Things to Do in Ephesus: Virgin Mary’s House
The Virgin Mary’s house in Ephesus, Turkey, is where she is said to have lived after the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. In the local language, it is called “Meryem Ana Evi” and is considered a holy shrine requiring visitor’s to be “decently, appropriately dressed.”
Visiting the Shrine
The shrine is located on the top of the Bulbul Mountain, which is 9 km west of the city of Ephesus. One visitor complained that the taxi ride taken from the drop-off area of a cruise ship to the mountain was expensive, took 50 minutes, and then the entrance fee to Mary’s House for tourists was very high. The entrance fee is the equivalent of $13 per person (locals pay about US$3). Others who visited Mary’s House said miracles occurred for them by visiting the shrine and that it is an importance place of pilgrimage for Catholics.
The house is very small. The ruins of the house were discovered in 1892 by the explorations of Pere Poulin and Young based on a prophecy of a Bavarian nun named Catherine Emmerich (1774-1824) who predicted the discovery of the house before her death. It was rebuilt as a shrine with a chapel during the 1950s.
The Roman Catholic Church has never officially declared this to be Mary’s actual house; however, three Popes have visited the shrine. Pope Paul VI unofficially confirmed the site’s authenticity with his visit in 1967. Pope John Paul II visited in 1979 and more recently Pope Benedict XVI visited in 2006.
It is possible to buy a vial of holy water and there are three fountains at Mary’s House where visitors can anoint themselves with the water considered holy. Visitors can take some home with them for free if they bring their own containers (plastic containers are safer than glass).
The Wishing Wall
Visitors write their wishes and prayers on little pieces of paper and put them in the tiny cracks on this wall in hopes that the Mother Mary will kindly grant their requests.
Editor’s note: The information contained on this page was compiled using real traveler reviews about Virgin Mary’s House in Ephesus, Turkey.