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Turkey Ephesus – The Caves Of The 7 Sleepers, The Statue, The House And The Fountain Of Saint Mary

The caves of the 7 sleepers is the place where seven Christian young men hid themselves with their dog when they were fleeing the wrath and punishment of the idolaters. Later, they were found and murdered during the reign of Decius, the Roman emperor, in the middle of the 3rd century. It is said that they were resurrected after 200 years during the reign of Emperor Theodosius II in the 5th century. After that resurrection, many of those who believed in Christ wished to be buried in this place and they were, so that a large graveyard was formed with about a thousand graves, tombs and monasteries. Up to the 6th century it was enlarged continually and became a place of pilgrimage. This continued up to the 12th century. After that century it fell into ruins. The graves are on the slope of Panayir mountain facing Selcuk. The legend told above does not only exist in Christianity, but is also known as “Eshab Ul-Kehf” in the Muslim world.

You can climb up Panaya-Kapulu by a smooth but winding asphalt road, 9 km. in length, from Ephesus. After climbing up the hill 450 m. high above sea-level, you come down again a hundred metres over a slope, until you arrive at a peaceful place, where there are some inhabitants, and buildings that create an air of holiness. To the left side, when you pass through the olive trees, the first significant thing to be seen is the statue of St. Mary on the wall under the trees, which welcomes you with raised arms. Hundreds of people regarded as pilgrims, pass before this statue with reverence on every day of the year, especially at Easter. You can come here on foot from the shore.

The view of St. Mary’s House after restoration is wonderful. The house was discovered through the explorations of Pere Poulin and Young in the year 1892, and formerly its site was predicted by the Bavarian sage, Catherine Emmerich (1774-1824), two years before her death. When the house was discovered, the roof was broken down and only the ruins of the walls were left standing. It is said that those were the ruins of a church dedicated to St. Mary in the 9th century.

St. Mary lived her last days drinking the healing water of a fountain (30-35 A.D.). There are so many miracles worked by this water and by the ash in the fireplace of St. Mary’s House, that there is hardly anybody who has not witnessed them; people with cancer, whom doctors said were incurable, cripples brought on a stretcher, and children with disabled bones from birth, have all been cured here.

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May 23, 2010 Posted by | Off Topig, Travel & Tourism, turkey | , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Frugal Travel Tips For Istanbul, Turkey

Istanbul is one of my favorite cities in the world. A mix of new and old, history and shopping, Europe and Asia, Istanbul provides something for everyone, especially the frugal traveler. 

The Blue Mosque

When I think of Istanbul artwork, I think of the beautiful blue and white tiles and no where will a traveler find more beautiful examples of 17th century Blue Iznik tiles than in the Blue Mosque. The entrance fee is free but as it is a religious site, women should bring a head scarf (I always walk with one) and dress modestly.

The Grand Bazaar

This, one of the largest covered markets in the world, is where the frugal traveler finds souvenirs. Favorites include tiles, carpets, and apple tea sets. Haggling is a must and shopkeepers are quite persistent (though cheerful). The concept of personal space is different than in North America so expect to get up close and personal. That is part of the fun.

Hagia Sophia

Hagia Sophia was first a basilica, then a mosque, and today a museum. Often when travelers see photos of Istanbul, this building is featured. There is an entrance fee (about $10 U.S.) but the view of the 9th to 10th century mosaics are worth it. This site is rather crowded so time accordingly.

Carpet Shopping

Carpet shopping in Turkey is an experience. Shoppers are served the delicious apple tea in beautiful tea sets while carpets are unrolled before them. In the good carpet shops, travelers may see one of a kind silk carpets from places such as Hereke, each signed by the artist.

Fish Sandwiches

Along the Bosphorus, under the Galata Bridge, are tiny little restaurants specializing in the must eat local food in Istanbul, the fish sandwich. It is exactly as it sounds, fish in bread, and eaten by both locals and travelers. And they are very inexpensive.

Istanbul, one of my favorite cities in the world, has something to interest everyone. There are great cultural sights, unique shopping experiences and inexpensive eating options.

May 23, 2010 Posted by | Travel & Tourism, turkey | , , , , , , | Leave a comment