Grotto of the Seven Sleepers in Ephesus Turkey

Where is the Cave of the Seven Sleepers?

If you are ever in the area of Ephesus, you can visit the ruins of the Grotto of the Seven Sleepers (Yedi Uyuyanlar in Turkish) which is located west of Turkey in the district of Selcuk. There are thousands of rock-cut tombs in this Byzantine necropolis. The grotto is one of many locations linked to the legend of a group of young people who hid in a cave and awoke years later to discover the world that has been changed.

Significance of Grotto of the Seven Sleepers in Christianity

The Legend of Seven Sleepers in Christianity

The legend tells the story of seven young men who were suspected of belonging to the Christianity during the Roman Emperor Trajan Decius’ persecutions. From 249 to 251 AD, he ruled. A group of young Christian men were given time to renounce their religion at this time. Rather than doing so, they divided his fortune among the poor and took refuge in a mountain cave, where they began to pray. They were overwhelmed with sleepiness during the prayer. When they were discovered sleeping in the cave, the emperor ordered that the cave’s entrance be sealed. According to one version of the story, Decius sentenced young men to be imprisoned in a cave as a punishment for their beliefs.

After several years, Christianity went from becoming a persecuted faith to being the state religion. After more than 250 years, a landowner wanted to demolish the cave’s walled entrance in order to use it as a cowshed. He was taken aback when he found seven men sleeping inside. 

Grotto of the Seven Sleepers in Ephesus Turkey

They awoke convinced that they had only slept for one day. They sent one volunteer to the city to buy food because they were starving. He was to be very cautious in order to avoid being discovered by the pagans. When the man arrived in Ephesus, he was astounded to see crosses adorning many of the city’s structures. 

The legendary cave was associated with the grotto on the slope of Pion Mountain (tr. Panayr Da) since the earliest version of the tale comes from the vicinity of Ephesus. The cave was designated as a holy site, and pilgrims began to flock there. For decades, the faithful wished to be buried as close to the holy youths as possible. With the passage of time, a large number of graves emerged, and catacombs were constructed nearby.

You can look at our different Cultural and Biblical tours in Turkey, and decide which one is the best for your desires. We offer them at low costs without compromising the quality of service. 

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