The House of Virgin Mary
Christians believe that after Jesus' crucifixion, the Virgin Mary came to Selçuk with his apostle St. Jean and spent the last years of her life here. That is why the House of the Virgin Mary is considered one of the holy places of pilgrimage.
Following the visions of a German nun, Catherina Emmerich, a group of Lazarist priests discovered the house in 1891. The house was restored in the 1950s and Vatican named it a sacred place of pilgrimage in 1952. Today, the building belongs to the Mother Mary Association.
The house received visits from Pope Paul VI in 1967 and Pope John Paul II in 1979, which strengthened the belief that Virgin Mary lived and died in Ephesus. This site has become a frequent destination for pilgrims, since the image of the Virgin Mary is venerated not only by Christians but also by Muslims. A special mass is held each 15 August and attracts numerous visitors.
Thanks to its cultural and historical values, Selçuk is one of the leading tourism destinations in Turkey. The ancient city of Ephesus is just one of the historic districts that make İzmir elite worldwide because of its cultural assets. The first settlement in this district adorned with historical textures dates back nearly eight thousand years.
İzmir has been a fascinating city since ancient times. “They established their city under the most beautiful sky and in the best climate we know on earth.” said Herodot about it. Aristotle told Great Alexander that he’d be incomplete if he didn’t see İzmir. Victor Hugo, the great author, wrote poems for İzmir, and called it a ‘princess.’