Discover Izmir and visit spiritual places
House of Virgin Mary, the holy mother of Christianity, is located on Bulbul Mountain in Selcuk district of Izmir. Also knowns as Panaya Kapulu, the holy building is estimated to have been built in the 4th century AD.
The House of Virgin Mary, a Roman Catholic and Muslim shrine for many, is located on Mount Bulbul. The house was discovered in 19th century. Jesus Christ's golden heart is represented in the shrine that resembles a furnace.
Before Jesus Christ was caught and crucified, he entrusted his mother to his friend and apostle Saint John. After the crucifixion, Saint John thought it wouldn't be safe for Virgin Mary to stay in Jerusalem and he took her here to rescue her. Saint John who was a missionary spreading the new religion, had built a hut in the forestry area on Bulbul Mountain for her. It is known that Saint John visited her daily and brought her food and beverage secretly. It is considered that Virgin Mary lived here until the age of 101 and died here. Therefore, it is a very important place of pilgrimage for the Christians and also has spring water with therapeutic powers.
The cruciform building topped with a dome was restored in modern times.
In 1891, a group of Lazarist priests, upon the dream of the German nun Anne Katherina Emerich, revealed that the house where the Virgin Mary spent her last days was this place. This event was a new discovery in the world of Christianity. Considered one of Christianity's holiest sites, the House of Virgin Mary was declared a place of pilgrimage for Christians by the Vatican in 1961. Today, Catholic pilgrims visit the house based on the belief that Mary, the mother of Jesus, was taken to this stone house by Saint John and lived here for the remainder of her earthly life.
This site is a frequent destination for pilgrims, since the image of Virgin Mary is venerated not only by Chiristians but also by Muslims. A special ritual that attracts a large number of visitors is held every year on 15 August.
Mother Mary's House was visited by Pope Paul VI (1967), Pope Jean Paul II (1979), Pope Benedict XVI (2006) and Pope Franciscus (2014).
The House of Virgin Mary, which is located near Ephesus, 7 km from Selcuk, was inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List in 2015.