House of the Virgin Mary

The House of the Virgin Mary was in the program of our info-trip to Turkey in which I participated earlier this Spring. I wasn’t sure what to expect of the place, since I’ve never heard of this sacred pilgrimage destination before (shame on me), which is situated at about 5 kilometers from Ephesus. Getting out of the bus, the first thing I saw was the massive amount of souvenir-shops, one after the other. It’s a real shame how everyone just wants to sell their stuff and make money in some of the most inappropriate places. Either-way, we made ourselves to the shrine, which at first glance was an old stone building in an impressively good shape!

There was an entrance and an exit to the little house, that proved to be really small once inside. There’s a small little altar with the statue of Mary on it, surrounded by flowers and candles. Those who want, can say a quick prayer for Mary. On the right side there is the supposed room where the Virgin Mary spent her last years until her Assumption. It is forbidden to take any photos inside.

Of course, once you’re outside you can light a few candles if you have a few Turkish Liras and pray for the Virgin Mary (another big business) ..

The thing I found interesting and lovely in a way, was the wall of wishes and prayers. Here, the pilgrims can post their wishes, prayers, intentions and dreams. Some are written on paper, and a lot on handkerchiefs, leaves and other improvisations.

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