The House of the Virgin Mary: Docking at Kusadasi, Turkey

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.

Kusadasi, Turkey
The Port at Kusadasi, Turkey

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.

House of the Virgin Mary: Near Kusadasi, Turkey

And, then followed the path up hill.

Old Well at House of the Virgin Mary: Near Kusadasi, Turkey

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.

Historic Significance of House of the Virgin Mary: Near Kusadasi, Turkey

There were also references in the Koran, discussing the significance of the Virgin Mary and this place.

Extracts From the Koran, Concerning the Virgin Mary: House of the Virgin Mary

Finally, we come to the little chapel. It is one-way through and very, very, small; basically, an entry way and two small rooms.

House of Virgin Mary:  Near Kusadasi, Turkey

This woman was not going to get up from that spot, until she had the perfect selfie!  I waited and waited……..

House of the Virgin Mary: Near Kusadasi, Turkey

And, I finally just walked on and snapped the photo. I just wanted a photo of that gnarly tree!

House of the Virgin Mary: Near Kusadasi, Turkey

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………..

Back of the House of the Virgin Mary: Near Kusadasi, Turkey

And the garden along the path ………

The Garden at the House of the Virgin Mary: Near Kusadasi, Turkey

With roses………..

Roses In the Garden: House of Virgin Mary: Near Kusadasi, Turkey

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.

Garden at House of the Virgin Mary: Near Kusadasi, Turkey

There were two paths, one for going up to the house and one for coming down, walking above or along this stone wall.

Spring Wall at the House of the Virgin Mary: Near Kusadasi, Turkey

This stopped me in my tracks. Along the wall were thousands of COVID masks, some with prayers or messages.

Wall of used COVID Masks: House of the Virgin Mary: Near Kusadasi, Turkey

Walking along the bottom of the wall, you can see the upper path too.

Signs at the House of the Virgin Mary: Near Kusadasi, Turkey

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!

Night Time View of Kusadasi from Seven Seas Explorer

Here is todays map to see how far we have come! Cady

11 Comments Add yours

  1. Sue says:

    Well, you certainly see some places, Cady! But I’m interigued…why Kusadasi?


    1. Sue the ship anchored in Kusadasi and then we were free to do excursions that interested us. It seems that on this cruise most of the excursions that we were interested in had nothing to do with the port city. We like to get away from the ports and see the country and it’s villagers as much as possible. I can say, from experience, when we came back to the port, after a full day of adventure, and was invited to see a Turkish rug making demonstration, I wish I had said no or that I already owned a rug, thank you! I thought I was going to an open tent with weavers, but instead was ushered into a very modern building and I knew as soon as the tea appeared, we would be there awhile……..thought I’d never get out of the place! The men kept unrolling, with great flourish, I might add, hundreds of rugs in all sizes and knew at least one would be perfect for me! But, I escaped without a rug! To get on the ship we were directed through a marketplace of nice shops on a cobbled street. No way around it. The venders of the shops were real hawkers, that practically pulled you into their shops. We did this routine several times, as we were in Kusadasi for several days and I got so I could fly through that market, eyes to the ground, saying no thank you, no thank you! A lesson learned! Ha ha! Have you been there?

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Sue says:

        Ah, thanks for explaining! And well done you for resisting!


  2. Toonsarah says:

    Such a shame the visit here is so rushed and so transactional. Surely believers would want to be able to pause for prayer or reflection?! They must be so disappointed I fear. Your point about the mock orange is an interesting one!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Sarah, I thought about this quite a lot, afterwards. I came to two conclusions, both of which may be wrong, but they are my thoughts on it anyway. Ephesus, A World Unesco site, is also near Kusadasi and is the big draw for many folks. It was one of the most intriguing places we have ever been to and I am so glad we choose to go there. We had more than one day in port, so we had the advantage to see more things and not pick just one or two excursions to see. There were hundreds of folks in Ephesus, compared to the House of the Virgin Mary. It would make sense, since Ephesus is an entire city and Mary’s place is a very small chapel. The other thing is the guides at both places were Turkish and I don’t believe they were Christians, so they weren’t going to elaborate too much on another religion. If we had come with a church group, I wonder if it would have been any different? I don’t know. I do know there are pilgrimages there on August the 15th, the day of Mary’s Ascension. But, where they would put up anyone is a good question. The site is truly out in the middle of nowhere and the chapel has no seating. It’s not like there are hotels or restaurants out there either. Both were worth seeing, but in different ways. Cady

      Liked by 1 person

  3. maristravels says:

    I much preferred the ruins of Ephesus to the House of the Virgin Mary but I was lucky to visit it in the 80s before Turkey became one of the world’s favourite tourist spots. I see your selfish selfie seeker followed you to the back of the church! We hired a car while in Turkey and fell in love with the country: the sellers weren’t so persistent then, I’m afraid that came with mass tourism. I try to avoid religious places if I can – some of the most unwelcoming places I found to be in Israel.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ephesus was one of our all time favorites! Yes, I wondered if any one would notice the selfie seeker that followed me! I think Turkey would have been exotic in the 80’s!


  4. We visited this very place in 2020 whilst we were touring Turkey, during our stay in Selcuk, and had exactly the same underwhelming experience. It all seemed very tame and offhand, unlike the very many other wonderful historic sites throughout the giant museum called Turkey.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m glad I wasn’t the only one who felt this way!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. restlessjo says:

    Ephesus has to be the draw here. I hate that Kusadasi sign on the hillside. Intolerant, aren’t I? Are you religious, Caddy, or just curious? We were in Bodrum many years ago and the carpet sellers were a joke. Somewhere to spend an afternoon if you love mint tea. I didn’t mind, just once! And we actually bought a small silk carpet featuring the tree of life. It’s framed and came to Portugal with us. A little piece of Turkey, forever ours.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I don’t like that hillside sign either! Tacky! Yes, I am religious, but gave up on any particular church years ago. I am very conservative in my thinking. I studied various religions in college and thought they were all very interesting, and similar in their beliefs in many ways. I don’t disparage ones religion, but want people to be tolerable of mine as well.

      Liked by 1 person

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