As know nearly 90% of the Ephesus ruins are under the ground and still waits to be excavated. There is a very special place in Ephesus which is excavated but not known very much. It is the sacred and Sacred Grotto of St. Paul. It is a cave used by the early Christians in the 2nd century AC. In those times Christians whore were pursued by the Romans, gathered in this secret grotto and prayed.
Reportedly St. John together with the Mother Virgin Mary hid in this cave when they first arrived to Ephesus. Then they settled in the place called House of the Virgin Mary on the Bulbul Mountain. It is thought that it was used as a Pilgrimage place by the Christians until the 19th Century.
It was first explored in 1891. Then an Austrian Archeologist Karl Herold explored it in 1906. But the importance of the cave understood many years later, in 1999. Austrian Archeologist Prof. Dr. Renate Pillinger explored very important frescos on the walls. Frescos belongs to 5 different periods were found. In addition nearly 300 wall writings were seen.
For sure the most important frescos belong to St. Paul, St. Thecla and The Mother Virgin Mary. It is thought that they were made on the 5th Century. You can see St. Paul while preaching, he is holding a book. He resembles a messy bearded Jewish priest. St. Thecla is originally from Konya. She was a fan of St. Paul and accompanied him. She helped to spread out the Christianity and died in Antakya (Antioch).
The cave got its name from St. Paul’s frescos and it is the only fresco of St. Paul found in Ephesus. St. Paul stayed 2 years in Ephesus. He earned his life as a Tentmaker in the Commercial Agora and preached at the Synagogue and the Theater to spread out the Christianity. Then he wrote the famous letter addressed to Ephesians during his house arrest in Rome. Ephesus Theater became a scene for the famous protesting against St. Paul. Silversmith Demetrius gathered thousands of people in the Theatre and rebel against St. Paul. St. Paul was killed in Rome.
This cave is not open to the public. But as a Travel Agent we take our visitors to this cave after we set a special permission and make the extra payment. This cave is 15meters long and 2,5meters high. You will need to climb a path to arrive it and located on the Bulbul Mountain in the Ruins of Ephesus.
We would be glad to take our visitors to the Sacred and Secret Grotto of St. Paul who wish to see it.