I have much to write about Kusadasi, Turkey, as we were here for several days and it was awesome! On the first day, we arrived at the port, bright and early, and immediately took a bus out of town and into the hills.
We traveled past many peach tree farms and went up and up into the hills. Finally, after a few hours, we arrived at a large parking lot and my first impression was, I was not too excited about the place. We walked through a large market area, where we were warned by the guides that the hawkers sold trinkets and fake Roman coins, so buyer beware. I kept on walking and got to this sign.
And, then followed the path up hill.
Past this sign…….I won’t re-write what the sign says, but basically it states, this is the house of the Virgin Mary before her Assumption . It gives scriptural references to St John bringing her from Jerusalem to this house and historical facts from the descendants of the Christians in Ephesus. Remembering from the Bible, the Apostles were always writing letters to the Ephesians, I know now, who they were, where they lived and why they wrote them. More about that in another post. The other interesting fact is the discovery of the house. A German nun, Sister Anna Catherine Emmerich, became an invalid in her mid-thirties. From an early age Catherine had visions of speaking with God and as her health failed her, these visions increased. In particular, was the accuracy of describing the hills around Ephesus, where she claimed was a house lived in by the Virgin Mary until her Assumption. Catherine had never stepped foot out of Germany, nor met anyone that had been to Turkey. In 1891, two scientific expeditions to this area, found this place just as described by Catherine. A chapel was re-built on the foundations dating from the 1st and the 4th centuries. The last restoration took place in 1951. The house is considered a holy place and a pilgrimage site.
There were also references in the Koran, discussing the significance of the Virgin Mary and this place.
Finally, we come to the little chapel. It is one-way through and very, very, small; basically, an entry way and two small rooms.
This woman was not going to get up from that spot, until she had the perfect selfie! I waited and waited……..
And, I finally just walked on and snapped the photo. I just wanted a photo of that gnarly tree!
Everyone was ushered in and out ……no lingering. Hmmm…………No speaking…. No time for a prayer, unless a very quick one… no time for meditation. Just move on…… And, then out you were! No photos allowed inside either…….. OK, if that is the way you want it! I’ll take a photo of the back of the chapel then………..
And the garden along the path ………
and the mock orange………although their flower fragrance is a sweet orange scent, their symbolism is deceit, falsehood and to show something is wrong. That kind of spoils things a bit. Was it a message concerning this place? Not for the believer.
There were two paths, one for going up to the house and one for coming down, walking above or along this stone wall.
This stopped me in my tracks. Along the wall were thousands of COVID masks, some with prayers or messages.
Walking along the bottom of the wall, you can see the upper path too.
I was glad I visited this chapel, but I was not moved by it, as I have been, when in some churches. Nor, were there any signs of religious expressions from the other visitors at the time. It was more like visiting a museum, rather than a holy sight. I was stunned really. Miles to get here. A walk up a hill. A quick through the house, and done. Or, have we just lost faith?
By nightfall, we had returned to our ship, to get plenty of rest for our adventures here again tomorrow. See you soon ……..more from Kusadasi!
Here is todays map to see how far we have come! Cady