Ephesus Highlights Tour: House of the Virgin Mary, Ancient City and Ephesus Park
- House of the Virgin Mary: See where the Blessed Virgin spent her last years, enter the chapel for quiet reflection, and drink water from the holy fountain.
- Guided tour: The Ephesus open-air archeological site includes the Fountain of Trajan, Odeon, steam baths, Temple of Hadrian, and famed Library of Celsus.
- Cittantica Ephesus Park: Stop at Turkey's newest theme park, designed to re-create life in ancient Ephesus and keep an authentic spirit of antiquity alive.
- Artisan center: Enjoy refreshments and a demonstration of traditional Turkish carpet, leather, or jewelry making techniques, followed by time for shopping.
About this Izmir tour
Far away from Turkey, an ailing nun in Germany first saw a beloved shrine. Visions of the House of the Virgin Mary came to Anne Catherine Emmerich in the early 1800s. Not only did her visions recount details about the life of Jesus and his mother, Mary, they were remarkably specific about the house where the Apostle John had brought Mary to fulfill his promise to Jesus to care for her.
Emmerich described the type of stones used to construct the house, the location of its doors and windows, even the shape of the chimney. Fortunately, author Clemens Brentano visited Emmerich, transcribed all these details, and published them as a book. Relying on that book, French priest Abbe Julien Gouyet discovered the small stone house near Ephesus in 1881. He was sure this was where Mary lived in her final years.
For those who share Gouyet's belief, this modest building is a sacred place. Pilgrims who make their way here enter an austere single room containing an altar and statue of the Blessed Virgin. This space leads to a smaller room where the Virgin Mary is believed to have slept. On a wall outside, pilgrims leave notes expressing their wishes or intentions. And they drink from a water fountain that's said to have miraculous healing powers.
Although the Catholic Church hasn't authenticated the house, it has given it status as a "Holy Place" and beautified Anne Catherine Emmerich. A few of its famous representatives have come to call: Pope Leo XIII visited in 1896, followed by Pope Paul VI (1967), Pope John Paul II (1979) and Pope Benedict XVI (2006). The visions of a bedridden nun inspired the pilgrimages of popes. Could she ever have imaged that?
The other lady of Ephesus
The Virgin Mary's home was a humble stone building. In contrast, Artemis, goddess of fertility, was honored with the magnificent Temple of Artemis, one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. Four times larger than the Parthenon, this marble temple housed priceless art and sculpture. Today, the house of Mary stands, while all that remains of Artemis' great temple is a single column surrounded by scattered rubble.
Cruise Pier: Look for GoBe at the pier. Hotel: Lobby pickup; Advise GoBe prior of your hotel stay. Izmir International Domestic Terminal - Baggage claim pickup. International Arrivals - meet outside of Customs. Call the operator at the meeting point.
At the House of the Virgin Mary, you may enter the chapel and light a candle or leave a paper note on the wall to bring you good luck. Please dress conservatively.
Please consider your mobility and physical fitness before selecting this tour. Participants must be able to walk continuously for approximately 2 miles over uneven terrain including cobblestone surfaces, inclines, and 10 to 30 steps.
Cultural, Scenic, Shopping, Walking Tour
Luxury air conditioned bus.
English, German, Spanish, French, Italian
Tour Participation Requirements
This experience is rated strenuous. Travelers must consider their physical fitness level and medical history when determining whether this tour is appropriate. Travelers with pre-existing neck, back, knee and/or shoulder injuries, cardiac conditions, asthma, diabetes, epilepsy, other heart or respiratory conditions or any other medical condition must take particular caution when selecting a tour categorized as "strenuous". If you have concerns, you must consult with your personal physician before engaging in any activity that may be too strenuous for you.
Suitable for all ages.
Special Medical Restriction
This tour is not recommended for travelers with walking difficulties or who cannot manage steps. There is no maximum age restriction, but we ask travelers to be aware of their physical fitness, limitations, and understand this activity is rated strenuous.
Full refunds issued for cancellations made 7 full days prior to the date and time of requested services. Cancellations made within the 7-day and 72-hour window will receive a 50% refund of purchase total. Purchases are non-refundable inside of 72 hours.
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