House of the Virgin Mary (Meryem Ana Evi)
According to Catholic doctrine, after the crucifixion of Jesus, St. John brought Mary to Ephesus with him to escape persecution for years 37-45 CE. She could very well have made this her home. Every day, Lazarist Fathers conduct mass at the 6th-century chapel inside.xa0 Full-day tours that include the house typically leave from Kusadasi and combine visits to the UNESCO-listed sites of Ephesus where you learn about 2000-year-old structures such as the Parliament House, Temple of Domitian, Memmius Monument, Heracles Gate, the Temple of Artemis, Selcuk Turkey, and Temple of Artemis.
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Things to Know Before You Go
- St. Mary’s House is an ideal stopover for people visiting Ephesus and want to know more about Christian history.
- Bring Turkish Liras with for the small entrance fee.
- Remember your passport, as guards may ask for ID.
- No photos are allowed inside the house.
- Dress appropriately: no shorts or skirts above the knees, cover your shoulders.
- Those in wheelchairs are welcome.
How to Get There
St. Mary’s House is located on Mt. Koressos near the Aegean coastline, about a 15-minute drive from Ephesus. Public transportation reaches the site, either drive or book a tour from Ephesus that includes a visit to the house. If you prefer driving, stop at the northern gate of Ephesus and walk about 2 miles (5 kilometers). Once in Orman Yolu Park, follow the signs for Meryemana, which is Turkish for St. Mary’s House.
When to Get There
St. Mary’s House is open year-round, with extended hours from March to October. Visit the house in the morning and before closing time as it is quieter and the temperature is cooler. If you would like to experience the mass, come on a Sunday around 10:30am. In general, the weather in the region is the most pleasant from June to August.
Is It Mary’s House?
While no conclusive evidence that declaratively supports the theory that Mary had spent the last years in Ephesus, there have been certain meaningful actions by papal authorities to authenticate the history of this house, however symbolic. Since 1896, several popes—Pope Leo XIII, Pope Pius XII, Pope Paul VI, Pope John Paul II, and Pope Benedict XVI— have all visited the abode.
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