For more official information on the House of Virgin Mary -where Christian world accepts as a pilgrimage location- I may advice you to see some links that I shared below. Here I will try to give you some short tips for “how to go to the House of Virgin Mary?” and “What to see around the House of Virgin Mary?”. The story of how Virgin Mary came to the house and what happened later and lots of images are inside the links below:
Where’s the House of Virgin Mary?
The house is on the Bülbüldağı mountain (means the mount of nightingale) which is just a close neighbor to the city of Ephesus. When you exit Ephesus from the upper gate, you start to climb to the mountain (Bülbüldağı) to reach the Church and House of Virgin Mary. It’s going to be about 9 km.s (6 miles) by car from Ephesus, but because of the road bends and curved route, you will have to drive about 20 minutes. If you take a tour or drive directly from İzmir, it’s in a distance about an hour (more or less) drive.
When you enter the Site;
You will again see tour buses and a crowd of vehicles in the parking lot but it’s not as crowded as Ephesus. Parking and entrance ticket will be about 10 $ total. As you enter the site from the entrance you will also see some Cafe and Souvenir Shops. As it’s a nice green location on the top of a mountain, you might enjoy having a nice cup of tea or coffee there after your visit. Again don’t forget to take your bottles of water with you especially in summer time.
You will find holy water fountains next to the house that people usually like to have a bottle or two from that sacred water.
After a short walk you will be able to reach the House which is now also used as a shrine and you do not have any chance to take photos inside. You will see boards all around that remind you the place is a location of worshiping and the attendants may sometimes remind you to be silent. There are candles inside the House on the right and left hand side that you can light by donating the shrine. House is used as a Church and there is a Chapel next to the house. The Chapel was built in 1961 after the place is accepted as a pilgrimage destination by the Pope Johannes the 23rd.
After visiting the House, you will find a wishing wall that people tie napkins and etc. While I was a child, when I visited the house, I saw the napkins and scarves on a tree. But now, the tradition is changed to tie those stuff on the iron boards on the wall in order to save the trees from the people. I think that really makes sense…
And also if you go crazy and decide to get married (just kidding) while climbing Bülbüldağı, you might have a chance to get married in the site, since, there’s an area separated for marriage ceremonies. As I mentioned before, you might want to have some holy water from the fountains, see the pool for baptism and after checking the souvenir shops, a cup of tea or coffee or an ice cold drink shall be fine to enjoy the silence and the fresh air.