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Seven Sleepers’ Museum - Join Us for a Great Curiosity in Ephesus!

Feel a bit sleepy? This great outdoor museum takes you to a whole different world with a brilliant story!

Ephesus is believed to be the city of the Seven Sleepers and you will find their story in a charming outdoor museum just a few kilometres away from Ephesus.

The Seven Sleepers are saints both in the Catholic and the Orthodox churches and their story can also be found in the Qur’an which says that they were persecuted because of their monotheistic belief in God and that they slept in a cave near Ephesus for three centuries.

A British Museum architect found in the 1860’s the pavement of the temple but it was only in 1890’s that the Austrians found the site that is also exhibited at the Ephesus Museum in Vienna!

A medieval legend has it that a group of youths hid inside a cave outside Ephesus around AD 250 to escape the Roman persecutions of Christians and came out some 300 years later. Surprisingly, accounts about this can be found in nine medieval languages in over two hundred manuscripts although the versions vary when it comes to the number of sleepers between three and eight and the number of years asleep from 196 to 373 years…

You can find with today what is believed to be the caves of the Seven Sleepers at a charming museum on the slopes of Mount Pion near Ephesus. Follow us to the ruins of the religious site over the grotto with graves from the 5th and 6th centuries with inscriptions about the Sleepers.

Follow the signs and walk through the path to the different excavation sites and enjoy the remnants of this truly interesting history with a lot of man-made caves, arches and decorations on the walls. Just imagine if the legend were true and where you explore the caves today, there were men asleep for hundreds of years! Just don't fall asleep yourself!

This museum is unfortunately not for those in wheelchair or with a pram, as the walk up the hill is difficult enough for anybody. Do not forget to take good shoes with you! Although you can find a cup of tea at the lovely local coffee shop, it is still a good idea to come with your own bottle of water.

The loo is clean and OK but not good for the handicapped.

This may not be a place for serious souvenirs but for the fun of it, check the bazar at the entrance to the site!

Grotto of the Seven Sleepers



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