D were exposed during the excavations. At the south of this section, there is a niche at the east of this small room. This room is used by Muslims for praying. There are Surahs (chapters) of the Quran referring to Virgin Mary on the walls of this room. It is claimed by some researchers that this room was the bedroom of Virgin Mary. Over the years, these sacred grounds have been visited by Pope Paul VI in 1967, Pope Saint John Paul II in 1979 and more recently by Pope Benedict XVI in 2006.
How to Go to The House of Virgin Mary?
The House of Virgin Mary is 6 kilometres away from the Ancient City of Ephesus. The travel agencies in Kusadasi offer various excursion packages to visit The House of Virgin Mary and the Ancient City of Ephesus with a licensed tour guide. If you would like to visit The House of Virgin Mary by yourself you can either drive there by taxi or car, or get on a Kusadasi – Selcuk minibus and take a taxi somewhere along that route (there are no direct minibuses to The House of Virgin Mary).