THE BASILICA OF ST. JOHN AND THE HOUSE OF THE VIRGIN MARY - CHRISTIAN TRADITION BETWEEN TRUTH AND LEGEND
In a nutshell
Good to know
An itinerary filled with mysticism and tension toward the divine to savour the spiritual energy of places of great historical importance.
- Selcuk Fortress
- Basilica of St. John
- House of the Virgin Mary
- We will arrive by coach near Selcuk Fortress , which finally reopened to the public in September 2012 after many years. It is located on Ayasluk hill, where St. John is said to have written his Gospel. The lush greenery and marvellous flowers that surround the fortress soften its menacing look. The Basilica of St. John, located in this area, is considered the most relevant Byzantine building in Ephesus.
- The Basilica was commissioned by Justinian I and Queen Theodora in the 4th century AC on the ruins of a small church on top of the tomb of St. John, who died in Ephesus in 100 AC. The Basilica is embellished by two sets of columns with brick arches, a richly decorated marble fountain and the imposing gate of persecution (built against Arab attacks), all testimonies of a strong spiritual age.
- We will then continue towards the House of the Virgin Mary, which was declared a place of pilgrimage in 1892.
- Mary lived in a house on the Bulbul mountain in Ephesus forgotten for 46 years until 200 years ago.
- The house was identified based on the descriptions of German mystic Anna Katharina Emmerick and made famous by the visits of Pope Paul IV and Pope John Paul XVI. It is a modest secluded stone building surrounded by nature with a cosy evocative interior that transmits a serene intimate sensation.
- Before returning to the ship, we will stop at a shop with local products.
Good to know
- The excursion involves walking, it is therefore recommended to wear comfortable shoes and clothing.
- Dress code that is appropriate for the places of worship is recommended for the visit to the House of the Virgin Mary.