St. Virgin Mary House Association Official Web Site

House of Mary- The Church and the Fountains

After a few years Panaya Kapulu was found, archeological excavations were started on the site. In 1898, architect M. Carré, who was put in charge by the French Government came from Konstantinopolis (İstanbul) in order to make a meticulous analysis of the House. In his report he wrote the House dates back to “the first centuries” however he explained unofficially that it can be from the first century. (E. POULIN [GABRIELOVICH], Un dernier mot sur le lieu où est morte la Sainte Vierge, s.e, Smyrne 1921, page 37).

In 1905, Abbé Wogh, who was an archeologist and Bizantine Art Professor at Fribourg Univercity conducted a more detailed investigation. According to him the structure could be from the 7th century but its foundation could be dated to the era of Christianity in the first century. The narthex at the enterance of the House could be added in the seventh century in any case. There are many confirmations about these dates. An example of this is M. Rosetti, an official architect who was put in charge by the Italian Government and M. Hogart d’Oxford (1905) an official architect of British Government.

(The testimony of the mentioned witnesses who were experts in archeology are kept in the archives of Capuchin Friars).

When it was first explored everything was in a desperate condition. That is to say;

– Although the left wall was still erect it was joined with the bulge part where the altar is today. The red line surrounding the House determines exactly the level of ground. The soil actually preserved the House; 

– The characteristic three door front facade (only one of them is open) was almost similar to as it is today. But the brick arch which is still jointed with the main door and the niche on the right was highly damaged at that time;

-The wall on the right was almost in good condition however the part which is connected with the front side was demolished;

-The chapel on the right of the house (Mary’s room) had only the wall with the niche, the other two walls were damaged seriously.

Visit of House of Mary ends at the fountains after leaving the church and going down the steps on the right. Wells next to the church supply drinkable running water for the fountains. Visitors not only taste it, they also carry it with them as they think it is curable for the sick. Because it is believed the water cures the sick and very healing.

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