The Grotto of the Seven Sleepers

The grotto has inscriptions to the Seven Sleepers on its wal
The grotto has inscriptions to the Seven Sleepers on its wal

This romantically named site is located on the northern slopes of Mount Pion, near Ephesus. The grotto is of interest to those of both Muslim and Christian faith. According to Christian legend, seven young men were imprisoned here during the reign of Decius around 250 AD. However, the men were later seen alive in the streets of Ephesus during the rule of Theodosius II, almost two hundred years later. A similar story exists in the Koran, but the text claims the men slept there for three hundred and nine years. A Christian church was built above the grotto.

Excavations of the area have uncovered the church and several hundred tombs dating back to the fifth and sixth centuries AD. The cave walls holds inscriptions detailing the Seven Sleepers' plight.

You can visit Seven Sleepers on a tour to Ephesus.


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