House of the Virgin Mary – Ephesus, Turkey

Virgin Mary HouseI’m not a religious person in the traditional sense, although I would certainly say I have my spiritual moments. But for some reason when I travel I always find myself drawn to areas of religious importance. A visit to the Virgin Mary’s house, or Mother Mary as she is called in Turkey, was an unintended stop, but one I’m glad we made.

According to the story, in the early 19th century, a German nun had a variety of visions about the Holy Mother. Included in these visions was the revelation that her final resting place was on a hill in Turkey near the ancient city of Ephesus, which had not been discovered at the time. Although the nun had never traveled outside of Germany before, nor had she any knowledge of the Ephesus area, she accurately described the exact area where the house was found in the 1880s.

Today’s structure was completed in the 1950s, although it was built upon the foundations of the ruins found in the 19th century. A red line encircling the building designates the modern construction.

While the Catholic Church has never pronounced on the authenticity of the house, it remains a key pilgrimage site for Catholics. It also has significance for Muslim pilgrims given the emphasis placed on the Virgin Mary in the Qur’an.

Regardless of whether or not this is the actual house where Mother Mary spent her final years, it is an amazing historical find which millions visit each year in order to may homage.

What was most amazing to me was the wall of prayers, comprised of thousands of scraps of paper, each one a prayer left there by a visitor.

Regardless of one’s religious proclivities, it is hard not to be moved by a site that so many find sacred.

Virgin Mary House

Virgin Mary House Site

Prayer Wall Near Virgin Mary House

Prayer Wall Near Virgin Mary House

Virgin Mary House

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By: Matt Long

Matt has a true passion for travel. As someone who has a bad case of the travel bug, Matt travels the world in order to share tips on where to go, what to see and how to experience the best the world has to offer.Also follow Matt on Twitter, Facebook and

12 Responses

  1. Andi

    I feel so connected to the world when I pass by religious places and see all of the prayers from everyone. We all have hopes, dreams….

    Reply
  2. Jeff

    I’m bummed I missed this place when I went to Ephesus. Now I guess I have to go back! Great pics.

    Reply
  3. Nancy

    We went to see the tomb of Artemis and the ancient libraries and colliseums of Ephesus when we drove by a sign that gave us directions to the virgin mary’s resting place. We went as a something to do thinking we’d kill some time before headind back ti Izmir. We drove up these curved steep roads as we came elevations I did not expect on that region we came to the destination. Getting out of the car and within minutes into the compound…… It literally took me 3 steps before an emotion so strong so unlike anything I ever felt took over me. I weeped uncontrollably with such a feeling of love, sadness, calm and beauty in my soul. I looked over at my husband a cool Austrian uneffected by anything and he too had a look on his face that expressed what I was feeling. This is definately a place that has significant spiritual presence. On my heart I believe this is where the virgin Mary lived out her final days.

    Reply
    • Matt Long

      What an amazing story! Thank you so much for sharing your experience.

      Reply
  4. Pearl (@TravelingPerly)

    Whether Virgin Mary lived here or not during her last days,this place will always be sacred for the believers. Truly a spiritual l moment.

    Reply
  5. Rachel Brown

    I stumbled upon this article because I was desperate to find if their were other people who felt what I felt. When I was in the Navy one of our port visits was to Ephesus Turkey. I remember taking a tour just to have something to do. I was only 18 at the time but I remember the house of the Virgin Mary was one of the stops. Of course me and friends just thought this was just a tourist attraction and that it couldn’t possibly be for real… Well as soon as we walked in we were hit with this sensation. I had goosebumps all over me, tears in my eyes, and I was weak to my knees. I felt something that has stayed with me all these years. I am now 29 years old. I am going through a difficult time right now so I decided to google and see if anyone else felt this before when they visited this place. I have found in my research many others have felt the same way. I have always believed but I have the answers i’ve been looking for. Thank you.

    Reply
    • Matt Long

      Wow, thank you for sharing that, I really appreciate it. It is indeed a very powerful place and I’m sure it’ll give you the strength you need to get through the tough times. I hope everything turns out well for you! – Matt

      Reply
  6. denniswilliams

    How old was virgin mary

    Reply
  7. Emmanuel Neno

    I am really touched by your story. I am going to write an article about the feast of Assumption in Urdu. I was looking for information that could be shared with our Muslim brothers and sisters, who share our faith in the Virgin Mary and acknoledge her the mother of one of the greatest prophets mentioned in the Holy Quran. This will certainly help me. Many thanks.

    Reply
  8. marie wright

    i felt a sense of love and shared humanity when i visited the place in 1989. i cannot describe the feeling in detail but felt at peace with the world.

    Reply
  9. Vernon Andrew

    On our last visit to Turkey which was six or seven years ago, our friends who live in Turkey said they would take us to Ephesus and Mary’s house. I had never heard of Mary’s house, so before traveling out decided to look up on the web about it.I am a Christian and have experienced Gods presence upon me quite a number of times. After reading all the info I said Lord is this True? His reply was that “she went there some thirty years after He was born”, I was so over come at the time.
    Arriving at Mary’s house I waited outside letting the others in our group enter first, I went in standing in the middle of the building I said ‘Is this it Lord’? and He said ‘You are now standing in my Mother’s house”,again I was completely wrapped in His presence totally un-awhere of anyone around me,tingling from head to toe.When I met with the others outside they said “where have you been you have been ages?.Later on in the day I asked them if they experienced anything while at Mary’s house and none of them did.I shall never forget this time as long as I live, to be in Gods presence is awsome.

    Reply
  10. Manju Maharaj

    When my husband and I visited House of the Virgin Mary on 30th of September 2014′ we felt the energy in the house , as the present of Mother Mary and also had opportunity to drink the spring water and wrote the message and attracted it to the wall.

    This was the biggest wish if my life and I have achieved it

    Manju Maharaj

    Reply

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